Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Darn My Political Sensitivities

Sorry for the sporadic nature of my blog posting. I don't really have any excuses except perhaps that the days are getting noticeably shorter and I'm nearing the end of my current shift so I find my energy levels flagging a little. The past couple days I shamelessly admit to being distracted by all the provincial and territorial elections. I never studied political science in university although I once did give some consideration to running in Nunavut's last territorial election (seriously). Excluding Ontario where I grew up I've lived in 3 provinces and 2 territories and I've visited every province and territory in Canada at least once except Newfoundland and Yukon so I've always kept tabs on places I've lived even after I moved.

So I've spent part of the last couple evenings at least following the results of the Northwest Territories and Manitoba elections on-line and plan to do the same with the Ontario, Yukon and Newfoundland elections in the coming days. (I did miss the PEI contest but I suppose I can't watch every little snippet of political news though I sometimes like to think I can). Oddly enough I've encountered 3 individuals involved in three of these elections, spanning from the Northwest territories to Yukon to my home province of Ontario.

The NWT (along with Nunavut) doesn't have party politics (each candidate runs as an Independent) so I found it a little hard to follow. I'm probably about as disenchanted with party politics as the average Canadian but the system does at least allow you to follow what the major issues are a little more easily. I'm not knocking consensus style government but as an outsider it can be a bit of a challenge to figure out what the issues are. Having said that though I was familiar with some of the names of the candidates and wasn't surprised to hear that Michael Miltenberger, former mayor in Fort Smith was victorious in the Thebacha riding. I moved to Fort Smith 11 years ago to start my teaching career. Odds are Miltenberger will have a strong chance of becoming the NWT's next Premier.

I also discovered a familiar name in the Yukon election in the person of Cully Robinson, running for the Liberal Party in the riding of Whitehorse West. Cully is a University of Windsor grad like myself and we were both interviewed for the U of W's Faulty of Education alumni magazine back in 2007. You can read my blog post about it here. And while I'm no fan of the Liberal Party I do wish Cully the best of luck. He struck me as a very genuine and well-spoken man during the course of our interview and I'm sure he would serve his Whitehorse constituents well if elected a couple days from now.

Finally of course there is the much anticipated Ontario election. Rob Milligan is running under the Progressive Conservative banner in Northumberland-Quinte West, which includes the small town of Campbellford where I grew up. Rob and I attended the same high school (where he now teaches in fact) and we were both cadets in the same army cadet corps as teenagers. Of course I'm extremely biased here since I know Rob and his party's views overlap with my own but I do wish him the very best of luck on Thursday. I know the people of Northumberland-Quinte West will be very well served with Rob as their MLA.

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