Are you a Tim Hortons voter or a Starbucks voter? Are you a Dougie, or a Jane, or a Zoe? Whether you have the answer or not, the nation’s major political parties are hard at work trying to place you into one of their micro-targeted categories of the voting market. Susan Delacourt is a senior political writer at the Toronto Star, and in Shopping for Votes she outlines the way marketing and consumerism has pervaded Canada’s political landscape.
When did ‘citizens’ get reduced to ‘taxpayers,’ and when did voting start to be seen as less of a civic duty and more of a consumer choice? As Canadians became 24/7 consumers, we began to demand similar things of our government as we do from businesses. Politics is no longer viewed as a public service where elected officials work to improve the overall well-being of society, but a business in which there are clearly defined deliverables and the target market is people who will potentially vote for you.