Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait pas

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Voting

Maggie and I cast our vote last night. Won't tell you who for, 'cause that's kind of like asking a woman her weight, but in the end I was not wooed by a pretty face.

The whole election/voting thing got me to thinking about how much I like voting and all the happy memories I have that revolve around campaigns, elections and the like. Don't get me wrong --- I am so very not political and it is an area a steer clear of in arguments because I firmly believe in only participating in arguments I feel confident in winning and I don't know enough about politics to do that. However, I have been involved in a way in municipal, provincial and federal politics ever since I was a wee child.

My mum (and dad, I guess, but he wasn't home much when I was young, so I really just remember this stuff about my mum) was involved with the Liberal Party and would take us with her enumerating and canvassing. We wold also go to the polls with her and "help" the voters. We would also car pool older voters and others who couldn't get to the polls on their own. Looking back it seems of odd that it was my mother, who honestly doesn't not strike me as being particularly politically aware, who instilled the importance of voting in us.

Growing up in Quebec during the whole FLQ thing and subsequent PQ reign of M. Levesque made me quite aware that politics was very much a part of our lives. I proudly wore my "Non Merci" button on my school uniform in 1980 and firmly believed (still do) that "My Canada Includes Quebec". When I got old enough to vote, I did, in addition to working at the polling stations and driving people around. Perhaps my most memorable experience was during the referendum concerning the Constitution/Charlottetown Accord in 1992:

I was back living with my parents, briefly, and they lived down the street from Pierre Trudeau, hence he was in our riding. (aside: my dog Seamus and I would see Mr. Trudeau pretty much every morning on our walk and he would tip his hat, say good morning and pat Seamus each time. If for no other reason, I feel he was a great man and cried when he died) I was a volunteer and was manning the "check in desk" at the poll, verifying everyone's ID against the voter list. When I arrived in the morning there were tons of cameras and reporters surrounding the entrance of the polling station. "That's weird" I thought to myself as I entered. Why they were there became clear about 5 minutes later. The first voter through the doors and presenting his ID for verification? PET himself. I calmly checked his name against the voter list and off he went to cast his ballot.

Anyway, all this to say that I am glad I voted, feel strongly that everyone should as it is a privilege and a responsibility and am grateful that my mum got us so involved at such a young age and in such a positive way.

6 comments:

Brian Lavery said...

Kathryn,
you have such nice stories.
Thanks
Brian

Grace said...

I have always volunteered for elections. Primarily because I see what happens when people don't vote. Policies get developed and passed that hurt them. I've sided with losing candidates and with winning ones. I always meet the candidates first and ask questions that affect me and what they'll do to make it better. Then I get on board with the candidate that best suits my values. I love federal politics though. I never miss a vote. People have died to get the opportunity to. So many of people have died as a result of policies government create to control them. I vote for them.

And this post you did is why I love reading you.

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Kathryn said...

Brian & Grace - thanks, and I mean that sincerely