“I Like You, You’re White”

 

“I like you. You’re white.”

That was just one of the ringing endorsements I received on the campaign trail!
The somewhat startling observation came from a lovely older woman at a local seniors’ residence. She was right of course, I am white.

In the 2014 municipal election, I decided to throw my hat into the ring.

It was a wonderful experience and I don’t regret a minute of it, save for losing, which as it turns out is a lot harder than I anticipated. I have to admit, despite my years of covering municipal politics, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

With Gloucester-South Nepean Coun. Steve Desroches honouring his commitment to only serve two terms, (imagine that) and as such leaving the ward without an incumbent, I felt the timing was right. After observing city politics for a couple of decades, I thought it was time to put myself on the election line.

I’d seen enough craziness and plenty of reckless spending and I thought I could make a real difference.
And so with so many fabulous people offering their support to help me, I registered to run in a neighbourhood I’d spent much of my life in – volunteered in – raised my family in.

On Tuesday, candidates wanting to run in the 2018 municipal election ran register as well. And only then can they start raising money and spending it in their pursuit of elected office.

I have nothing but total respect for anyone willing to put their name on the line to be judged by the electorate. It’s much harder than I imagined and far more rewarding than I ever anticipated.

As the campaign heats up, I’ll be blogging from time to time about my own experiences. And yes, those stories you may have heard about people answering the door half-naked, all true! I will of course also be covering the campaign and some of the more interesting municipal candidates out there.

And while I can now empathize with the difficulties of being on the campaign trail, that doesn’t mean I won’t ask the hard questions of those seeking to represent us.

 

 

4 Comments

  1. I have similar experiences almost daily. I am ‘white’ and I run into people who rant about ‘immigrants taking all of our jobs etc’…. I point out that technically I’m an immigrant as I came to Canada from another country as a teenager….the accent is quite muted now.

    When I point out that I’m an immigrant often times the response is ‘yeah, but you’re white so you’re OK’ or ‘yeah, but you don’t look like an immigrant’ etc. I make a mental note to try and ignore these people in the future.

  2. I ran for public office twice, and lost both times too. The experience is worth the time it takes given what one learns about politics as a participant. Going to All Candidates Debates is anxiety inducing, but one gets over it quick enough. Once the abject fear subsides the electioneering is easy.

    Losing is easy too if you understand the odds of succeeding against an incumbent politician. Incumbent Mayor Watson is an experienced veteran politician too so it’s fairly easy to pick up on debate style after watching a veteran at work.

    RW

  3. When I ran in what was then Carleton Ward, I was too tall, too blonde, too French (my husband, not me), and certainly too left of centre for the ward. I loved the challenge of all-candidates meetings and usually liked the doors. My favorite story is one night out canvassing I bumped into Toddy Kehoe, the incumbent, heading off the street. She warned me about one door, having been ordered off the front step. Feeling totally confident, I sashayed up to the front door, rang the doorbell and was met with a somewhat inebriated woman holding a rolling pin. She ordered me off the step, off the street and out of her neighbourhood. I went home and had a stiff gin!!

  4. I too ran for municipal elections (3x). I would never trade the experiences for anything in the world.

    The once story I remember, is when going door-to-door, a family insisted that I come in and stay for BBQ. How could I refuse such a lovely hospitality.

    Thsi will be the first time my name will not appear on the ballot and I will miss the fine people of AltaVista when out there door knocking.

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