Dear candidates: There is already so much that I want to thank you for in regards to the upcoming election.
Please do call me during dinner. I have nothing better to do than to listen to your prerecorded message. We always have family dinners, so what’s wrong with you interrupting one of them. Your message is important, more important than face time with my children. And don’t worry, the pre-recorded thing doesn’t bother me at all. I will listen all the way to the end. It isn’t a concern to me that you didn’t take the time to call me yourself; a recording is just as genuine and effective and will definitely improve your chances of me voting for you.
Perhaps your ‘autobot’ can also ask me if I’d like a lawn sign? “Press two now if you’d like a lawn sign.” After all, I don’t think lawn signs are gaudy or like weeds. I wouldn’t report them to the invasive species centre as the most recent plague to the area. They are colourful and fun and why wouldn’t I want your name and/ or plastered on signs on my lawn. Not only am I proud to represent for my candidates, I particularly like that the people who put up the signs so quickly somehow disappear completely once the election is over and will allow me to keep that lawn sign up long into the winter or until I take it down.
Aside from the telemarketing and the lawn signs, I also want to thank you for the direct mail pieces both in the newspaper and in the mail. I like the way they fall out of the paper as I am reading it. It makes for a fun game later that evening to try and find which piece of furniture they have slid under. I also appreciate that they come in the mail as well, so that I get something from the mailbox other than bills. Having no home delivery and walking to the neighbourhood mailbox only to find a nice glossy campaign flyer is very much worth the walk. I’ll read them and cherish them, and will compare the ones from each candidate. Of course the candidate with the glossiest one wins.
The length of this year’s election is truly a real treat. I always think to myself; “Self, I wish campaigning went on for much longer!” One month of political debates and attack ads simply isn’t enough. Today’s campaign platforms are so subtle and nuance d that we need at least three months to understand what a candidate and their platform is all about.
Regarding those platforms, I like that we now focus on electing people who do what is popular instead of what is right. To the incumbents, go ahead and buy my vote with spending and put us more into debt, that’s okay, someone will always be there to bail us out. Just ask Greece.
The attack ads have also been a great blessing. I was hoping for an opening to start discussing different political tactics with my children. I was annoyed for so many years that it was only in the USA elections that mud was slung so violently. I hoped that we would get in on the fun and I could explain to my children that sometimes when you have nothing good to say about yourself you instead say something mean about the other person, founded or unfounded. Their lack of understanding of this concept startled me. They said they wouldn’t vote for someone who ran ads like that because they were a bully. I still can’t figure out why my kids can’t understand why someone’s haircut should be discussed as part of their campaign. I clearly have to improve my parenting.
Reflecting on all of this, I’m not sure which part of this election thrills me the most. Perhaps it is that the incumbent politicians won’t get run down having to do their jobs while they campaign. As I mom, I know how tricky it can be to multi-task, so it’s nice that candidates are getting full salary to campaign and don’t have to worry about governing.
Happy campaigning. Sincerely, One voter