Editorial: Money, power and elections

So far, we’ve steered clear of commenting on the travesty that is the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

So far, we’ve steered clear of commenting on the travesty that is the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

Frankly, enough has been said about the shortcomings of both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump that our commentary would be lost in the mix.

But a recent internet meme depicting both candidates with a tag line of “319 million people and we narrowed it down to this?” has us thinking.

It would be nice to think that through the various election processes, the best candidate always rises to the top, but that is a pipe dream. Clinton and Trump did not end up in this race because people chose them. Long before the people ever got a chance to have a say, two other factors were at work: money and power.

Though his wealth probably isn’t as great as he likes to claim, Trump wouldn’t be in the running without having the money to make an impression and gain a following. As that following grew, other powerful people hitched their wagon to his, helping fill the war chest and increasing his own power. Clinton’s story is pretty much the same, a rich woman with powerful connections.

It may not cost as much as a presidential race, but even a municipal election is going to set you back some cash, more if you want to be mayor.

It would be nice to say that isn’t the way it works on this side of the border, but ask yourself if Trudeau would be prime minister without his family name, wealth and connections?

Some argue that having obtained good financial standing is an indicator of successful decision-making, which makes for a good leader. But leaders also need to have integrity, honesty and an ability to look beyond their personal prejudices.

Trump is living proof that you can get rich without having any of these qualities.

Oh well, lets all watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and dream of a better world.