Do you have faith in the political vision of Deez Nuts?
At least a small percentage of Americans do, according to polls conducted last month.
In one such poll, Mr. Nuts brought in a respectable nine per cent — not quite on par with Donald Trump's 40 per cent or Hillary Clinton's 38, but respectable nonetheless.
Except Deez Nuts is not a real person.
The name was submitted as an independent candidate for President of the United States as a prank — by 15-year-old Iowa teen Brady Olson.
Before long, Deez Nuts was shooting up the polls, despite the fact that Olson is 20 years too young to legally hold the office of president.
Leave it to a millennial to ironically, sarcastically launch a successful presidential campaign based on a joke about balls.
In a TV interview with an Iowan NBC affiliate, Olson said he had originally filed the paperwork out of frustration with U.S. politics. He also praised Canada for its multi-party system.
"I enjoy the fact that there is more than just one guy on the left and one on the right," Olson told CBC News. "It's weird that we only have two parties with federal representation."
On the surface, this country does offer the illusion of choice — according to Elections Canada, there are 20 registered political parties in Canada — but when it comes down to it, are our choices really anything more than three guys standing somewhere to the left or right of centre?
They say we don't vote for the Prime Minister in Canada, but for a Member of Parliament to represent us. Except under Stephen Harper's Conservative government, every vote is whipped. Since taking the reins of the NDP, Thomas Mulcair has done the same to his party.
The policy document of Justin Trudeau's Liberals claims to support "fewer 'whipped' votes" — but the Libs also supported Bill C-51 out of sheer, cynical political gamesmanship — so whose interests are they looking out for?
In fact, whose interests, other than those of their party, are any of these people looking out for?
It's an honest question.
We may have "choice" in Canadian politics, but I wouldn't blame you if you said the choice is starting to look like it's between the same fat pig painted three different colours.
The only party promising to actually listen to and represent constituents is the Green Party, but how sad is it that that is something they have to promote? Vote for us, and we'll do the thing we're supposed to do for you?
More and more, it's as if too many people in this too-big country are completely missing the point of democracy. Democracy is not meant to be a one-way street, driven on by whoever has the newest, shiniest car or access to the traffic light controls.
No, democracy — true democracy as it's meant to represent the people — should play out more like a busy intersection at rush hour. Everyone must work together to ensure we all make it home safe.
I'm not going to complain about misrepresentation (because as an able-bodied, straight, white male I am already overrepresented in literally every sector of society), but looking at our political parties, it just doesn't feel like there's a lot there for me — and I know for a fact that a lot of young Canadians feel the same way.
When I saw the campaign video of independent candidate Wyatt Scott, I had one immediate thought: "Can I vote for him?"
Scott is running in the riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon — right next door to the Sea to Sky. In his video, he rides on the back of a giant Canada goose, kills a dragon, fist bumps an alien and instantly grows a beard.
Scott's policy direction is vague — "University is too damn expensive," he says, before catching a man in a dress who falls from the sky — and he's not likely to gain more than a few hundred votes at best.
But his candidacy speaks to a larger discontent in politics.
I have a feeling a lot of young Canadians would take dragons, aliens and Deez Nuts over calculated, tone-deaf cynicism any day.
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