Voting for a Facebook account
Credit: FAKHRI-SA / ISTOCK / THINKSTOCK
Social media shines a light into the lives of its users and allows for people's dirty secrets to be released into the public. This was the case for both a Conservative and Liberal party candidate.
Two former Conservative candidates learned that the hard way recently when evidence of questionable behaviour came to light and resulted in the party dropping them. Issues that could have easily slipped under the radar in a different era have become major causes for concern for candidates and leaders across the board.
Former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, is renowned for being a mischievous flouter of convention who was caught with his foot in his mouth on more than one occasion. In light of the scrutiny candidates now face, he would never have made it to Ottawa in the first place.
Rather than bemoaning the fact that candidates who engaged in lewd behaviour are being kicked out, or speculating on the number of elected representatives who engaged in similar misdeeds, it would befit the electorate to consider what they’re looking for in a candidate.
Although politics can easily devolve into a court of public opinion, the reality is that candidates are flawed individuals like everyone else.
The current trend of witch hunting opposition members for any misdeed that could be used to publicly shame them is entirely unsustainable. In the not-so-distant future, candidates will be of the age that their adolescent years will be digitally chronicled for all to see, including frosh week.
As the line between private and public life becomes increasingly blurred, perhaps we’ll shortly be choosing between the guy who streaked through residence on a dare and the woman who fell asleep in a stairwell at Jack’s.
Although the actions of the former Conservative candidates was undoubtedly grounds for their dismissal, the case of a Liberal candidate abandoning her campaign as a result of offensive remarks made on social media is questionable.
Ala Buzreba, 21, is perhaps the first of the new wave of political candidates whose youthful indiscretions were recent enough to land her in hot water. In light of the resulting negative attention being directed at the party, Buzreba renounced her candidacy in an effort to distance her remarks from the Liberal party.
Everyone has made regrettable decisions and yet that doesn’t preclude them from being able to exercise good judgement in the execution of their job. The old saying about preferring the devil you know applies well to politics, generally in reference to the incumbent politician.
Former Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, is an ideal example of someone whose personal life could be the subject of an HBO series and yet he remained in office because of his ability to make unpopular but necessary decisions.
Rather than taking a chance on someone you know nothing about, it can be preferable to stick with the individual whom you may disagree with, but from whom you know what to expect.
On October 19th, pick the candidate who puts their money where their mouth is when it comes to the issues that matter to you.