There clearly has been two different election campaigns going on this fall. The national campaign has been filled with vitriol and mud slinging; the local campaign has been anything but that. The common theme from the leaders of the major political parties is to vote for them, because they are not as bad as those other parties.
At the local level, we’ve seen the exact opposite campaign style from the five candidates: a refreshing change.
Watching the candidates in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry all-candidates in Winchester last week, it was difficult not to like any of them.
All spoke well, were civil and respectful to each other, and to the audience who may not all have supported the ideas of some of the candidates.
The entire campaign has been that way. When one candidate’s signs were vandalized, the other candidates condemned those actions. At events there is a camaraderie that would hardly suggest that those five are competing for the same job.
One reason for this may be the fresh perspective of youthful optimism and hope. Three of the five local candidates are under 40-years-old. It may also be those good home-grown rural values shining through in their campaigns.
Contrast that with the debates and campaigning seen on the national stage where jumping on every miscue and mistake is an act of going for the jugular vein in the hopes of scoring that knock-out punch to swing the vote in their favour. Granted there have been glimpses of positivity along the way, but those have been overshadowed by a mud-filled malaise that could turn even the most optimistic voter into a pessimist in a heartbeat.
Maybe it would be best for all voters to focus more on the election of their local Member of Parliament. In the end, that person is the one who represents us. The person chosen should be one who represents the best part of us to the rest of the country. We hope that person, whoever is elected, will remember that he or she represents all of the riding equally, fights for our local causes on Parliament Hill, and is someone all parts of the riding can be proud of.
Regardless of who you feel is that best person for that job, please remember to go out on October 21st. Make your choice.