Wednesday, 5 October 2011


On the evening of the Manitoba provincial election I found myself on Corydon Avenue, in the office of the Liberal party candidate for the Fort Rouge riding, Paul Hesse.

By the time I arrived, the results were unofficial, but official enough for Hesse’s brother, Andreas, to gather the eclectic array of individuals into the back room of the modest office space and begin what I will describe as a sincere, and very sad, speech. He had the kind of fat tears that hang around in your eyes, the ones that threaten to fall, even without a blink. After reminiscing about Paul as a child, and that he always knew that Paul was meant to be a “PAUL-itician,” Andreas expressed great disappointment over the fact that his brother did not get elected.

“I am really disappointed that he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to show on the level that he can how much he cares and how great he will be. So, yes, tonight is a disappointment. But I am very, very proud of my brother, and next time, this party will be PARTYING.”

 His statement was followed by applause on behalf of Paul himself, on behalf of Sheila and Jordan who volunteered, among many others, throughout the campaign, on behalf of Jim, Paul’s campaign manager, Charissa, his office manager, and on behalf of those who door-knocked, t-shirt designed, stayed up a little later, still stayed positive, and always stayed motivated.

After observing what I have come to define as a remarkable collective effort, I can’t stop questioning why anyone does it.

Politics, I mean.

It seems almost too good to be true that those who run simply have a vision for their constituency, city, province, country, whatever; that they care enough about those who surround them, strangers and family alike, to actually want to provide them with conditions that, in their mind, are a little bit closer to ideal.
Despite my speculation that alternate motives exist, I am going to believe, at least for now, that politicians run because they want what they perceive to be the best for themselves and for others.
What do you think? Why do politicians campaign, and why do they campaign so hard?

On a completely unrelated note, I found the following in my mailbox the other day...

Yes, yes it is; it is a ticket to see Fran Lebowitz in Minneapolis in a week and a half. The gap does not lie: next Friday night it's gonna be me and Frannie L.


  1. On my browser at least (Safari) the print is so small it's barely legible. I'd suggest increasing the font size!

  2. Thanks for the advice, I most certainly will. I must admit I have an affinity for smaller font but I realize that it becomes difficult for others to read so I will keep it in mind. Thanks for taking the time to read.