Ed Broadbent called me today.
Well, it wasn’t quite like it sounds – I got a pre-recorded voice message when I answered the phone during Miya’s dinner time.
“Who called?” she asked.
“Just a politician asking me to vote for another politician,” I told her.
“Um, politicians are our leaders and this man wants to help me decide who to choose as the party’s leader,” I tried.
“It was Ed, sweetie. A man named Ed.”
That satisfied her and she continued on with her meal.
This is not the first time Ed’s called me. I’ve also had voice messages from Paul Dewar and am getting emails from Nathan Cullen, Brian Topp, Thomas Mulcair and Peggy Nash – all of whom among the 9 candidates vying for leadership of the federal New Democrats.
The campaign started in September and candidates are campaigning across the country. The leadership convention will be in March in Toronto. I can’t be there, but I am trying to follow this leadership race and become informed about the candidates. I want to find out how I can vote if I can’t be at the convention - and have enough information to make an informed decision.
I have realized that in the past I’ve been a bit lazy when it comes to political leadership races – and I’m guessing I’m hardly alone given our country’s abysmal voter turn-out. While I do vote, I don’t go too much out of my way to inform myself about my local candidates. I will read what is given to me, listen to what is said to me – but basically feel that if you, as a candidate, don’t know how to get your message to me, than you likely aren’t going to be much of a political leader. Right or wrong, I admit that this has been my default approach.
But for this NDP leadership campaign, I’m actually working to go beyond what is targeted at me. We so desperately need a stronger opposition in our Parliament – so I’m going to do what I can to find out about and support the candidate I think will have the best chance of building a healthy, positive and focused democratic party.