Monday, October 3, 2011

The Provincial Election in Ontario is about to happen – how are you feeling?

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Today’s Blog Post

The Provincial Election in Ontario is about to happen – how are you feeling?

It is a precarious place to be in right now! That is true if you are candidate for a political party in Ontario… maybe even other Provinces in Canada too.

In Ontario we will be voting to elect our new MPPs – our Members of provincial Parliament. That will happen on Thursday this week – October 6.

Between now and Thursday there has to be a huge amount of uncertainty in the life of each person running for a position in this election. The tension must be running very high in ever home where a politician lives and where potential politicians live.

In most of our communities there are about 4 people running for the office. One will likely be the person that held the office over these past four years. The next will be his or her potential first place opposition, then the second place opposition, and then others that will not likely win but rather take some votes from the rest.

I was speaking with one of the candidates yesterday who described his present feelings through all of this time of waiting. And I can testify that there are many feelings of not knowing… stressing the person and also the family.

I doubt that many people in our communities even have a clue what these women and men go through every four years in our province. We do not consider what it means to be placed in a position of leadership – then have to rely on the next stage of your life whether you are loved, respected, and cared for enough to be re-elected again. Very few know what it means to be the spouse or child of someone in leadership.

Try to imagine what that would be like if your job was voted on this coming Thursday. You will work up to Wednesday night… and having worked hard for four years knowing what you have done… you will be done at 6 PM that night.

On Thursday you will wake up and wait. Thousands of your friends and the other people that have not liked you and are not friends for sure… will stand up, get in their vehicle, travel to a voting station, then wait in line to place a mark beside your name… or your opponent’s names.

Now all during that time of waiting, which has stretched out over the past 4 weeks intensely and maybe for the past three months as “attack ads” have been blasted into everyone’s home across your region… you cannot say much to the world out there. You listen and wait. So does your spouse. She or he will not know what will happen after Thursday either. Will their income be supporting your family if you lose? Will you have to move to another place to get employment if you lose?

If you can feel what the local politician feels, you will start to feel some sense of empathy.

But most people have not known a politician up close. We only know them by way of what there detractors say. What the opposition states as hard cold facts about your inability to perform what they thought you should have done! They have no idea of who you really are… only enough of an idea to tear you to pieces in front of the voters in your community.

The average opposition players, all people of different political stripes, have called you down, angered people against you and in many cases told outright lies. But no one really knows you. In an election they only care about themselves… and if they will win.

I can only imagine what teenagers in the Politician’s life must thing when some local person calls your dad or mom a liar! How unfair it must seem to them… and how turned off they must be if that other person takes your dad’s or mom’s job.

For the past three years I have been connecting with the local and regional and provincial politicians in Ontario. I have heard them tell their stories and share their concerns. I have watched them go through times when the Government as a whole has made some very tough decisions… leaving the local politicians wide open for criticism and derision.

I know what kind of real people these Government Leaders are… they are just like me. They are happy at times and then sad other times. They have been hurt and helped. They have done their best… and yet been attacked for doing what they did do. I certainly feel deeply for them.

Now some of the leaders from the last few years have resigned and are moving on even before the elections. They cannot take more of this kind of attack-mode of living. Their spouses are sick to death of the hassle when they are in the grocery store – or even at their kid’s school. It is time to quit.

But that has left a hole in the community and one person might step into that place to try to fill it… and the whole thing starts again.

I guess the main question for me is, when will we ever start acting like adults and actually be normal?

Attack advertisements are not normal. Negativity all the time is not normal. We can’t live successful and healthy lives always hating someone or another group of people in our community. It is a sick way to live!

Now after Thursday… someone will win… and about three someones will lose. But they will still hate each other. The three someones that have shown their great displeasure for the someone that is elected will now call him or her their MPP… their leader – or not!

But wait a minute… at least the three have shown everyone in the community how much they have hated the one that won.

That seems like a sick and strange way to live your life wholly!

That is why I pray for politicians. I understand. And after it is all over by Thursday night… I will continue to pray for the next batch that comes in… and begin building relationships with each one.

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 

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