Casting myself as an average voter, I naively assumed I would be the target of campaign information, vote solicitation, blitzing... whatever.
I get nada.
Last night, on one of the busiest party nights of the year, was the leaders debate in English. I was already double-booked. So no, I didn't tune in. (Neither did I make the party where my curling team was awarded league championship.) If strategists wanted to find the best night to hold a debate when no one would actually tune in, Dec 16 was probably the choice just behind Christmas day or eve - and those two would have been too obvious.
I'm getting the sneaking suspicion that the politicians running for government don't actually want me to know their platforms or policies. They want me, the average voter, to make my decision based on headlines and 30-second news clips.
Last time I blogged about this I thought I would keep a tally on how each party seeks to win my vote. Obviously I have nothing new to report. At least I now know the name of my NDP Ottawa-Centre candidate: Paul Dewar because my landlords had his sign on the lawn for a day. Then it was down. Paul, what did you do to offend so quickly? I'm a little suspicious of him myself since his web page begins with "Wow!" Golly gee! Do I really get to run for government? Gee, thanks guys. This is so cool.
Well, maybe I should be more pro-active in my approach... If I want to vote intelligently in the next election, I will have to take it on myself to become informed. I follow the NDP links to ask for their policy info - but when I click submit, I get an error message, web page not found. Hmm...
Try the Green Party web site. The home page for Ottawa Centre hasn't been updated since the last federal election. Something happening on Aug 29, 2004 is listed under upcoming events.
The Liberal Party web site. Looking better. This guy must have some funding. Blog-stlye update posted Dec 15. Mahoney sounds keen - and a bit too big on strategy. "When I go canvassing, I'm accompanied by a team of volunteers who help me move from conversation to conversation as efficiently as possible." Feeling the love.
Take a look at the Conservative page. Last update on Aug 2005. Pre-election. And I still have no idea who their candidate is for my riding. Their last news release is from Jan 2004.
Now I really am convinced my candidates don't want me to be informed.
In a comment to my previous election blog, Charles J offered a CBC link where you can take a quiz to find out which party leaders you agree with most. I took the quiz and there were no surprises (Layton won by a long-shot) - but I kept thinking how I really didn't know enough about the issues - gun control, agriculture, economics, reform, etc. - to accurately judge which sentence best reflected my view.
It's going to be a lot harder than I thought to become an informed voter. Is there not something wrong with the system if it's this difficult?