Volume 94, Issue 45
Friday, November 17, 2000
Seeing is believing
Politicians must be seen in-person, to be truly believed.
Take for instance Jean Chrétien. On television he's an arrogant, crotchety old man who mangles the English language. In person, he's a kindly old man who likes to crack jokes, who mangles the English language. Another interesting fact he has very soft hands, obviously tenderized from years of shaking hands.
Stockwell Day is not nearly as tall as his handlers would have you believe. In fact, its even been rumoured he stood on a riser during the recent English language debate.
Mike Harris short, rather pudgy looking guy. Soon to be former Mayor Dianne Haskett wears a lot of makeup, the amount you might apply with a spatula. Mike Hampton and Dalton McGuinty both have slight overbites.
In the television age politicians have become even more distant than they already were, merely by their positions in the world. Instead of standing on soap boxes and speaking to the masses, politicians now meet in closely guarded, highly stylized speaking engagements, which are then chopped down to sound bites by the networks and major newspapers.
Even if you wanted to attend the little gatherings, you'd have to be someone in the know or a political party fart catcher. Most politicos don't even release their daily itineraries until shortly before they are to arrive in town.
In fact, Chretien's recent visit to campus was kept under tight lock and key, as even Western administration was unable to confirm his impending arrival until after he had arrived.
Politicians who are constantly trying to understand "Canadians" and speak for "Canadians" really only meet about 17 "Canadians" a year who aren't members of the party faithful.
Now it's Stockwell Day, coming to London's Centennial Hall tonight at 7 p.m.. Want to know what the guy is really like? Want to see how goofy his haircut really is? Go to the event and force your way in. The security may be heavy but a man who wants the best for "Canadians" should be glad to meet you.
Take the initiative and stop letting sound bites determine your world. Go out and meet your politicians in all their flaw-filled glory.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000