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LETTER: Candidate absences should be 'punished at polls'

PC candidates 'seem to think the campaign is about them, not the voters,' laments letter writer
2022-05-17 typing pexels-donatello-trisolino-1375261
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OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a letter from Doug Lewis regarding candidates debates, published May 24.
With all due respect to Doug Lewis and other Progressive Conservatives who justify their/their candidates’ non-attendance at many all candidates meetings, the failure to show up “because it doesn’t fit the candidate’s game plan/is less efficient for the candidate/campaign team” demonstrates exactly the failings of the current PC mindset.

To wit, they seem to think the campaign is about them, not the voters. It also demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to adapt to circumstances ‘because they have a plan.’ While there is merit in not haring off on every social media outcry or media outburst, members of the legislature need to be able to listen and adapt to their constituents’ concerns and expectations — even, perhaps especially, when it runs contrary to the members’ plans and/or vested interest [1].

The letter writer who said that the candidates who are failing to show up, on a regular basis, to all candidates meeting are showing contempt for voters is exactly right. Among other things it shows that the candidate puts more stock in their ‘strategy’ than in communicating with voters, especially those who are not part of the ‘party faithful.’

In short, while the justifications may sound reasonable from a strategic perspective, from a human and communication standpoint they completely miss the point.

In short, this is exactly the kind of behaviour that deserves to be punished at the polls. We’ll see in a few days whether others agree with me.

[1] When a member has vested or ideological interest in a matter is when they should be most wary that their personal biases are interfering with their judgment of what is truly best for all residents of the province.

Daniel Dickinson