Editorial: On the morning of this election I still hold the undecided vote 🗳

Agatha Farmer

On the morning of this federal election my jury is still deliberating and I have not yet decided to whom my vote will go.

Talking heads have branded the 2019 election as “shitty” with inadequate leading candidates. However, I wouldn’t throw all candidates under that bus. Having had listened to the debates, to the Twitter chirping from backseat personnel like Brett Wilson, Jason Kenney to Telford and Butts, the two ‘mainstream’ parties and those in the wings desperately trying to offload the Liberal and Conservative agenda are exasperating at this point.

Scheer and Trudeau should sign a sitcom deal. At the very least take it to a schoolyard so kids 30 plus years younger can school them in bullying behaviour, and how to fill their buckets so the need to bash each other isn’t as strong.

Bored and disengaged from the same old politics yet? I am.

Both Singh and May seem to exhibit human traits, are open to ideas, but most importantly come across non-combative during debates. Both didn’t seem to waste precious air-time in front of Canadians exhaustively pointing out the faults of their opponents. They spoke of solutions and collaboration.

Millennials have changed the political game field, and hopefully with it the rules of this game as well.

Over the last month I have observed that insults and childish sentiments of “you did this, you did that” is bullshit which I’m sensing is not flying with my cohort specifically. And I fully understand why.

Because for a change I want a government that will collaborate and work together to improve the lives of Canadians. Canadians who don’t have expense accounts and public salaries. Canadians who genuinely need a helping hand to be able to thrive not just survive.

I’m revolted and quite frankly embarrassed by what is considered “normal” behaviour during question period on Parliament Hill and most days at Queens Park.

Grow up. You work for us, we pay you to represent and solve real issues. I appreciate and support debate. But constructive debate. Professional debate skills are non-existent in this ridiculous setting. Hold the insults and belittling and start coming up with solutions. If all you do is place blame but have zero solutions; you’re useless. Yes, I want actual, real change in the business of doing politics.

Let’s leave the national stage, however and zero in on Parry Sound-Muskoka.

On the right, Scott Aitchison seems to have abandoned his passion for the mayoral seat a year into his term. But not completely because should this federal run not work out, fear not his mayoral gig is still an excellent back up. The commitment level to his constituents seems stellar. Not to mention the possible over $100,000 cost of a Huntsville by-election, should he win the seat, is completely in line with a fiscal conservative mindset. His coziness with Tony Clement is more of a drawback than an endorsement. Tone deaf comes to mind. His stance on most issues is narrow minded while lacking in knowledge and information.

On the left, Liberal candidate Trisha Cowie, and NDP Tom Young. Cowie is well known in the riding and came a close second to Clement in the 2015 red sweep. Unfortunately her grasp of local issues seems shallow and because she is continuously skimming the surface it leads her to continuously fall back on her party’s talking points. For a second time federal candidate I expected more relevance. The impression Cowie presents is that her votes would be easily whipped.

NDP Tom Young is a newbie candidate. However, for his first time out of the gate he is surprisingly good on his feet. Very much like Singh he comes across unrehearsed and genuine. He is admittedly not a politician or a seasoned candidate and seems to exude ‘what you see, is what you get.’ He knows his platform well but doesn’t rely on it as much as Cowie, and speaks more openly from his personal understanding of the issues in Parry Sound-Muskoka. Relatability is his strong point.

In the centre of it all is Green Party candidate Gord Miller. The momentum for the Green Party is incredibly visible in this riding during this election. I have seen more Green signs than in previous years, and not just on town or district property but private lawns. Miller is a scientist and as a result logical in his approach on issues. He unpacks topics methodologically. He is not a one issue candidate. Yes he believes climate is especially important for the economy of Muskoka. But he is also in tune with issues ranging from the housing crisis to the need for improved mental health.

The message is simple; no matter where you stand on this political spectrum, make sure to check that box and vote today.

Remember this though; if you’re sick and tired of the same old politics then quit paving the way for the insanity of the same cycle.

I’m not yet decided, over the years in previous elections I have voted both right and left. I’m not at all married to one ideology over another. I want to see collaborative effort from the person I choose to represent and speak for me. I don’t want a career politician looking for an easy ride with dreams of a government pension. I want someone hungry for positive change instead of the status quo.

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