Democracy In the City

Well, after six weeks of election preparation, we have our results: pretty much as predicted by the polls, and a chance for the Liberals to try again, and try harder.

Being strong believers in our much-admired Canadian democratic process, Peter and I have always tried to be involved with elections, whether canvassing for a particular candidate, or helping at the polls. This time, in our new home in the city, we met and signed up with a particular candidate. We canvassed with him on many occasions.

It’s almost fun going door to door. You meet very interesting people! For example, there was the man yelling at us from his favourite chair in front of the TV to “Get off my property and take your damn flyers with you!” Apparently he liked NFL Football more than us. Then the was the couple who answered the doorbell – the wife first, tying up the front of her housecoat; followed by the husband doing up his pants. Clearly we had interrupted something more exciting than election information. At another house I was first met by a big dog with a loud bark. Then the owner appeared and let the dog out! Doggie came bounding over to me, jumped up, grabbed my hand and started chewing. The owner, ignoring my predicament, muttered: “Well at least the DOG likes Liberals.”

One evening early in the campaign we decided to go to an all-candidates meeting to check out the “opposition.” Our first surprise was that the meeting was held in a church. We hadn’t realized that God was so political. Well apparently the church minister was too. He gave the candidates the best seats in the house, right at the front near the altar. And, as we left the church/meeting, he handed out copies of his recent sermon! Well it did happened to coincide with the political issue on everyone’s mind – climate change.

On another occasion another campaign worker let it slip that Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland often runs in a nearby ravine and then goes to a local restaurant for brunch. A few days later we just happened to be at this restaurant at brunch-time and voila, there she was. She was in disguise, wearing shorts and running shoes instead of her red dress and heels, hair tucked up under a baseball cap, dark sunglasses. We stared a lot but did not ask for a selfie. Mostly because we had forgotten to charge the phone.

Another exciting part of canvassing was that we were able to conquer Minivan. On our first day on the job we were asked that scary question: “How comfortable are you with technology?” We both began to tremble. At our age, technology is a constant uphill battle. We seem to get ahead and then, before we can even save our work, we are far behind and have to call our son, Daniel, to help. Cautiously we downloaded Minivan, a brand new app for smartphones that canvassers can use to record names of supporters, or people who want a lawn sign, or a ride to the polls. Minivan saves time and paper. And we figured it out! Without Daniel! We are not too old yet!

Last night we celebrated with other riding volunteers and the winning candidate. It felt great to have been involved in the election process and to see our candidate through to a strong victory. It felt even better to know that democracy is alive and well and still living in Canada.


PS We also had a small lawn sign…

2 thoughts on “Democracy In the City

  1. Yes the election was exciting and I worked yesterday at the church of course from 7:30 til 10:30. This morning I slept in until 10:00 as I was 😴 exhausted but great fun and great people….see you at the gym….ruth


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