Saturday, 27 September 2014

Nasty Campaigns - Do We Have To?

           No Need for Nasty!

           In November, there will be municipal elections.  Locally, there have been predictions that “campaigning will be nasty”.  Really?  Why?  Says who?

           Negative campaigns have become more common in recent years -  negative in the sense of personal attacks.  Jean Chrétien was one of the first targets.  The Harper Conservatives tried to portray his facial deformity as an indicator of leadership deficiency.  Michael Ignatief and Stephan Dion were also attacked for personal qualities, not their actual abilities as leaders.

           We are told that, although people dislike negative campaigning, it works.  So someone is paying attention.  However, I don't think that means we in North Saanich must lower ourselves to these unkind and demeaning tactics.

           In municipal elections, where the issues and solutions are on our doorstep, serious voters want essential facts about these issues, not personal attacks against the candidates.  Would you like to be represented by someone who would demean and belittle his opponents with unkind and often incorrect remarks?  Do they really represent your values?  If you bring an issue to Council could you count on them to objectively assess your situation?  

           Those who lie and cheat to get your vote will likely continue to lie and cheat afterwards.  They believe that personal attacks on their opponents are worthy substitute for a substantial platform of their own.

           Real candidates are primarily focused on their own platform, surpassing their opponents by offering thoughtful and progressive ideas for the community.  They look good on their own, and don't rely on cheap shots to buff up their image.
           My associates and I are part of a group that encourages respect for the Municipal Official Community Plan, condones moderate growth and the enhancement of our agricultural community, all in atmosphere of civility and mutual respect.  Candidates that support our attitudes are adamantly opposed to negative and nasty campaigning and will only promote themselves to the voters using a consistently positive style.

           This does not preclude the necessity for them to attack the practices, policies and decisions of their opponents when warranted, but this will never extend to personal attacks upon those opponents themselves.  All candidates should only focus on the platforms of the candidates, not their personalities.

           So, if you hear nasty campaign remarks of a personal nature, identify the source and ask yourself if you share those attitudes and values.  Would you want them to represent you?  I suggest that candidates of that ilk do not deserve the honour of representing their fellow residents in the negotiation of Council business. 

           There are better choices than mean campaigners, and North Saanich deserves better.

Remember, there are no nasty campaigns, only nasty campaigners.

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