|Andy Clark, Reuters|
Well Election 2011 is over. For the first time in history, we have witnessed the NDB as the opposition party. We finally have a majority government with the Conservatives.
About four weeks ago, Adrian Ma contacted me about blogging about the Election for CBC Community. He was a little unsure as to my political platform. I assured him that I’ve always voted Conservative, but, I wasn’t a diehard political follower.
After speaking to my husband about this opportunity, he practically begged me to not to do this. He said things like:
“You know nothing about politics.”
“You will have to research years and years of political history in order to write about it.”
“There are many things that you know more than me about but Politics isn’t one of them.”
Friends said to me:
“What do you know about politics?”
“Trina, you like going out, exploring the world, and living life. Politics and Trina just don’t mix.”
Against all of their heartfelt concerns, I agreed to take part of CBC Community Your Take Citizen Blogger, with thirty-two other Citizen Bloggers.
At first, understanding all the political lingo and party platforms was draining to the brain. I thought to myself, there has to be something that I can write about in my layman’s term fashion. So, I grasped on to the fatigue that voter’s were feeling and the word “contempt of Parliament”.
I decided I would do my utmost to interview every political candidate in Cambridge, ON. I attended the Harper Rally and the Cambridge Debate to quickly realize that this political stuff is quite interesting. (Fatiguing, but interesting)
I was able to secure two interviews; one with Bryan May, the Liberal Party Candidate, the other with Gary Goodyear, The Conservative Candidate. I was quite shocked that Mr. Goodyear opted to speak with me, but Susan Galvao decided not to even return my calls or numerous emails. Jacques Malette and I communicated online. My communication with the parties, only led me to more questions.
With the information that I received from my local leaders, I started looking at the Federal Leader Candidates and what they represented. The words “Contempt of Parliament” and “Low Attendance” rang loudly in my ears. During my meeting with Bryan May, he answer my concerns about the low attendance record of the Liberal Leader.
All in all, I think I did a fair job representing the temperature in Cambridge. The majority of people that I spoke to were either mute or fatigued. This is the first time ever that I struggled with my vote. I believe that it was due to the fact that I researched the platforms and educated myself on the outcomes by asking questions. I did not allow my Conservative upbringing thwart my ultimate goal of this opportunity.
Albeit on election night, I made my decision, voted, wrote about election night, and created a witty video (that showed my true colours) thanking CBC for this opportunity.
Would I do this again? It’s possible, but doubtful (Friend’s can now jeer at me). Will I educate myself, as I did for this election? There’s no two ways about it. Every vote going forward will be fatiguing as this exercise has shown me that it’s one thing to exercise my right to vote, but I also want to feel secure that I make an educated vote.
If you want to read more about my journey visit http://www.cbc.ca/yourtake.