Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Federal Election is today. Results should start rolling in at any moment. This matters because now I won't have to lecture you on politics as it is too late to have any effect.

I was sitting around a few weeks ago bitching about politics. Things really have me worried and I was saying this to my friend. So, she said "That's what's wrong with our generation. We bitch about stuff but we never do anything about it." So I decided to do something about it.

I've never thought of myself political. But I am informed. I like to read. I like to know what is going on. I don't really see myself as supporting any one party, but I have definite ideas of what our ruling party should do and look like. None of them come across as "the best" option. But clearly one stands out as "the worst". So, getting involved with a specific party didn't seem to be a good option.

The next thing I thought of was motivating people to learn more, get informed and go vote. Then I thought of NSMB, mountain bikers, young people, etc. I decided that the best thing I could do would be to use my contacts and "journalism skills" to put together some sort of story on the election for NSMB. This is the result.

It was very interesting talking with the candidates. I was blown away by my ability to look up a number on the Internet, make a phone call and get the campaign manager on the phone. And, with only one exception, the parties all seemed to recognize a chance to get their ideas out there and were more than willing to answer my questions. The glaring exception being the Conservatives, of course.

What's with this party? First up, the campaign manager was barely civil on the phone. I felt like I was pretty unimportant and I needed to apologize for taking his time. I realize that I am fairly unimportant, but you'd think a campaign manager would be able to talk to people on the phone in a respectful manner. As well, he only offered to read our questions and then decide if they wanted to answer. I guess this is fair enough, but all the other candidates committed without knowing the questions.

I gave each party a week to look at the questions and provide answers. The day before they were due, I sent out a reminder e-mail to all parties. On the due date, I got two sets of answers (NDP and Greens), a frantic phone call promising the questions by the end of the weekend (Liberals) and...nothing (Conservatives). No "We're working on them." No "We don't want to do them." No "Go fuck yourself." Nothing.

I gave it a few days, phoned the Liberals, phoned the Conservatives and got more of the same. The Liberals were committed and just needed some time, the Conservatives didn't write me back. I gave them both one final deadline, got my answers from the Liberals and was forced to move forward without the Conservatives. I still can't believe that they wouldn't even write me an e-mail telling me that they wouldn't participate. I guess no answer at least gives them the chance to deny that they got the questions or something.

So, I hope everybody voted. Time to see how screwed up things are going to be for the future. Or how great. Who knows.

No comments: