We get that political parties will exercise some control over their candidates.
Power has never been much fond of sharing. Moreover, paranoia that someone seeking office under your banner might say or do something damaging to the cause is pretty much a universal condition.
Because, of course, loose cannons threaten said power.
Nevertheless, it’s important for people seeking public office to be able to speak their minds freely so people can know what kind of people they’re voting for – a drone, or a visionary.
We applaud those candidates who are willing to get their views out in public. Those who don’t, and merely hope to ride on the coattails of their party, aren’t worthy.
We have, for some time, lived in an age where it is difficult for candidates of major political parties to get past the gatekeepers, the public relations flaks, the inner circle, the Grand Poobah. Perhaps for longer than most of us realize.
Still, a candidate worth his or her salt should see this as a challenge rather than an excuse to obsequiously fall in line and abrogate their responsibility to exercise their independent brain at least once in a while.
We see toadies at all levels of government. The pond is hopping with them. We don’t need any more.
Of course, neither do we need foaming-mouth nutters in office.
Ideally, we will elect decent, hard-working people who are honest, responsible, cogent, wise and see public service not as an opportunity to impose their will on others, or unduly enrich themselves, but instead understand it to be a commitment to serve their community. And, just like the duds, this calibre of political candidate comes in all stripes.