Is there too much focus on petty scandals in the election at the expense of policy and leadership?

Bozo eruptions: In the campaign, everything from shoot-from-the-lip Facebook postings, to bad taste YouTube videos, to off-colour and off-the-cuff remarks are grounds for political scandal. Is it vital politics, or a distraction?

  1. "The real issue is that consumer societies like ours train the citizenry to respond to sound bites as 'real' information, which they are not. Sound bites might spark one's interest in finding out about something, but more often they're a distraction from indepth conversation and understanding. We always have choices, but to make informed choices we, the citizens, have to be willing to do some actual work. Read party policies, find out about local candidates, learn how particular policies may affect our future as a country and as individuals. That last bit may involve understanding, history and the effects similar policies have had both on our own country, and on the world stage."

    -Jocelyn Reekie
    Campbell River, British Columbia
  2. "It does take just a little bit of scandal, set loose by careless lips, to have an enormous effect on a campaign. Who remembers the effect of Mr. Harpers slip about artists a few campaigns back and how it helped Mr. Duceppe in Quebec? Petty scandals tell us what politicians really are thinking. Not long ago Mr. Harper let loose on rural gun ownership and set off a little sirroco of his own again."

    -Thomas Brawn
    Ottawa, Ontario
  3. "The sad thing is that being good at winning an election is not the same thing as being a good leader. With our first past the post system, the core prize is winning the election, which need not be related to doing a good job of governing the country or reflecting the will of the population. These scandals that are being brought out are all about the battle to win the election, and a distraction from what is really important."

    -John Janmaat
    Kelowna, British Columbia
  4. "Except for criminal utterances we should ignore the trivia uncovered about a candidate's past. Just because one's Facebook page shows them rolling in their own vomit, or wearing Nazi regalia, or refers to "fembos", that shouldn't be cause for dismissal from the campaign. Let the voters decide if they want a jackass to represent them."

    -David Pearce
    Victoria, British Columbia

  5. "Its all very well to say "Let the voters decide", but that means that their decision will be based on the past behaviour of a candidate, and not on the candidate's program."

    -Clare McFarlane
    Montreal, Quebec
  6. "What's this guy's problem with comparing the tar sands to Mordor, and Harper to Hitler? Has he seen footage of the tar sands? Hell on earth. Does he understand how Hitler arrogated power to himself? Check out the history books. He might want to research the burning of books vs. the destruction of scientific data."

    -Hilary Knight
  7. "I can’t believe anyone would want to shut Pat Martin up. He’s an intelligent, humorous Member of Parliament. Have we become so politically correct and lacking in humour that politicians have to be afraid to open their mouths? What a rigid, uptight nation we have become!"

    -Rhonda Parkes

  8. "The important petty scandals of this election season are those that show a candidate's alarming lack of education and worldliness about significant historical events or places, be they Auschwitz, Hiroshima, the beaches of Normandy, or the Plains of Abraham. Any such ignorance is a concern in a potential political leader. Otherwise, political parties that are wasting time sifting through opposing candidates' social media pages are obviously looking for cheap shots and distractions instead of informing voters about issues vital to the future of this country, perhaps the most important of which is international trade agreements. These agreements are serious threats to our sovereignty and every aspect of our lives and a drain on taxpayers who pay billions of dollars in lawsuits to defend Canada's position from foreign corporations. Why is there such silence from all parties and from the media on this issue?"

    -Leanne Roberts
    Richmond, British Columbia
  9. "It's a cardinal rule that if you throw hot coals at your enemy the one thing that will happen for sure is you will burn your hand. Let politicians say what they wish, judge it by your standards and know who wants to slander another."

    -Chris Carrier
    Victoria, British Columbia

  10. "I may favour a certain political party but if the candidate for that party in my riding reveals themselves to be a moron, I will look for the next best alternative. Running for office is an employment application and what responsible employer these days doesn't check an applicant's social media history?"

    -Rob Brown
    Morningside, Ontario
Read next page