Elections Canada. What is this like for you to consider right now? We’re close to marking our “X”…and we all have some thoughts about that!
Elections, Canada, and constructive conversation
It’s time! I can zip downtown to vote (early) in my riding in small-town Alberta today. I’ve just given a listen to some of the English debate. It’s time for me to make a decision about how I will mark my ballot.
I’m a gal from a very specific demographic: 50+ year-old white woman, born and raised in Western Canada. I had the luxury of a middle-class upbringing, including a bit of post-secondary education. A very specific demographic.
I listen to the debates with clear understanding that the bias I hold may be different from the bias of my (dear!) neighbors. Our views are rarely the same. Polarization is boss right now. On all issues, it seems. A dash of hope popped up on one of my neighborhood walks last week. I noticed a lawn sign that jumped out. It read, “There is no room for hate here.” That. How can we, despite our so-many-feelings perspectives, move toward that.
Elections Canada is doing the work of keeping our democracy chugging along. It’s ok! Insert opinions here, and we’ll make space for them all, right? The fact that we’re all free to have our opinions is gift.
What can we do while the process does what the process does?
So. Many. Things!
Even while we feel a bit off-kilter and unsure of ourselves (and each other…and the whole world), we can continue to be our most beautiful selves.
We can be kind. We can respect one another’s right to think, believe, hope, resist. It’s important to be curious and critical. Building our communities and supporting our front-line workers is necessary. We can buy locally, tip generously, and take loving care of our families.
And we can take care of each other. Even if we don’t see eye-to-eye. Because that’s what Canadians do.
Over the years I’ve benefitted from Elections Canada work. I’ve been a DRO and an RO and other role names I don’t recall. I’ve scrawled my initials across many ballots and wrangled some really (really!) big, angry donors. On one occasion, I even chased — and captured — a dog through one of Western Canada’s busiest polling stations! Not my most graceful (or gracious) moment in doing my civic duty, but certainly my most memorable.
A small kindness that may make a big difference? Thank those who are working for 18-plus hours on election day. They’re going to be counting our votes until late in the night. Not for big bucks. Because they care about this process.
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