Ho-hum. Another provincial political election campaign has begun in Quebec, with the vote set for Oct. 3.
Forgive me for yawning . . .
If there is any race at all, it’s for second place, the polls seem to indicate. The current ruling CAQ party is expected to easily clinch another majority government, but it’s anybody’s guess which party will form the official opposition.
Regardless of which party actually wins the election, nothing will really change in the province — something not lost on the general public, I think. Which might be why so many people in Quebec are not all that interested in the various parties’ campaigns. If we listen to those running for election, we’ll hear lots of idealism and promises. But ultimately we know the vast majority of the people we elect don’t really do all that much when they occupy their seats in the National Assembly in Quebec City. The parameters of the government bureaucracy are pretty much set: politicians are there to oversee that bureaucracy and tweak things as needed.
But for taxpayers, we’ll still be gouged by the provincial and federal governments for income tax and sales tax everywhere we turn, along with rising interest rates that fatten bank profits and higher prices for virtually everything we buy. It’s not so much the individual politicians who loot the bank accounts of the general population: it’s the bureaucracy that has been long in place. Today’s politicians are merely servants of that bureaucracy.
We could probably do with a lot fewer politicians considering how little work most of them actually do. Most are just “yea” or nay” people, there to vote as instructed by their party leaders.
Yawn . . .
All of which and more is why so many people tune out election campaigns. The only people who get excited by campaigns are the political pundits and, of course, the politicians themselves. For the pundits in the media, the thrill of covering an election campaign could be compared to the enthusiasm many sports writers exhibit at the start of a major league team’s season.
Indeed, an election campaign is the sport of choice for most political pundits, who will analyze every word and move politicians make over the next month much like sports writers breathlessly analyze every move on and off the playing field of their heroes.
One blessing, though: election campaigns are mercifully short compared to, say, NHL Hockey seasons that go on forever and ever and ever and ever . . .
Sadly, I cannot ignore the provincial election campaign in Quebec, just as I can’t ignore the constant barrage of hockey analysis in Montreal because I am still working in legacy media. The media are expected to cover the campaigns of the major political parties, even if few people will tune in to their reports. After all, journalism is all about creating lists of the day’s event, with some analysis thrown in for the few who might be interested.
So, quite literally, as The Who song says, the new boss will be the same as the old boss after Oct. 3 in Quebec — and if we listen to and take to heart all the words coming out of politicians’ mouths, we will get fooled again.
Which is why so many people won’t listen. They’re not fools. The majority seem to have already decided who they will vote for, so why listen to all the empty promises and rhetoric? People have better ways to spend the precious moments of their lives — and as you get older, you do realize just how precious your remaining time is.
So why not call off the election campaign and give all the money that would be spent on it to the homeless and poor people who are forced to use food banks to survive?
And we can all cast our votes based on party track records and party platforms posted on their websites.
P.S. For your listening pleasure: