Are political parties a threat to Canada’s democratic traditions?

An election is in the air and behind the scenes, much activity is afoot

Re: OUR VIEW: Election amendment law not needed

An election is in the air and behind the scenes, much activity is afoot. The pundits are turning up their rhetoric and the back groom boys are filling the air with both smoke and mirrors. Yes folks, the band will soon arrived in River City.

Meanwhile, the current provincial government is busy passing a law that will allow your voter attendance (or lack thereof) to be recorded and available to the various political parties to store in their electronic memory banks.

The secret part of our secret vote is rapidly being chipped away by those who gather much information, all of which is analyzed, sorted, stacked and utilized in times to come to determine where you stand with respect to ideas, opinions and most importantly of all, how you should best be targeted to allow them to get you to vote and to vote for them.

Nothing much new here, you say? Well, just maybe there is. If select, specific, information can be directed to you in your snail mail, email and telephone and door-to-door delivery, will you have a chance to get a balanced view of just what each part truly stands for? Will you be able to really tell whether or not they are just telling you that they have determined you want to hear as opposed to the message they give to your neighbour?

The privacy commissioner is concerned and maybe we should be too.

Let’s get them to stop harassing us to find out how we are going to vote, as is currently the case and give greater credence to the fact that a citizen who chooses not to vote is also expressing an opinion on the election. An opinion which political parties wish now to turn to their advantage by allowing you to be recorded, targeted, analyzed and prepped for the big sell.

A person who chooses not to vote is, in most cases, going a big message, a message that political parties of all stripes choose to ignore. Let them not take this last vestige of political protest away from us. Spoiled ballets have no status and there is no square box on the ballet to record the opinion “none of the above.”

Isn’t it time that more heat was put on the political parties to do good and less heat on the potential voter?

I tell you what.

Give me a ballot voucher to use once each election and allow me to vote in the riding in which I believe the best candidate or the bet party resides which I believe has the best chance to effectively put forward my opinion and I will turn over heaven and earth to get to the polls and exercise my franchise on election day. It would not hurt either, in this day and age of electronic communication, to use the tools of the modern age to practice this ancient are of democracy.

Who knows, you might even get the young ‘uns to press a thumb or two on election day. At least, that is an observation from an experienced voter of many decades. Or is this too big a threat to the current political party control?

Note to political telephone pollsters: why is my response “I am going to vote by secret ballot” such a hard concept for you to fathom?

If you really want my respect, phone me a mother after the elections over and ask me what I want you to for me and my country.

Robert L. Peel

Campbell River