Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Energy boost

We're having an election here in British Columbia.

Yesterday, I went to the first all-candidates meeting (for our riding) that I've ever attended. Usually, I get enough from the newspaper and TV to make my decision.

But this year, since I'm president of the organization that sponsored the meeting, I was expected. I even had a speaking part - very minor. I had such a time! I will never miss one again. If you're interested in the personality side of politics, this is the place to be. It took me all day to stop buzzing.

I was impressed by the passion of the candidates. Even if I disagreed with their platforms, I couldn't help but admire them for standing up and defending their beliefs. And the passions from the audience were even more overwhelming. Of course, there was some boorish behavior, but on the whole, it was the flushed cheeks and raised voices that demonstrated the strength of feelings.

On the negative side, I was appalled by the level of ignorance that fuelled the passions of the audience. There was also ignorance on the part of the candidates but, generally, they had their facts sort of in a line. Questioners would stand up and rant for a couple of minutes before revealing their question. Those couple of minutes showed that many had a poor grasp of everything but their focus issue. Even that wasn't always too grounded in fact.

As a friend commented after the meeting: "If nothing else, I know who not to vote for." I didn't experience any epiphany which would make me do a 180 in the voting booth. But, I came away much more energized about this election. It has been kind of an uninteresting campaign period, marred by personal attacks which are such a turn-off. It baffles me why anyone thinks they're effective.

Everyone should go to one of these meetings. Maybe the campaign has been uninteresting because of our lack of involvement. Yesterday, I got involved. That's a good thing.

1 comment:

Rudee said...

I love politics but rarely write about it-I find it too polarizing. There is one fellow who won't visit my blog anymore because I voted for Obama. There is another who hates me because I questioned Sarah Palin for being so divisive and two faced. I believe my bleeding heart expresses itself through my words, I try not to be so out there.

You're right when you say politics are much more exciting when you have a stake in the process. In Detroit last night, with a pathetic turnout, only 10 percent of the people voted in a new mayor. What's up with that?


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