Why you should run for Halifax Council, or help someone is

You should run.
Has anyone ever said that to you? Well, I am saying it now: if you don’t like what is happening with our city, our province or our country, you should run. This fall, we elect new municipal councillors and school-board representatives, and it’s not to late for you to make your voice heard and share your ideas to make things better.
If you don’t want to run or feel you can’t, then get behind someone who will. My father was affectionately known as a “backroom boy.” This was before it was recognized as sexist and deeply patriarchal and all the other things wrong with that term and that reality. He was a backroom person because his ego could not stand the idea of losing (but that’s another essay).
Now you can be a backroom person and support someone you believe in, whose ideas you share so they can run, speak, and act on your behalf and everyone else’s.
Another job, whose name also needs modifying, is “bag man.” You can help raise bags of money so the person you believe in can fund a campaign. This is different from someone who deals in brown envelopes of money. That’s illegal, unless you were the Prime Minister apparently, but again that is a separate essay. A legal bag person collects bags of money to oil the political machine needed to run for political office.
You can volunteer to canvas, answer the phones, get coffee, or stuff envelopes, (which is terrible for the environment now that I say that so you can help with e-mails instead). The point is: get involved and make a difference.
This is particularly true if you are part of any group of people who is under-represented in the halls of power. Which is most of them. I’m an entitled, older, white guy and in all fairness we don’t need any more of me, but I can support a candidate who can speak for those groups in our society who need representation. We could start to have a government that reflects all of the people all of the time. Imagine!
I don’t care what party or political slant you come from. I believe that truly exercising our franchise is more than just going out and marking an X on a ballot. True democracy is a responsibility every bit as much as it is a right.
Can you imagine if we all ran? There’s a problem we should have!

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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