As I’ve gotten more and more involved with the NDP over the past few years, I occasionally get asked if I’d ever consider running as a candidate. Sometimes it’s tongue-in-cheek (I think) and sometimes, as when someone recently asked if I would consider running for city council, serious (I think).
When I used to work with emerging writers, we’d talk about book awards and I always used to quietly laugh at the ones who said they didn’t think about winning awards. ”If you can’t imagine yourself winning an award in your chosen field, you’re probably not a very good writer!” I’d think to myself.
I kinda feel that way about running for politics – of course I’ve imagined what it would be like to be a candidate and I don’t think anyone who’s got a high level of interest in politics hasn’t also imagined what it would be like to be “the guy” (or gal).
But there are lots of reasons I know I wouldn’t make a good politician.
- I’m Selfish About My Family Time
Win or lose, running a campaign at any level will extract a heavy toll on your family (well, maybe not if you’re running for the Conservatives in Alberta or, to be fair, the NDP in Quebec last election.) But for most candidates, it means evenings spent door-knocking, weekends spent attending events, hours spent raising funds and millions of other details and obligations. I am very selfish about my family time and would find it hard to give it up.
- This Blog Is Fucking Embarrassing
I have blogged for nearly over six years now with near-daily posts. Although most of those are fairly innocuos posts on libraries, technology and cute pics of my kid, my blog also contains defences of highly offensive music, regularly includes random fucking swearing and even posts that could be easily mis-represented as me defending child pornography rather than free speech.
- I’m A Godless Atheist
A recent study showed that atheists are the least likely group to get voted for compared to any other ethnic or religious grouping. True, it was an American study but even Mormons (Mormons!) did better than atheists – can you imagine that?
- “The Skit That Wasn’t”
I’ve only run for office once before (every other position I’ve held has been by acclamation – usually because it’s a position no one else wants and/or I’m volun-told to do it.) In high school, I was asked to run for one of the two SRC Social Convenor positions, basically to be the person who gets to play music at all the dances eg. sort of like Secretary of State in terms of relative importance to high school politics. I had a great skit where a friend playing Johnny Carson would interview me about my music tastes then “David Letterman” would interrupt with a Top Ten List of reasons why I should be Social Convenor. Except the night before, my Johnny Carson got cold feet so instead, I ended up doing an air band at the last minute. That’s pretty much what everybody running for any position did but with only a bit of preparation the day of the skits, I lost. Even though I lost to one of the cool guys who had a stereo that was more expensive than his car and another who became a Radio DJ after graduating, the loss still hurts.
- I’m Lazy (Positive Spin: I Direct My Energy Into Watching Others Not Be Lazy)
Given the choice between watching a new episode of *Survivor* and going out to walk around the neighbourhood, knocking on doors, Jeff Probst gets my love every time.
- Armchair Quarterback = Me
It’s much easier (and more fun) to post my pithy observances from the relative safety of a blog than to actually put myself out there.
You should probably have a good, deep understanding of numerous policy areas to be a good politician. I’m a librarian and can barely wrap my head around the proposed changes to the Copyright Bill which is so vital to what we do. (Shit – that reminds me I’m doing a presentation on copyright to the librarians at work in a couple weeks! Double shit – I said up above that I swear too much! Oh, I just said some people might think I do. Fuck that.)
Like most people, I don’t like conflict. In many ways, the essence of politics is
arguingdebating with others who vehemently disagree with your position. Hard way to make a living.
- Did I mention that Shea would kill me?
- This list aka You’re Welcome Future Political Opponents!
Makes an easy one-stop shop for anyone looking to take me down if I ever did run for political office. I may as well have prepared a brochure they can download!