Wanderings – Dandelions and Rick Astley

It is no secret that I am someone interested in politics, all politics – federal, provincial, local – it doesn’t matter. Normally I enjoy covering politics and political campaigns. The pithy comments and pot shots fired across the bows of political opponents, and the pseudo-attempts to talk about big ideas and the future. But this now past federal election has been different and that worries me a bit.

During my formative youth, I was taught – rather idealistically – that elections are a time for setting the course for the future. Big ideas or goals were what campaigns were made of. Of course this is looking at history through rose-coloured glasses.

The election has had the usual talking points. This party will do great things if you elect it. That party will as well, only if you support their candidate. But as we all know, promises and reality are two different things and politicians should be wary of throwing stones while standing in glass houses.

Throughout the campaign, red, blue, green, and purple campaign signs sprung up. No orange because apparently this riding does not exist in that party’s eyes. These lawn signs are like dandelions to me. At least dandelions are good for the bees. I look forward to seeing the slow removal of the signs now that the election is over as it disrupts the nice fall scenery.

Being interested in politics, but not so much this election, and covering politics for work, I wanted to make my own statement on the election. As a journalist, it’s inappropriate to put up a campaign sign supporting one party or candidate. Bias is suppose to be left at the door when covering the news. Some are better than others at that. All that said, I made my own statement on my yard this election with a unique campaign sign – vote for Rick Astley for Prime Minister.

Yes, I know this sounds nonsensical, and that is the point. A $20 sign from a local sign company (thanks Bill) and my protest sign was on the yard.

Wait, who is Rick Astley? For those who don’t remember their 1980s pop music, or Internet-era gags, Rick Astley is a UK one-hit wonder. His song Never Gonna Give You Up was a sensation of the CKLC Top-20 chart (and globally too) when I was growing up. And if you have ever heard or been a victim of a “Rick-Roll” on the Internet, you’ll know the song.

I bet as you read this column you are now remembering the lyrics and will curse me as you can’t get the song out of your head. Me too! You’re welcome.

Back to the Rick for PM sign. Why Rick Astley? It’s simple. He will never give you up; he will never let you down; he will never run around or desert you. He will never make you cry; he will never say goodbye; he will never tell a lie or hurt you.

The real reason for picking a one-hit wonder to support is that just as it is nonsensical to post the lyrics of an eighties pop song on a campaign sign on my lawn, the same is the belief that political parties will follow what they said. And that is my biggest frustration with politics – honesty. In stead of setting out a reasonable course of action, parties have made unattainable promises that will have to be broken once the reins of power have been grasped.

It’s a sad state for politics, and for the country, no matter what party won Monday. Maybe picking Rick Astley for Prime Minister isn’t a bad idea after all.

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