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Here come the promises

Confessions of a realistic pollyanna

In our state, we get the joy of two elections in the next three months. Our state and federal governments are both having elections. For those of us who live here, this means several things.

One, we will see many, many television ads, radio ads, and newspaper ads. The best ads I think will point to a party's policy and direction. The worst of the ads will see lots of finger pointing from parties towards their opponents. We can do this better because when the others were in power they made this mistake or that mistake.

We will hear lots of promises of new programs that will make life better for all people in the state. Those in power will suddenly discover new funds and will be able to make things better for all people in our state and country. Those who are not in power will talk about setting new priorities for government spending. The opposition will talk about mismanagement. The government will talk about good governance.

We, in the state, will watch the press waiting for one party or the other to make a mistake on the campaign trail. Will a party leader make a huge gaff in a speech? Will a candidate be caught out in a huge scandal? The media is waiting to pounce on such mis-steps in order to get the big story.

We will hear people have heated conversations about issues. What are the things that are most important to people? Is it health care? Immigration? education? environmental policies? Social equality issues? Through this, it will be interesting to see what values people hold dear- preservation of self, preservation of family, social justice, equality for all, protection of the status quo, etc.

It will also be interesting to see what mistakes people are able to forgive their party of choice- the party got this issue wrong, but I like what they stand for on x, y, and z so therefore I will vote for them. I know that no one party represents me absolutely. But which issues I can compromise on and which issues I am willing to draw the line on says a lot about me as a character.

Finally we hopefully will get a chance to hear from different perspectives during the election. Not only will we hear from the big two parties, but other voices will speak as well. Some of these other voices will only garner a few votes, but hopefully it helps us to realise that in the world there are many, many different perspectives and that we need to work hard to hear the smaller voices and not only go with the popular opinions that are out there.

So the electioneering will soon begin. In the midst of the bravado, the boasts, the stretched truths, may the voice of truth be heard. And no matter who comes out on top, may the people of our state and nation be well served. Amen.

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