I have done something that I have sworn many, many, many times that I would NEVER do.
That's right. I ran. In the provincial election. For a seat.
But then, I expected to. That's the thing with being a paper candidate, you see... you're not supposed to actually win (although, truth be told, it has been known to happen from time to time). The whole purpose of a paper candidacy is to get the party in question on the ballot in the event that a serious candidate cannot be found for a particular riding.
Why, you ask?
Because the way election funding goes, a party receives a certain amount of cash per vote it receives (I think in this case, that certain amount is $5...). Thus, even if the party has no hope of winning a seat or two, it still wants the potential for votes... so it can get money... to run again later. So they get people (like me) to volunteer their names and faces to the campaign, but little else (which is good, 'cause I had NO time to give...) In fact, they often place these volunteers in ridings to which they have never been, and in which they know not a soul. In my case, that was a riding located approximately an hour away, in a part of another city to which I had been only a handful of times.
So there I was, content in the knowledge that I had done my civic duty by signing up, and in the assurances of the party staffers that I would have to do no more than that. Then I recieved a phone call. At work.
The caller was a man who works within my organization. He asked very tentatively if he had correctly seen my name on the list of candidates? When I answered in the affirmative, he began an enthusiastic spiel about the voting history of my riding (1800 votes for my party in the last election), and how I could quite possibly be voted in as the next MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly)there.
But... but... I have plans!! I can't be voted in! I can't stay here and be an MLA! Ack! Gah! Stupid assurances of the stupid party staffers. They don't know what they're talking about! Oh. My. God. I'm going to have to move. To a new city. And represent people I have never met. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
The freak-out lasted a couple of days. Until I realized it might not be so bad to be paid to represent a group of good, hardworking people, to be a voice of opposition in a legislature full of pompous middle-class white men who are more interested in furthering their own ends than those of their constituents. I could stir up a lot of shit, and maybe even affect some small modicum of change... The idea actually began to appeal a bit.
And I could do that job. Well.
Even still, come election night, I was not disappointed to see the votes of my opponents climbing higher and higher, while mine remained stable: I got 283 votes. That's 4.17% of the popular support in my riding, and $1415 for the party.
And in hindsight, I'm glad to have participated. Maybe I'll do it again sometime... for real...
Oh, and man, it's good to be back. I missed you guys.
Labels: Life alterning events, Oddities