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Appeal to patriotism

04/24/07 | by Adam | Categories: Canadian, Calgary

I live in what used to be Ralph Klein's riding here in Calgary. With his retirement, the seat is open for someone new so the political machines are getting warmed up.

I'm going to try to avoid most of the political snark and point to a paragraph in one of the candidate's biographies in a community newsletter:

He considers himself a true-blue Calgarian. He was born in the Holy Cross hospital, graduated from Henry Wise high school, worked all of his life on Macleod Trail, and even has his plot already picked out on Cemetery Hill

The rest of the quote goes into who it is and frankly that's not important. What bothers me is the appeal to faux-patriotism. The "I'm so Calgarian I should get the job" attitude really irritates me. To be fair, there's a reasonable write up on the candidate's experience and a little bit on their intent, but this is the lede. The other candidates in the newsletter fortunately don't do that, focusing instead on why they would best represent the riding.

The hokey does appear to be what this candidate is selling. A bit earlier, out came a circular with the following:

I was born in Calgary in 1947; I have been married to the love of my life [...] for 38 years. We have five wonderful children and are blessed with ten amazing grandchildren. We have been residents of Calgary Elbow for over 25 years.

And it goes on and on like a MySpace page combined with a poorly constructed job resume.

I'm not interested in being sold the "local kid made good" myth; we've only just seen the retirement of Ralph and I truly don't have the stomach for another of the same. This candidate may well be a good and decent person and, as far as I know, so are the other parties' choices: their family status and long-term residency are non-issues for me. What is important is that they're honest and represent the riding; not merely being another member sitting on the backbenches, biding time until their term is up. I get no feeling of action or activity from this candidate but only a sense of entitlement to the job.

Who is it that I'm talking about? Well, do your own research and it'll be obvious enough. Look at the candidates. Get a feel for who they are and what they bring to the table. Make a decision made on more than just party affiliation.


1 comment

Comment from: Dionosaur [Visitor]

On the other hand, politicians with impressive backgrounds such as David Emerson, Belinda Stronach, and Elizabeth May have really been terrible at politics.

04/26/07 @ 08:52
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