Lesser of two evils

When was the last time you bought a vehicle? Did you buy it from a dealership, a used car dealer, off the internet or from someone who lives down the road? What made you decide that this vehicle was the one you wanted? I expect you checked out the features, researched the safety record, looked up the gas mileage, maybe even found out what the depreciation rate was. The person selling the vehicle probably talked it up, pointing out the good points, ignoring the bad. This is how nearly all people choose a vehicle.

For a moment, let us step through a portal to another earth that is identical in every single way, except one. When you go to buy a vehicle, you can only choose from a very limited number of models or makes. You can still look up statistics concerning the vehicle but when you speak to a dealer, rather than espousing the virtues of his or her vehicle, they spent most of the time pointing out what was wrong with the other vehicles you were considering. Would you really buy a vehicle based upon it having less bad things than other vehicles rather than buying a vehicle that you wanted and it had all that you wanted on it.

Let’s stay in this alternate universe for a moment. We go to a bar and (if you are single obviously) you find two potential partners both smiling at you. Both are very attractive but when you speak to one of them, all they talk about is how bad the other potential partner is. Hygiene, taste in music, living with their mother, nothing is off limits. You go to the second potential partner and they too choose to point out the problems with the first person. Neither concentrate on how good they are themselves. Which do you choose? Yes, I agree, you chat up the person behind the bar instead.

Is that the time? We need to get back to our world, so we step through the portal back to our messed up but wonderful world. Glad to see that everything is back to normal, we go home and relax in front of the television, looking for our favourite show. The show ends and the commercials begin. We then see several politicians trying to prove how their rival is untrustworthy, devious, sneaky, hates small animals and cheats on their taxes. How does the rival respond? Their show data that proves that the rival changed his mind twice while in line at the local Time Hortons, they once spoke to someone in French and they don’t like hockey.

If you wouldn’t choose a vehicle or a partner based upon one being less bad than the other, why do you accept that politicians doing this? When the political hopefuls push their own agendas, it feels as if they are responding to the attacking commercials rather than trying to convince voters. I appreciate that the politicians themselves don’t make these commercials but surely rather than concentrating on being the lesser of two evils, shouldn’t the supports who do pay for and push these dirt throwing commercials, do something constructive instead? Use the money to help people, wouldn’t that make a bigger impact than explaining why their rival shouldn’t be elected?

One last thought to tide you over. If you were looking to join a new company that built and sold computers and there were two who were offering you a position, would you pick the one that pointed out that their competitor’s product isn’t very good and can’t run the latest software or the other company which admits that their product needs to be improved and they are working hard to do so. Which do you choose?

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