Plod­ding to­ward the fin­ish

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - COMMUNITY - Frank Likely Frankly Speak­ing Frank Likely is a re­tired Angli­can min­is­ter and past pres­i­dent of the Springhill and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“Per­haps I’m just be­ing a bit nos­tal­gic, but I re­mem­ber when our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers had char­ac­ter, and of­ten were char­ac­ters. They had per­son­al­i­ties that came through on the cam­paign stump. You re­mem­bered a John Diefen­baker in full or­a­tor­i­cal splen­dour.”

If it weren’t for the blight of signs, how would any­one know there was an elec­tion un­der­way? Po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns have be­come bor­ing.

With a lit­tle less than two weeks left in the cam­paign, I’ve re­ceived one flyer and one tele­phone call from can­di­dates’ cam­paigns. And the phone caller wanted to know if they could count on my vote! Not that they would ap­pre­ci­ate my vote but could they count on my vote as if they al­ready had it! It’s a se­cret bal­lot for a rea­son.

I can re­mem­ber as a poll cap­tain many years ago do­ing a full can­vass of the poll once a week, ev­ery week of the cam­paign seek­ing the sup­port of vot­ers.

Cam­paigns en­gaged with the peo­ple and the peo­ple were en­gaged in the elec­tion. But it doesn’t ap­pear that way any­more.

Cam­paigns don’t have the big ral­lies any­more. Those events, which would draw hun­dreds of peo­ple, friend and foe alike, were loud, vi­brant and some­times rowdy events that got the peo­ple in­volved.

To­day you see the can­di­dates hav­ing a meet and greet with a hand­ful of al­ready-com­mit­ted sup­port­ers at their cam­paign head­quar­ters. Lead­ers an­nounce poli­cies from be­hind a podium to a hand­ful of re­porters in a near-empty room. That’s not en­gage­ment!

It now seems that par­ties and their lead­ers would rather cam­paign via Face­book than face-to-face. If you don’t friend them, or at least be a friend of a friend, too bad.

Per­haps I’m just be­ing a bit nos­tal­gic, but I re­mem­ber when our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers had char­ac­ter, and of­ten were char­ac­ters. They had per­son­al­i­ties that came through on the cam­paign stump. You re­mem­bered a John Diefen­baker in full or­a­tor­i­cal splen­dour.

And then peo­ple won­der why the voter turnout drops from elec­tion to elec­tion.

There’s noth­ing to en­gage them any­more.

Hope­fully we can spice up the re­main­ing two weeks!

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