Cast a vote, pick a leader

Kamloops Daily News
January 29, 2013 01:00 AM

Four of the seven candidates for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada were in Kamloops last week, and we hope you were paying attention so you know how to vote.

What's that you say? You didn't know you had a vote? It's true. For the first time ever, a political party has opened voting for its leadership to the public. And this person could, potentially, be the next prime minister of Canada.

And if you want that potential prime minister to be a person with qualities you feel are important, you should at least think about casting a ballot. (Although there is a catch with voting - you have to go to the Liberals' website and declare yourself to be a "supporter," which may be a tough pill for some people to swallow.)

The candidates who visited Kamloops each have their pros and cons.

Martha Hall Findlay presented herself as the candidate of substance, but that might not get her very far. As she admits, she's up against a Trudeau (Justin) and an astronaut (Marc Garneau).

Trudeau is an especially formidable foe. He managed to pack TRU's Grand Hall with 600 people in a riding that gave Conservative Cathy McLeod more than 50 per cent of the vote in the last election.

But is he really someone we want leading this country? There's no denying he has personal magnetism. Even the mayor and his wife seemed star-struck as they posed for a picture with him.

Still, his is a society that places a high value on celebrity - and that's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, an inspirational leader might be what we need. In a disparaging remark, Hall Findlay compared Trudeau's popularity to that of Justin Bieber. But let's face it - if Bieber offered to endorse her campaign, she'd likely be all over it.

David Bertschi and Karen McCrimmon were also here, offering themselves with all sincerity as having the right kind of background to lead Canada. Bertschi says things weren't always easy for his family when he was growing up, so he knows what it's like to have to worry about the price of milk. McCrimmon says her experience in the military gave her insight into our country's role in the world, and how - in her mind - it has been diminished.

Both seemed a bit naive to think that sitting in a coffee shop would give them much contact with the public. But we'll give them points for good intentions.

So which of these potential prime ministers would you like to see vie for power with Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair? In the United States, you can vote directly for presidential candidates. In Canada, voting for the leader of one of the main political parties might be the next best thing

© Copyright 2015 Kamloops Daily News

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