Esquimalt Juan de Fuca
For whatever it’s worth, I thought it might be interesting to look at the campaign literature received from the different campaigns in recent days/weeks. (Sorry there aren’t pictures… I don’t have a scanner, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.) Click on the pictures of the candidates to link to their websites.
Liberal: Keith Martin
Apparently he’s “Effective”… this word is repeated several times across the front of his flyer. “Effective in Government” it says. “Effective in Opposition.” Oh, and Keith Martin knows how to be effective for you in Ottawa.” There follows a lot of “facts to help you decide.”
This is something that always cracks me up about “liberals” — they actually think that people pay attention to “facts” and other such curious, reality-based notions. Indeed, if we take the time delve into this rather elaborate piece of literature there is quite a massive amount of information. Keith’s background, experience, biography, record in parliament, short summaries of his positions on different issues (e.g., jobs, the economy, social issues, our rights, education, defence, etc.), “why he serves” and got into politics in the first place and so on and on and on…
It should be said that this is pretty standard fare from Dr. Martin, who sends out quite detailed reports summarizing his activities in parliament from time to time. This one is just a little more colourful (but not that much… to be honest, it’s kind of drab).
Conservative: Troy DeSouza
Now, here we see the difference with so-called “Conservatives” — they are far more direct. The first piece I received immediately after the writ was dropped — like within days — was a glossy, colourful little bit of cardboard that promised a highway overpass. I can’t quote it directly because I gave it away to some hapless ex-fisherman guy who was doorstopping for the NDP and was unfamiliar with it. Anyway, I know nothing about this McKenzie highway overpass thing. I would assume that it’s intended to relieve the traffic congestion — the dreaded “Colwood Crawl” — from downtown to the exurban “Western Communities” that make up a lot of the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca riding (i.e., Colwood, Langford, Vic West, View Royal, Sooke, Metchosin). Well, I ride an electric bike around my neighborhood and take the bus when I grudgingly have to go into town on some dreary errand, so that means absolutely nothing to me.
His second pitch came the other day… This one is especially hilarious. It starts off with a bold headline: “You’ve told me: We need to protect rural communities.” Huh? Did I “tell” you that? What on earth are you talking about? Below that is a picture of cattle grazing in a field with some skyscrapers in the background. I’ve got no idea where this image was taken from, but it’s most definitely not local. Then it says “You need a strong voice in government.” Um, okay… But this message means nothing to me. There are “rural” communities and small farming areas, vintners and what not further to the west of where I’m situated, but there’s no content here. “Protect” them from what, exactly? Is there some imminent threat out there to their existence?
Flip the piece over and you get and either/or bit of propaganda. “PAY MORE” on the red Liberal side OR “GET MORE” on the blue Conservative side. Well, who wouldn’t want to “get more” right? Apparently, we’ll have “Commuter Rail” and “Economic Stability” if we vote for this mysterious fellow standing next to Stephen Harper (in the colour picture as opposed to the sepia toned picture of assorted Liberals on the RED side of the piece that’s presumably meant to appear “scary”).
NDP: Jennifer Burgis
Funny thing. After being inundated with regular mailings from Jack Layton for the last two years (all of which went unopened and tossed in the garbage) I’ve received nothing from Ms. Burgis. Apparently, I learn from the excellent CBC website that she’s an opportunistic carpetbagger from the Interior who ran unsuccessfully in Saanich–Gulf Islands in the last election.
Green Party: Brian Gordon
Brian’s nice little pamphlet features him pictured with Al Gore! It says that he’s a “former climate sceptic who was trained by Al Gore to deliver the Inconvenient Truth presentation.” Yes, many sighs and groans from this quarter at that particular bit of news.
His priorities are all in order of course and most of them I agree with, but they’re so general and vague. Yes, we do “need to rebuild our network of trains and streetcars” and “food security” is something that would desirous to be moving towards (except don’t forget that according to the Conservative candidate our “rural communities” need to be “protected” from… some imminent peril). Oh, and here’s another thing that Brian is for: “local jobs” — brilliant! Who would ever have imagined that? Then there’s a little spiel about the Greens’ idealistic vision of high-speed electric trains in France and Norway, organic farms and so on. Flipping over to the back page we get more of the Green message about the virtuous characteristics of European lifestyles, how the economy and ecology are linked and so on. Yes, yes, and yes… All good stuff, but yet… strangely ineffective and unconvincing in this format. Hey, flying electric cars would be nice too!
There’s an “Independent” in the race too. Some fellow named Philip Ney with no literature and not even a website. Unfortunately, we don’t get an amusing assortment of comedians, fringe loons and crackpots running this time out.
So that’s the perspective of a somewhat disinterested voter of what’s been received in the mailbox in my riding in this stupid, pointless election. Is it any wonder that so few people bother to go and vote?