Ice cream vs. Candy

Today had crept up faster than I had hoped. The bi-election in the Toronto riding of St. Pauls for a brand spankin’ new MPP

Based upon the two leading incumbents, it would seem that the deal breaking issue, the pivotal decision we as a riding have to make is…

Do we prefer ice cream or candy?

On two occasions I was bombarded in front of the subway station by unpaid volunteers for both the conservative and liberal party. Last week the liberal tows were yelling and handing out pamphlets for their incumbent- a humanitarian/ family doctor.  On the front: a picture of Dr. dental work done. On the back: “FREE ICE CREAM!” No mention of the new proposal for a harmonized sales tax, no mud slinging not even a list of accomplishments! I felt like I was being loured in by a pedophile.

The next day the conservatives struck back.  But again, not with any literature criticizing the last 8 years of liberal leadership, or a proposal of how they’d do anything differently. This is what placed in my hand.

I generally don’t base my vote on platforms and promises but on ideology, so It doesn’t often take me long to decide who to vote for since my political ideologies aren’t set to expire for another 6 years READ: Winston Churchill ( “Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.”)

And they certainly are not swayed by ‘free swag’. But both days I came into work irate (which is an unusual amount of emotion for me to have anytime before 11 am) It seems consumerism has crept into the already diluted democratic experience and into, perhaps, the last active part of a collective democratic action.

I understand these are meant to draw people in; to hopefully bring them to hear about platforms and positions, and I (somewhat) applaud these incumbents for trying.  But who is zooming who. There is nothing sexy about politics. Its not something we participate in because its fun, but because its important and there ARE important issues at the moment.

Its hard to pinpoint where the problem lies- constituents refusing participation in anything that isn’t wrapped in polysterene or politicians who market and brand politics with celebrities and free shit.

Either way, I think what is most concerning is that the prime focus is placed on voting as the most important facet of political participation, which is like going into an exam without going to class or reading the texts. If we as a voting public shifted our focus on political participation from voting to becoming actively involved in our immediate communities than I believe individually the decision on who to elect will be quite clear: no ice cream or candy needed.

DISCLAIMER: Although trying to win my VOTE with ice cream and Candy makes me irate, trying to win my heart with ice cream and candy almost always works.

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About Ashley Drake
Don't cha wish your girlfriend could blog like me

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