Why do we vote for invisible people?

This is the era of political intrigue and it has shown that we need to think about the process in a different way. I know we are in a federal election, an unwieldy 11-week campaign, but we just went through a pivotal provincial election and watched municipal follies across this country.

This is the era of political intrigue and it has shown that we need to think about the process in a different way. I know we are in a federal election, an unwieldy 11-week campaign, but we just went through a pivotal provincial election and watched municipal follies across this country.

We are in the process of voting for our next member of Parliament and our next prime minister, and that precipitated the question about invisible people. Everyone, voters, reporters, pollsters, pundits, politicians, and neighbours will tell you who is going to win, here. We will elect an invisible politician, a loyal political soldier, a retiree, a trained seal, a puppet, a paper shuffler, a ribbon cutter and someone who will on most accounts disappear between elections.

Swing ridings, the ridings that appear to have options of invisible politicians, got gifts just before the election. For example in ridings in the Greater Toronto Area that political strategists determined were necessary to win, they received big gifts of funding for big-ticket items like concert halls, while Red Deer did not get necessary funding for our airport but got a small cheque for museum storage.

The politicians who are not invisible and are strong voices in the political process gets gifts for their riding between elections.

What determines if we have an invisible or a visible politician?

So why do we vote for invisible people?

Some will argue that visible individuals of any strength of character will burn out trying to accomplish or change anything in a big political machine. They become targets and are often treated unfairly by the same machine that they were elected to give direction.

Often the political system is comprised of territorialists who guard their domain against interlopers and change. Employees geared to one system, loyal to one person or process, often living and working in a bubble may be resentful of progress, ideas and innovations. Individuals with strength and vision become burned out, frustrated and they leave, which encourages others not to join.

What can we do?

Stop electing invisible people. If you cannot name your elected officials, whether councillor, trustee, mayor, MLA or MP, six months before an election, they might be invisible.

Before you mark your ballot, ask yourself are you electing an invisible person? Will this person actually make a difference in your life? Has this person ever proven themselves visible?

I tend to ignore invisible politicians, and so do the powers that be.

​Garfield Marks

Red Deer