I got a message on my answering machine from David Christopherson. He’s the NDP Member of Parliament for my area. The message was a carefully crafted wish for me to have a happy holidays and New Year. Now, what’s important to realize is that there’s a federal election coming up here next month, but the answering machine message didn’t even mention the election. It was just a seemingly friendly “Have a happy holidays” message. There was no mention of the election or of Christopherson’s campaign promises.

Frankly, I’m not going to vote for him. However, I’d be more inclined to vote for him had I not gotten this answering machine message. What strikes me is that I didn’t get a message like this from him last year, or the year before. In fact, no politician has ever phoned me, much less left me a message on my answering machine. It’s obvious to me that the only reason I got that call from Christopherson’s bank of automatic telephone dialing computers is because of next month’s election. Christopherson wants my vote, plain and simple. It bothers me that he couldn’t say it in the message though. He has a right to campaign. Why doesn’t he do it? Does he really think people are going to be charmed by him pretending to be a friend with holiday well-wishes? Bad friends only contact you when they want something, but I really distrust people who pretend they don’t want something when it’s clear they actually do.

None of the political leaders in this year’s campaign seem particularly honest and straightforward. They all seem to be saying things that they hope people will find appealing. There are a lot of wild promises being made, and vast sums of imaginary money being spent. It’s scary to me that perhaps the only one who seems rather sincere is Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the seperatist Bloc Quebecois. He is not hiding the fact that he wants Quebec to seperate from Canada, and he will do whatever it takes to promote the cause of a sovereign Quebec. I may not agree with his message or goal, but I can respect that he is being up front about it.

Maybe one day politicians will learn to give up on the public image management and other phony tricks, and just be real. Or maybe that’s the antithesis of politics? What do I know? I’m just a guy with a camera.