Or they might cancel the election next year?

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Time seems to fly, having fun or not, and here we are again floating toward another federal election in 2019. Usually we wait, not breathlessly, for the parties and
candidates to announce their entries and to outline their campaign platforms, but these announcements usually come frustratingly close to the actual voting date.

Time seems to fly, having fun or not, and here we are again floating toward another federal election in 2019. Usually we wait, not breathlessly, for the parties and
candidates to announce their entries and to outline their campaign platforms, but these announcements usually come frustratingly close to the actual voting date.
In most cases, we hardly have time to carefully consider and weigh the
proposals and promises.
It’s objectionable that we voters have virtually no input into these platforms and promises. We’re presented with the list by each party and given the grand democratic option: “yes or no”. This, I’d call toothpaste democracy, or democracy akin to selecting a toothpaste from a shelf full of colours and sizes. Isn’t democracy much more?
No doubt the major parties like this – they’ve created this system bit by bit. It
gives them control – and it insulates them from uncomfortable decisions, which might impact their financial backers and ideological saints.
And … so what!
We have the option of joining a party and going to their conventions and policy
meetings – most of which have already occurred by the time the elections are in public view. But suppose we don’t want to join a party (with all the emails and phone calls this engenders), then what?  Sit and wait until we’re told the choices, and then mark our X – buy our toothpaste. Isn’t there a better way,
without re-visioning the whole procedure and electoral system? 
Here’s a modest proposal: have the candidates make themselves known earlier, a year or so before the actual campaign. This would not be official, not in accordance with election rules. Just announce, “I, Josephina Blow, am considering running for Pontiac’s Pirate Party in 2019. My priorities are the threats
to our future from the Chalk River radioactive dump project and XYZ” or something like that. It won’t trigger the Election Act or a constitutional crisis.
It will give us, the folks who pay for this whole parade, a heads-up and a few months to actually think about our upcoming options.
Same with the parties. The big three have their plans and tactics ready to roll, but what about the thirty or so smaller parties that often just appear on our ballots as a surprise?  Let’s hear from the Christian Heritage Party, the Marijuana Party, Marxist Leninists,
Soul-Searchers and all the rest.  Give us some information at a time when it will do some good, please!
Specifically, we have a sitting Liberal whom we assume will run again. Mr. Woodman, the putative Conservative, has just announced he’s not
running again, and the NDP, which held this seat before the last vote, is mum. Both these parties have unknown new leaders – why are they intent on remaining unknown? Maybe they’ve never heard of the Pontiac.
Let’s hear from anyone interested in running for the Tories or the NDP. It doesn’t have to be official – that’s an excuse for the parties’ traditionally manipulative silence.
There is a crying – begging! – need for real debate — and real accountability from those seeking re-election.
No one wants a never-ending campaign, that’s not the idea. This is low-scale, low-key, unofficial but public.  We do not want American-style campaigning, especially anything like their last hoax.
We deserve to have the issues clearly put and slowly defined, thanks to public debate. We deserve the opportunity in our busy lives (we’re earning money to pay the salaries of these characters) to get acquainted with the likely candidates, especially those who aren’t well-known.  They deserve the time to make their names and issues clear.
This unofficial start – here in the Pontiac at least – would help candidates test their
public acceptability and their grasp of issues.
It would give the public time to force issues, local and otherwise, onto the
parties’ platforms. Why should only the parties and the back-roomers set the
rules and the issues?
It would give independents and minor parties opportunities to test the waters with their unique positions.
And it would bring a little national attention to the Pontiac as a forward-thinking and cooperative place with engaged citizens.
What are you waiting for?