Saturday, February 24, 2007

all agog, heart a flutter...

Oh god he's running! I got the news at work the other day and immediately after that email, several more came speeding in. My girlfriends thought that because I live near Papineau Metro that I live in the Papineau riding. They were just as a twitter as I was to find out that Justin Trudeau will be running up there and I couldn't wait to imagine for a moment that he would need to go out and talk to the people...he could come to the door!

My riding is Laurier-Ste. Marie, the stronghold of none other than the silver fox, Gilles Duceppe. It's a little pointless to step to the party leader in his own riding. He knows it too and campaigns minimally here, so it's usual in my neighborhood to have a quiet, more reflective election cycle. I remember the last time I had to get my hands dirty with this little number and someone came to the door from some party, I honestly can't even remember which one. It was early on Saturday morning and I wasn't feeling social, particularly towards those who had me answering the door in the freezing cold in my light, zebra pj bottoms and a David Bowie t-shirt. I just wasn't in the mood, so I pretended I couldn't speak french and made them try to convince me to vote for them in our second official language. Those of you who know me have heard me express myself sometimes quite vehemently in french, but I just can't help but play with door-to-door volunteers!

Anyway, they came up with first a question: "you will vote in the next election?" I nodded and said I guess so. Then the inspiring twist to bring me onside with them, whoever they were: "you wanna vote for us?" I said I would think about it and went to get another cup of coffee.

Volunteers work extremely hard during election campaigns and they deserve some credit if only because a lot of the time they come up against people like me. I am amazed not only by those who fight a battle they know they won't win, but a lot of the time by those who bother at all. Our turnouts according to Elections Canada are in the high-sixties to low-seventies fairly consistently. That means that whoever is bothering to go out and get people engaged in any way at all is either going to get people whose minds are already made up, or more likely, those who just don't care.

I sort of wish this time that there was some kind of showdown happening, it would be much harder to bother being jaded and cynical about the whole thing if there was a chance of a fight between Trudeau's best boy and the Dupe. In that case I can promise, I wouldn't be answering the door in my pjs, and who knows? I might even get a sign or two. As it stands, I know it's going to be a better-than-usual turnout at least in the riding kitty-corner from me. I know I'd be waiting there on election day with a tiny camera and a lot of hope.

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