I've been watching way too much election coverage lately of both the canuck and yank variety. The one thing that has really bothered me lately is the notion that people want to vote for the candidate that is most like they are. What are these people thinking?
You see, if I met a politician that was just like me, do you know what I would do? I would buy him a beer. I would shoot the breeze with him and maybe even play some poker with him. If he happened to play the guitar, I might just pull out my harmonica and jam with him. This being modern times, I would facebook him and link him on my blog and tell everyone what a great guy he is.
The one thing I would not do? Vote for him. Why? Because I know exactly the sort of politician I would be. I would be the guy hanging with the no names on the back bench listening to my ipod and maybe reading a book under the desk while the rest of the suits debated stuff. If someone started talking to me about party lines, I'd admit quite candidly that I do not do hard drugs. Sure, I'd probably perk up when it came to cultural matters, but how often does that happen nowadays? In truth, I would be horrible, a drain to the system hanging out in that beautiful library and reading a novel.
With that knowledge in mind, how could I in good conscience vote for a candidate that was just like me? That's how we got where we are today. That's why Harper thinks that a commercial of him playing music with his son represents a valid political argument for his re-election. That's why the news channels spent so much time talking about lipstick and so little time about the beliefs behind that lipstick.
When I went in for the surgery on my aneurysm, I did not worry about whether I liked the doctors or identified with them. I just wanted them to do their job and do it well. Thankfully, they did. When I vote for a politician, I want the same thing - competence not camaraderie.