If you introduced me to a small group of people and then asked me to pick one as a friend, I would probably look at you rather oddly. If you then told me that the friend I pick should be someone that I could depend on for support for the next few years, I would probably ask you what you have been drinking. Finally, and much to my dismay, you would tell me that I have limited options:
Option 1 – You simply pick my new friend for me.
Option 2 – I can pick my friend and, to assist me, you will give me some background information about each one in the group.
Option 3 – Regardless of my choice, I may just have to accept someone not of my choosing anyway!
After I have probably requested a glass of whatever you are drinking, you continue:
Person A is being financed by industries/corporations and, as such, must appease such organizations while being my friend.
Person B is trying to finance herself, but it is suspected that she is also getting some financial support from elsewhere.
Person C is being supported by more “grass roots” organizations, such as Trade Unions.
There is an old saying “He who pays the piper, calls the tune”. So do I pick somebody, with strong financial obligations elsewhere, who I hope will treat me as a friend? If it were my choice … no, and that would eliminate Persons A and C, because I think that I could only be treated like a friend if they had no conflicting obligations.
Person B perhaps? Certainly a possibility but, she has demonstrated a very poor (and very expensive) lack of business sense which has already cost her friends dearly. Of course, it could also be that she is simply following her own agenda and totally ignoring her friends. i.e. She may be totally self-focused.
Of course all 3 of them are saying what they would do for me if I picked them to be my friend, but I take issue with such talk. My problem is very simple. If any one of them felt that strongly about the issues that affect me (and many others), why do they wait until friend selection time to promote them? It would appear to be as shallow as “buying” friends.
Many of you will have already grasped that I have created a pseudo and simplified example of a voting scenario within a democratic governing system. Here in Ontario, Canada, we are closing in on our Provincial election (we will be voting for the party that will govern the Province of Ontario for the next few years), and it is a more complex decision than ever regarding who to vote for. The current ruling party, which I originally supported, is not going to be a factor this time due to irresponsible and expensive decision making, and their blatant pre-election campaigning of all the wonderful things that they are going to do (but did not do over the previous few years). They also are not clear where the money is going to come from to pay for all those wonderful ideas.
The most likely to be successful alternative is also a non-runner to me due to conflicting priorities. So what to do? Perhaps I will vote such that if either of those two is successful, my vote could form the basis for a coalition. If I cannot prevent irresponsible and self-serving government, my vote might just create circumstances which would offer some degree of control over decisions made.
It’s a bit like planning a strategy in a game of chess … or chequers. What would you do Ray! Just thinking!