Focus on policy, not personality

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Many may recall the assertion made by a political science professor that the Virginia Waters byelection became too much about personalities and less about policy. This claim explained the low voter turnout and alluded to the general fatigue and apathy citizens have towards politics in Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, if one happens to stumble upon VOCM’s question of the day, you may become awestruck by the amount of concerned individuals taking the time to publicly voice their opinion. Even in the printed forum, we see no shortage of opinion pieces in our province’s newspapers, detailing localized perceptions of ongoing issues.

Unfortunately, reading many of the comments and opinions reinforces the claim that we have become too wrapped up in personalities at the expense of policy debates.

It is a troubling notion to think that someone may vote for a candidate simply because of one’s appearance, ability to speak publicly or a general perception that a person has integrity. Our current PC leadership race is yet another example where policy is shadowed by the person spouting vague comments on child care, transparency and rural issues. There are no real policies being asserted for fear they may actually have to follow through.

 It is time that we take to the phones, the papers and Twitter to demonstrate our need for political satiation and express our concern for the province’s management.

Ask questions concerning declining rural populations, overspending on consultant reports and job shortages. Perhaps then we can get past the vague promises and discover which representatives may actually be the best candidates and which are only promising vote-gaining suggestions.

Kyle White

St. John’s

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