If you begin each February hoping to successfully bid for a scalper’s ACC tickets to a Blue Jays World Series game in October, or, if each early summer you plot your place on the route for the Tiger Cats Grey Cup parade, or even (and this historically at least is a much greater long shot) each September you begin dropping loonies into a jar in order to have the coin on hand to purchase a Leafs Stanley Cup final ticket, that’s OK. If you’re excited to watch the next ones to occupy NHL rosters, but now wearing Bulldogs livery, you’re a fan and you display your loyalty each time you slip on your replica game jersey.

If, however, you’re approaching October 19 with sufficient political party ardour that you’re considering submitting to body art, stop!

No biceps, forearms or other skin should display an alphabet commitment to any crew trolling for space in the Chateau by the Rideau.

There is far too much at stake to unquestioningly deliver lawn sign, never mind torso space to the Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats or Greens.

Voting is serious business and the robo calling, door knocking and general urgency displayed by political parties as they sniff for your support underscores this fact.

It’s fine to support a philosophical view of how a society should develop, but we should never assume a political party which includes that philosophy in its branding meets our personal definition of conservative, liberal, or more liberal.

Assess not just the promises, but whether those promises deserve your support. Investigate. Question. Determine. Then vote. And even if you surprise yourself with your eventual selection, you will have completed personal due diligence.

Let’s by all means bray ourselves silly roaring “Go Leafs Go,” chanting “Oskee Wee Wee,” joining thousands of Raptors faithful beseeching “Deeee-Fence,” barking our approval of a certain crew of Bulldogs and backing the Jays with all the roaring necessary to assist in bringing the World Series trophy north for a third time.

However, on October 19, none of us can afford to be fans. None of us. If your instincts are to cast your lot with a political team to which you’ve always and

unquestioningly delivered your vote think about it first. I’ll write it again, examine that political team’s stated objectives and the viability of promises rolled out. If objectives fail match yours, or the viability of campaign promises fails to withstand your scrutiny, vote accordingly.

Political parties have a great deal to answer to. Whether it’s the crews of Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau or Elisabeth May, they are applying for a job. A well-paying and exceedingly well-pensioned gig. They will have the responsibility to steward Canada’s direction perhaps only temporarily, but certainly with impact.

Let’s make them earn our votes and then we can get back to being fans.

Written by: Roy Green

John Best had enjoyed a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

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