EDITORIAL: The best or the least worst

Negative messaging abandons the quest for the best and instead asks voters to choose the least worst

The writ has not yet been dropped, but already parties and candidates are positioning themselves for the upcoming federal election.

The election will be held in October and it will determine the makeup of the 338-seat House of Commons.

There is a lot at stake. The decisions made at this level affect the direction of the country and Canada’s reputation on the world stage.

As the election approaches, ads are already starting to appear, some speaking about the strengths a party or leader would bring and others taking issue with an opponent.

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The negative messaging, which has become a growing part of Canadian politics, represents a disturbing trend.

In a democracy, voters are asked to choose the best possible candidates to form the next government.

Negative messaging abandons the quest for the best and instead asks voters to choose the least worst.

No other selection process follows this format.

Product manufacturers and service providers do not ask customers to reject bad alternatives but rather to choose the best option available.

Successful job seekers do not talk about the shortcomings of other applicants but instead describe their qualifications and accomplishments.

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Some might suggest that politics is different. Choosing a government is not the same as making a purchase or hiring a worker.

There is a lot more at stake when electing a government than when hiring an employee or making a purchase.

For this reason, the candidates should be held to a high standard.

It is not enough to ask voters to reject a bad choice unless they are are also presented with a better alternative.

As the election approaches, take time to consider the messages being presented.

If a party or candidate exposes the flaws and shortcomings of another, make sure to learn about the alternatives.

The upcoming election is a time to make the best choice, not the least worst choice.

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