Most Canadians aren't soldiers, but we have been nudged to expect our political leaders to be the only ones who can save/preserve our country, keep our economy from collapsing, help our kid get the treatment they need, help us get back on our feet after a job loss, so on and so forth.
Campaigns are supposed to be festival-like in nature; big rallies, campaign signs, passionate speeches, excitement on the streets. It's democracy, stupid - we're lucky to have it so of course we're going to celebrate it, right?
The role of politician is supposed to be an honourable one; men and women step up to the plate to be the champion of the people, holding government to account for their concerns and issues, like those mentioned above.
Yet it's come to this, #elxn42:
The electorate is saying an approximation of the following: "Justin Trudeau really isn't read. And I think Harper has been there too long; I want change. And I wouldn't trust Angry Tom's kiddie caucus with my kid's piggy bank, let alone a struggling national economy."
We are in difficult economic times, much worse that the pundits know because, well, there's no census data or reliable polling data to look at. There are crises happening around the world; whether they have the potential of touching are shores or not, the world is much more frightening place then perhaps we Canadians, in our sheltered naivete, are used to.
Lots to be uncertain of. It's in times like these that we turn to leaders to give us hope, confidence, direction and the inspiration to step up as a community. Now is the time that we need leadership.
Make no mistake - the Big Three and to a less-promoted extent Elizabeth May are all presenting themselves as that leader, as the only one we can trust to make things right. The partisan machines are churning out emails, testimonials, SM quotes, comment threads and the like to offer the third party validation that is supposed to convince us their leader is a legit thing, the head of a movement of change (or status quo).
How's that working out for them?
Why isn't it working out for them? With all the digital tools, focus-group tested messaging, tried-and-true messaging tactics and the emerging science of nudge at their disposal, the people in charge aren't inspiring people, either through anger or excitement, to trust them.
Canadians have lost confidence in our democratic institutions. To a growing extent, we've decided they aren't in it for us.
Which begs the question; if Canada has lost confidence in our political leadership, who do we turn to now?