Last-minute election campaigns?
Some time ago the Bulletin’s editorial proposed that political aspirants begin their campaigns long before the actual and legal election period. They must stay within the election laws, of course, but I wish this subject had received a more positive response! Our present system has candidates announcing their campaign at the same time that they introduce themselves to the public. Shouldn’t we know these people well before they ask for our support on election day? They should also know us, the electorate. The present system favours those holding the position already, as their names are recognized by the public.
Is it not possible for potential candidates to be more creative in their approaches to political office? Could they not introduce themselves earlier, raise the issues which interest them early, and push present deputies to explain their positions? Does this have to be done only within the election campaign itself? That is not creative and it will not assure us of effective leaders.
I question also if last-minute candidates really know us, the electorate? When have they had the time to visit everywhere, and ask what is bothering voters? When can they collect the best ideas of their constituents?
This is especially true of the smaller political parties -- I am very interested in the proposals of Quebec Solidaire, but why do I have to wait until the actual election campaign before I learn what QS proposes? Or the Greens, and the NPD? Corporate media gives them little exposure.
An earlier presence on the media landscape will give all candidates a better chance to know what the voters want (or don’t want), and it will allow candidates to discover supporters and volunteers early. Are people too tired of politics to ask for more? I can understand that, too. But we need a more equitable system -- and I am not referring to voter reform. That is apparently too big a proposal for most of us to even consider!