Election 2015: So This Happened…

wastedvotesign

cdnelxncircleWe have a Green Party sign on our front lawn and last night somebody spray painted “wasted vote” across it.

You know the election’s close and emotions are running high when even the taggers and vandals are thinking about strategic voting.

I’m not even a little bit annoyed that our sign was defaced. It’s an important election and when shit like this happens it just means people are paying attention. Plus, it gives me an excuse to tell the story of why we have that Green Party sign.

For the record, my plan had been to not have a sign on our lawn. I keep hoping that candidates will come door knocking at our place. I love elections and debating politics on our doorstep with the people campaigning for our votes seems like a great way to celebrate the season. If I put up a sign that’d just reduce the odds that some Regina-Lewvan hopeful will drop by.

Of course, in three elections, no candidate (save one, I’ll get to that) has ever come to our house. Last election, we even put up a sign that read, “Undecided voters inside. Please knock!” and we didn’t get a single visitor from any of the parties.

I was crushed.

Anyway, as you can probably imagine, there are a lot of discussions about politics around our house, a lot of angry ranting over the breakfast table. It’s so bad that even our kids are getting in on the act.

And Dash, our four year old, decided at some point that he loves the Green Party.

Mainly, it’s because he likes their signs best. They’re green, a colour he prefers to red and orange; and, the party’s logo kind of looks like a sun and he thinks that’s “pretty cool.”

But, as election season was starting up, he was becoming increasingly perturbed because there were so few Green Party signs around.

And he wants the Green Party to win the election. It’s very important to him. But they didn’t have enough signs.

Finally, there was one Thursday where we were coming back from preschool and he was going on and on about the Green Party and why aren’t they winning and where are all the Green Party signs. He was inconsolable.

So I said, “Dash, you know we can just get a Green Party sign for our lawn, right?”

And he immediately perked up. The minute we got home we had to go to the computer and fill in an online “Request a sign” form. I figured at some point someone would come by while we were out and put up a Green Party lawn sign and that’d mollify Dash for a few days.

A few hours later, there’s a knock at our door. It was Tamela Friesen, the Green Party candidate in our riding. So I swung the door open and said, “Hi, you’re our Green Party candidate!”

“That’s really weird,” she replied. “How do you know that? Nobody knows who I am.”

Becaaaause we just ordered a Green Party sign. That is why you’re here, right?”

Turns out, no. That wasn’t why. She’d been out canvassing all day and hadn’t checked the messages from her website yet. It was just a coincidence that she was in our neighbourhood.

So I was pretty happy. Friesen was the first — and still only — candidate to ever come to our door.

And she seemed pretty happy to wind up on the doorstep of a supporter.

“Supporter?” I said. “Oh, you have to meet my son.”

So I called Dash down.

Now, like I said, Dash is four, so, by nature, pretty fickle. I figured he’d come downstairs and maybe be kind of shy or even uninterested.

But no. When I said, “This is Tamela. She’s the person running for the Green Party,” he lost his frickin’ marbles.

He was shouting “Green Party! Green Party! I love the Green Party!” and jumping up and down and gave Friesen this big hug. He couldn’t have been more enthusiastic.

And when it was time for Tamela to go she promised to come right back with his sign.

That was pretty fun, I thought. But Dash went back to playing in his room and I figured now that he got that out of his system, that’d be it.

But no.

We just happened to be outside when Tamela returned with the sign. It was just after sundown and once again, Dash lost it. He was dancing around and shaking his butt and hugging Tamela. He was like a little Green Party party.

Friesen has a video of him on her Facebook page. I couldn’t be more proud.

So anyway, yeah. That graffiti artist who defaced our Green Party sign? He thought he was striking a blow for strategic voting.

But really all he accomplished was to BREAK MY FOUR YEAR OLD’S HEART!!!

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

7 thoughts on “Election 2015: So This Happened…”

  1. Paul, I’m so sorry this happened (especially given Dash’s attachment to the sign). We have had Erin Weir (himself) and some guy canvassing for Trent Fraser come to our door. Had a nice long chat with Mr. Weir and chased the Con off because he came in the middle of dinner and we didn’t have the energy to get into it with him (although my partner pointed out afterwards that if we had got him into a lengthy discussion he would have had less time to bug our neighbours). Haven’t heard anything from the Liberal or Green candidate. Guess it depends where you live?

  2. That this should happen in the Cathedral area: shocking, on so many levels.

    Seriously, though, this is a really good teachable moment, and the lessons are several, and not only for a young man. First, when you make a public declaration of support for a person and/or principle, you have to expect various reactions, because not everyone can agree on what’s important or desirable; second, when people do disagree, they ought to do so appropriately — no vandalism, anonymous or otherwise; no name-calling — and in a rational and respectful manner; and third, your candidate may not win, and that’s sad, but it’s part of the process. You don’t get bitter and you don’t give up.

  3. Oh no that stinks. I would love to put green sign up on my tree top. If I’m allowed. But who gives a stink. ID LOVE TO SEE THAT GREEN HATER. Perhaps his heart can mended with another green lover. Color green. I mean. Sometimes the iceing on the suger coated cake can be green frosting too. Now about that power outage at dinner time. FUN.

  4. I hope you can get that sign replaced. It’s not cool that someone did this. The green party might not win, but if you vote, it’s not a wasted vote.

  5. Barb: I recognize this taggers handwriting. You can trace his path through the neighbourhood from the various doodles he left on posts and garages and feral cats. On a map of Cathedral, you could draw a dotted line from graffiti to graffiti like you’re following a teenaged Jeffy through a grim reboot of the Family Circus comic.

    That would be fun.

    I had a sit down with my four year old son to discuss the lessons you raise in your comment. He took them to heart and is much more philosophical about the vandalism of his sign. He feels pretty stupid for crying about it. Thanks for that. “I guess that’s just democracy, Dad. I’ll work harder for my convictions now,” he said.

    Ah, youth. So idealistic.

  6. Dash should never feel stupid about crying over a disappointment; this was, after all, his first foray into civic duty, and he took it very seriously. And, for the love of Mary Ann, he’s four years old; his heart is on his sleeve by nature. It won’t stay there for long.

    “Ah! as the heart grows older
    It will come to such sights colder
    By and by, nor spare a sigh
    Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
    And yet you will weep and know why.”

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