Superfluous Matter
"Down-to-earth" Politicians

Toronto is electing a new mayor soon and it's causing me stress. Something that has been bothering me about politics lately is the apparent desire of many people to have candidates that are "down-to-earth" and "just like me." For example, Sarah Palin in the US and Rob Ford in the current Toronto mayoral race. For a converse example, see criticism of Stephan Dion or Michael Ignatieff for being too smart/educated. Also noteworthy is Stephen Harper's aversion to listening to advisors who are experts in their fields as well as his push to make the long form census non-mandatory.

Seriously, on what planet does any of this make sense? I want the smartest, most educated and most experienced person possible to win elections. It shouldn't be about who is nicest or most approachable or about religion. It should be about who is actually best for the job. I want someone who is better than me. Running countries or provinces or cities is hard. An average person isn't going to cut it. Why would you vote for someone average? So that the country can be average? We should all aspire to greatness.

The only explanation I can think of is that perhaps people don't like to vote for someone who is smarter/better than themselves because it makes them feel bad about their own lack of accomplishment. To those people I say, if you can't stomach voting for a person who is better than you, do everyone else a favour and refrain from voting at all.

For a more amusing take on this same topic, check out this blog post from the Real Johnson.

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