As some background: In the last federal election, in 2011, I made a Love Song For Elizabeth May that went viral and was featured on TV, radio and newspapers like this National Post article. In the 2011 provincial election, I ran for MPP in the riding of St. Paul’s, and my campaign song was written about in Metro and this Toronto Star article. I ran for MPP again in 2014, this time in Eglinton-Lawrence. And then in 2014, I also ran for Toronto Mayor, and was invited onto Breakfast Television to talk about my mayoral campaign. I had a bad cold that morning, but I made it through the interview.
So about a month ago, I submitted my name to be the Green Party candidate for the new riding, Spadina-Fort York, where I live. In the two provincial elections, there wasn’t much of a contest. For instance, I think another person or two were interested in St. Paul’s, but the riding president recommended me and that was that. But this time, there was an EDA (Electoral District Association) with multiple people in it, and there were a couple of other people interested in being the candidate, so we were going to have to vote. While we waited for everyone to be “vetted” by the party, our EDA had many meetings to talk about the campaign, until finally we scheduled a nomination meeting for Sunday, Aug. 9, where we would vote for one of three candidates: Me, Sharon Danley, and Stephen LaFrenie.
On Friday, a couple of days before the vote, I shot 4 funny little videos for Instagram, to explain some humourous reasons that I should be the candidate. This was to show the kind of entertaining videos I would make during the election, to help us get noticed in a riding where the Liberals and NDP were both running very famous people. (I’ll embed those vids at the end of this post.)
Then the next day, I came down with a horrible cold. I managed to get well enough to make it to the meeting on Sunday afternoon. But I was dripping in sweat, and there was pressure in my head so I couldn’t hear very well. Still, I had to give it my best shot, and in my allotted 2 minutes to give a speech, I did a little puppet show with pop cans adorned with the faces of the party leaders.
(Side note about filming the speech: I brought my friend Belle to film my speech, and she wanted to film with her camera instead of my iPhone, but then while she was filming, the camera kept stopping. She realized afterward that the memory disk she was using wasn’t a fast enough speed for video. So all I’ll be able to show you is a 10 second snippet of the puppet show. I should have shot with my iPhone as a backup, but the little iPhone tripod I bought broke, and also it doesn’t fit the new iPhone 6+ that I have. The lesson: Get a tripod that fits your phone, and if at all possible, shoot with 2 cameras.)
Then the vote came. There were maybe 13 riding members at the meeting. At least two of them wanted to vote but they were told their memberships had expired. So there were only 11 people voting, including the 3 candidates. Assuming the candidates voted for themselves, that means 8 people were making the big decision. In the 1st round of voting, it was 4 votes for me, 5 for Sharon and 2 for Stephen. The second choices on Stephen’s ballot were then counted, and were 1 for me and 1 for Sharon. So Sharon won, 6 to 5. Which is a good lesson for you in the importance of voting – One person’s vote made the decision of who would be the candidate in the riding.
Now I have to decide what to do, as I’d still like to make a difference in this election. I could ask to have my name run for the Green Party in another riding. I could run as an independent in Spadina-Fort York. I could make videos to support someone else who might align with my values, such as, say, Olivia Chow. Or I could try “covering” the election as a kind of reporter or correspondent, maybe doing interviews with candidates for my own YouTube page or podcast, or maybe aligning myself with an exciting radio or TV outlet. I welcome any suggestions you might have, dear reader.
In the meantime, below you can check out those 4 little campaign videos I made. And below those, I’ll post the lone surviving video snippet of my puppet show.