BY ROLAND FLEMING
It is now just one day before the U.S. election. The American people especially, but also many around the world, are waiting in anticipation to see the outcome. This election certainly seems to be causing a lot more concern than any in recent history. Uniquely, it is an election in which both candidates have record high disapproval ratings. The question is, how do you vote in such an election? If both of your main party options seem unappealing, is it truly best to vote for what you think is the lesser of two evils?
I get the logic of such thinking, but I think in the long term this is a damaging mindset. By allowing politics to be a competition of who’s the least terrible of our terrible options, we still end up with two terrible options. The current American election has perhaps dragged the standard of what is expected from a leader to an all-time low.
Supporters on both sides ignore glaring flaws in their own candidate simply because, they say, the other person is worse. These flaws are sometimes ignored to the point of absurdity. Interviews have been done with supporters who say that there is literally nothing their candidate could say or do that would stop them from voting for that person.
I think voters deserve better from their leaders. But if citizens continue to vote for people they don’t like, then there will be no motivation for leaders to raise the bar. The same applies for any country. If suddenly tides of voters refused to vote for any major party, you might see a surge of new parties emerging. Maybe the major parties would work a little harder to get votes, instead of simply digging up dirt and flinging it at the enemy. They may actually have to get things done, and make real change happen.
Can you imagine an election where instead of a mud fight, we had a competition where all candidates were actually widely respected and praised by a majority of the people? Where candidates were held to such a high standard that even partisans from opposing parties could say they liked the opposing candidate. Sadly, it doesn’t even seem possible looking at this current U.S. election. And sadly it never will be if we, as voters, choose to support the lesser of two evils, or three in Canada, rather than the best of the best.
At this point it is too late for America to change course. Ultimately they are going to have to elect someone that a majority of Americans disapprove of. The lesson we can take away from this is to vote for people of integrity, vote for someone you believe in. If you don’t like anyone on the ballot, write someone you approve of in. If more people did this, maybe we would have more options in the future, candidates not so corrupt; everyday people who would actually work for the benefit of their country.