For those of you that don’t know, I’ve been traveling across Western Canada since Saturday with a group of 5 other women; as far as road trips go, it’s been a pretty good one. What’s even better is that 3 of the girls, once they found out I was hooked on politics, starting asking me questions about our Canadian political scene. The best comment I heard was: “I’m torn between the NDP and the Liberals, convince me.” This got me thinking about day-to-day life and how many people we interact with each day. How effective do you think we could be if we spread the Liberal message to even 1/10th of the people we come across each day?
I know that I find myself talking about politics all the time and in a very organic matter; people either ask me what I do or where I work, or what I hope to do in my career. The conversation just springboards from there. Once I tell them what I do (especially during this election campaign), I am able to ask them about their interest and involvement. I find myself using a lot of the same terminology that I use when I’m door-knocking or making phone calls – namely “have you thought about who you might support in the upcoming election” or “is there any one issue that’s more important to you and your family?”
For a lot of people, talking about politics is one of the ‘big 3’ taboo topics. I don’t believe that should be the case, especially when people are checking out of democracy. I know that when I was younger, everything was talked about around the dinner table and nothing was off-limits. How do we expect our country, and our young people especially, to take part in democracy if we don’t encourage open and honest discussions? I’d rather hear that someone is engaged and passionate about the election or a particular issue, even if it is for another party, than hear the “I’m just not interested” line. The outcome of this election, as well as others, will impact the everyday lives of Canadians. No one can afford to sit on the sidelines, so it’s up to those of us who are engaged to bring others into the fold.
So I’ll ask you this again – who have you talked to today?