Give us a reason to vote

I am beginning to understand the U.S. Republican race to represent that party in the presidential election in 2016.
For the longest time, I could not understand how candidates like Donald Trump, Scott Walker, and Ted Cruz (a former Canadian) could develop a wide following supporting and funding their campaigns.
They all were saying things about people and immigrants that were politically incorrect. They all said they could not believe or support global warming because they were not scientists.
They had simple-to-understand beliefs on war and terrorizing nations to follow the U.S. directions. They all were showing their individualism.
And yet they have led the party at one time or another in the last 10 months while careful, well-briefed candidates like Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, who carefully mince their words so as to not offend others, are being left in the dust.
In Canada, we have seen a young woman forced to withdraw from the race in her riding for a tweet she posted when she was 17. We have several other candidates from all parties who have quit the race because of videos that were posted on the web.
Everyone must be politically correct in Canada if they are running in an election. Sometimes truths even cannot be uttered less they offend.
Last week I wrote about electing a voiceless eunuch, which must have been well-read given the feedback I received. And it’s made me wonder if the decline in voting in Canada is directly related to the lack of individualism of the riding candidates.
The forum in Stratton last week had all four candidates restating their leaders’ positions on the economy, immigration, defence, security, health, and other topics. They could not relate to the audience how any of their party’s platforms would help their riding or the lifestyles of their constituents.
Voting turnout has declined substantially. In 1935, 74.2 percent of the population voted. In 1958, turnout grew to 79.4 percent with the election of John Diefenbaker.
It remained high in the election of the Trudeau government in 1972. But since the election of Brian Mulroney in 1984, voter turnout has declined continuously. In 2011, only 61.1 percent of Canadians went to the polls.
One must wonder what has brought about the decline. Were Canadians more involved in politics even three decades ago? Did the quality of local candidates play a much bigger role in national elections in the past?
Around the coffee table, no person at this point has any sense of who they will vote for on Oct. 19.
A question asked last week was “How do I cast a ballot that shows my displeasure with the field of candidates in this riding?” One possibility was not voting; the other was destroying their ballot.
Maybe one of the local candidates will give us a reason to vote for them over the next 19 days.

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