The old furniture shop on the corner shut down this past winter, and at our weekly household dinners we all speculated as to what would next fill the store front. Instead of the hipster/yuppie cafe we were hoping for (as an alternative to the bucky’s in the plaza!), the New Democratic Party rented it and set up their candidacy office for this riding.
After walking and riding past the office a couple times a day, I finally went in and asked for a lawn sign. I’d never done that before, having generally snubbed federal politics as being too far removed from my daily existence to be worth the energy. I’d vote, and rant, but that’s about it. This time, though, I’ve been seeing far too many Conservative lawn signs during my commute out to the trade school, and it’s been making me feel ill. Besides which, I was raised by rather fervent NDP supporters, and have a nostalgic affection for neon orange.
“I grew up in Toronto,” I told the staffer at the desk as she wrote down my address for their records. “When he was still a local city councillor, Jack Layton rollerbladed to my high school to give a presentation on civic responsibility.”
“Did he bring his guitar and play you some songs, too?” She asked. I couldn’t tell if she was mocking Jack for his folkiness or me for my misty-eyed reminiscence, but it was pretty funny either way.
“He might as well have,” I told her. “But all the other politicians who spoke to us were stiff suits, so he got a surprisingly friendly reception, considering we were a bunch of bored teenagers.”
How do you decide how to vote? Do you go for personality, or party? Or is it more complicated than that? I haven’t actually committed to throwing my lot in with the NDP. My other leanings are with the Greens, because I’m a bleeding-heart tree-hugging queer*. I’ve requested a lawn sign from them too, which should arrive this afternoon. There’s an all-candidates forum next week that I’m hoping to attend, but really I’ll probably make my decision based on the party platforms. As I see it, the individual candidates are a hell of a lot less important than the larger institutions they represent: This country is just too huge and diverse. Having said that, my friend Jag is encouraging everyone to vote NDP simply because of all the options, Layton would be the sexiest prime minister. Personally, I’m not really into mustaches, but I’d be glad for a reprieve from Harper’s creepy fake smile.
*A dude I worked with many, many years ago called me this… Well, actually he called me a “fucking bleeding-heart tree-hugging bitch”, but close enough. Luckily he was pretty easy to write off as an odd duck, with larger issues than I’d ever understand: Despite coming from an extremely wealthy family, he took to stealing from the cafe’s cash register in order to impress the brothers at a fraternity he’d joined, and he actually did this in full view of the other staff. I’m fairly certain drugs were involved… It’s hard to be offended when someone is that out of it, so I’ve enjoyed holding onto that little nickname he bestowed upon me.