I have to admit it: I’m as guilty as anyone who watches political debates for the zingers! You know … those K.O. lines that capture the headlines, the spotlight and the media’s attention for the next three days!
And amuse us.
But that really is NOT the best way to watch a debate between leaders whose parties/strategists/backers want control of Canada’s government and its $356 Billion annual budget … with all the authority over your life and rights that accompany political power.
Deciding how to vote is very easy for partisan party supporters: they have their minds made up; many have already reached their post-debate conclusions and have their lines scripted: THEIR leader did GREAT and the opponent(s) FAILED miserably.
However, for those who are UNDECIDED … watching the debates can be more important … even critical … in making their decision how to vote.
So here are my own suggestions:
LISTEN to what the leaders say from TWO points of view: WHAT will they do FOR you and your country OR WHAT will they do TO you and your country.
Everything else is THEATRE … zingers, prepared lines and drama aimed at impressing voters, capturing the headlines and favorable mention from commentators.
It’s a lot of sound and fury signifying NOTHING … three weeks from now.
However, if you do listen to what they propose, promise or could even prohibit, it can then help you make an educated decision as to which party should win … or lose … YOUR vote.
Healthcare funding? Home ownership incentives? Seniors’ pension increases? Child care benefits? Tax cuts? Education? Carbon pricing? Environment? Pipelines? Transportation infrastructure? Immigration? First Nations spending? Human rights/LGBTQ issues? International role? Justice/crime? Or…?
Of course, there’s no guarantee the “winner” will do all … or even most … of what he or she promises.
But at least YOU will have voted for what YOU believe, what YOU want to see, and against what YOU don’t support.
Instead of just falling victim to who had the “best” line or delivered the “best” punch.
(Reminder: Follow me @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter for First Alerts of all new topics on the blog.)