The importance of the provincial election cannot be emphasized enough unless, of course, you are five-years-old and celebrating a birthday.
My husband and I packed up the presents for said five-year-old, me, using the last few minutes of creativity to decorate his presents with this sparkly glue, which, apparently, will not dry until the child turns six.
Anyway, we headed west to said grandchild’s home in our little old pick up truck, remarking on our way, about the wonders of spring.
It is true, the trees, still stand, solemn and grave silhouettes against the delicate blue sky without a hint of colour, and the colourless grass desperately needs to be injected with some of that lovely green dye Mother Nature is hiding.
But, the water is gurgling in the ditches and the birds are singing and the earth, itself, smells damp like spring.
Finally we arrive at the birthday boy’s home; honoured guests as only grandpa and grandma can be.
We settle in around the table and after the presents are opened and the boys wander off to play, our conversation quickly turns to the upcoming election.
I’m sure our table top discussion was one of many similar discussions going on around the province as the election remained only days away.
It is true. It is important and needs to be discussed. We all know it.
The outcome of our government hangs in the balance, for crying out loud, and who will be at the helm of our province will make a difference in the next four years to us, our neighbours, our children, our grandchildren and our neighbour’s children and grandchildren.
The carbon tax. The pipelines. Education. Health care.
And today, Oct. 16, we, the people, have a chance to speak.
It was precisely for these reasons that my husband and I participated in the pre-voting day table talk discussion with a couple of family members.
It was a good discussion. Our son-in-law is a helicopter pilot. He spends a lot of time working in the west country and he had a lot to say.
Our daughter is a teacher and she spends a lot of time working in the classroom. She, too, had a lot to say.
And so the talk ran high and the afternoon flew by, born away on the wings of open, honest dialogue between working class people who have, by now, cast a ballot supporting the party of their choice.
During the talk, I, for a brief moment in time, donned my very best intellectual hat and got right into the game. I very much enjoyed playing verbal ping-pong with the others, but still, mostly out of habit, I think, I struggled to maintain a reporter’s detached viewpoint.
All of us agreed that it would be incredibly refreshing to go through a political challenge without mud slinging and accusations that have been very evident during this election campaign, not only by candidates, but by the voters, themselves.
Not impressive. Not impressive, at all!
Pointing out the other party’s weaknesses, fallacies and general lack of competency does nothing to show integrity and fair play.
We all pondered this fact for some time as if it was a great truth we had accidentally stumbled on and not the golden rule which states clearly and emphatically, “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you!”
The discussion ebbed and flowed and seemed to steal the afternoon away, when suddenly this little child crawled up on my lap and said, “grandma, can you play fish with me?”
He is a wonderful child, this grandson of mine, and I could not refuse his request, but his mom, who apparently harboured a shadow of a doubt that I might forget what really was important here, said sternly, “I know everyone is fired up about this election and it is important, but what is really important here is your grandson’s birthday and he needs some attention.”
“Well said,” I agreed, nodding. “Deal me in!”
And so the election slipped to the background and a game of Fish played by a five-year-old and two old people became the highlight of the afternoon.
And, then we ate pizza and I read him books about super heroes who fought super villains and always won in the end.
And, as I held his little boy self close to me and kissed the top of his tousled hair, I was so grateful for the day, and that regardless of what political party takes over the reins for the next four years, I have a grandson who will crawl on my lap and call me his grandma.
It’s like the colours of spring have suddenly sprung to life!