I'll be doing a lot of blogging on Votekamloops.com web site in the next five weeks. Join me while I navigate the waters of my independent candidacy in the Federal Election in Canada. My primary motivation is to encourage people to vote and not necessarily for me. I also want to encourage political types to keep it positive. The negativity is killing me.
Walked around the astoundingly beautiful sea wall in Vancouver for the first time in about ten years this weekend. Ate at one of my favourite Italian restaurants - Chianti's. And saw an entirely disturbing but tuly important movie whose message, for me, was about personal responsibility. The movie, Supersize Me, truly is a must see.
One of the few joys of being an early adopter....I have been meaning, for some time now, to make a blog post from the top of the Coquihalla highway with my sierra aircard enabled laptop. Here it is. Now, maybe I won't feel so bad about the $650 upfront and $100 a month I pay for such portability.
I am saddened by the new negative web sites and tv ads thrown up by the Liberals and the Conservatives. The NDP has done the same, much earlier. I would really like to vote FOR something this election as opposed to voting against something. I don't believe its necessary for parties to "show the differences" between them and their opponents. I think the people can figure that out for themselves.
We can be so much better than this.
Would like to take the opportunity to thank the Broadcast Centre radio stations, Radio NL, Kamloops This Week, and the Kamloops Daily News for interviewing me today. One of the more interesting questions I got was from Angelo Iacobucci at Radio NL who asked me if I had any other issues other than 'esoteric' concerns about voter apathy and positive politics. I admit my platform gets pretty thin, pretty quick, but I don't think myself that voter apathy or positive politics are esoteric at all.
Had the great pleasure of emceeing the Community Diversity Awards in Kamloops this evening. These awards recognize great people who have shown commitment making our community more diversity friendly. These awards were sponsored by Kamloops Immigrant Services.
I was just interviewed by Cheryl Bloxham from CFJC TV. I have not yet met a TV camera that really liked me so it was a little nerve wracking. I need to mind that I am not talking to a TV camera, I am talking through it to other voters.
I don't think I looked horrible but there are clearly some answers I still need to think out a little better.
Cheryl asked me about my membership in the Liberal party and why I hadn't sought that nomination. Truth be told, I have always been uncomfortable with the party system. I don't like the idea of being inflexible in my political affiliation, I joined the Liberals this year because I wanted to be vote in the nomination meeting. Before I decided to run, I wanted to make sure I was involved somehow in the process. I voted NDP last election. This election, I think the issues I am running on are what, in the end, are most important to me. That wasn't my answer on camera, I fumbled and mumbled.
Cheryl also asked me about my platform besides voter apathy and respectful debate. I said I didn't have one...that to be a one or two issue candidate is fine for me at the moment. I do think that I could expand on the respectful debate angle on things but I don't want to dilute my major points too much.
Well, its public and relatively official. I intend to run as an independent in the upcoming federal election:
Insufferable Idealist Announces Independent Candidacy in Upcoming Federal Election
A statement from Arjun Singh
I would like to announce my intention to run as an independent candidate in the Kamloops Thompson riding for the upcoming Federal election.
A little over 10 years ago, I was offered the incredible opportunity to participate as an Election Observer in the first democratic election in South Africa. It is truly difficult to express how amazing that was. So many people, struggling incredibly hard for so long for the right to vote, finally having that right.
Through this experience, I began to understand the importance of the right to vote. And I began to respect and greatly value my right to get involved in the political process (without a gun or a grenade).
Our Canadian democracy needs revitalization. Low voter turnouts deeply concern me. I am also quite worried about the ambivalence, or worse the antipathy, that many Canadians feel towards their political leaders.
I may be an insufferable idealist, but I believe that we can carry on respectful political debates without demonizing other candidates or simplifying complex issues to score political points.
I believe Canadians need to send a strong message to political candidates and organisers that we do care about our government. And we need to make a statement that the politics of negativity and divisiveness are no longer acceptable to us.
Major groundrules that I will follow in the election campaign:
o Never impugn another candidate integrity or intentions
o Only actively soliciting the votes of people who have not voted before or have become disillusioned with the political process.
o Making it a point to comment positively on the things in other candidates policies that I agree with.
o Work hard to achieve in our riding the highest average voting rate in the country.
For more information, please call Arjun Singh, 377 1797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interesting information gleaned from a talk by Al Knight, Chief Returning Officer (CRO) for the Kamloops Thompson Federal riding. It's gearing up for election time here in Canada:
People can actually vote anytime during the election campaign. The CRO's office opens the day the election is called and people can vote that same day. Makes it rather convenient.
No excuse not to vote, even if out of town.
New locations for polling stations
Al is, for the most part, pulling out from using schools as polling stations. He mentioned that can be quite a huge disruption on a school day. The chosen alternative might create a little more parking challenges. Seems to me that the a large part of the plan is to centralize polling stations into fewer and larger stations.
Get the polls at off peak times, eg during the workday.
Political parties actually run polling stations on election day
Al explained that the winning and second place party from the election previous get first right of refusal for all the positions in the polling stations. Am I the only one that finds that a bit weird? In theory, the chief poll captain and the 2nd in command are of different parties but I got the impression that doesn't often happen. Saving grace of all this is that political parties can't likely usually volunteer the amount of people needed to run the election.
All in all, very interesting