My grandmother always wanted me to represent Korea in the Miss Universe pageant. When I reminded her that I was Canadian, she just tsk-tsked my protestations away. My parents however, wanted me to either become a doctor OR the prime minister of Canada. They thought I would make a good Margaret Thatcher if you will 🙂
My first and only campaign for office was in Grade 8. Persuaded by my friends in the band, I accepted a nomination to run for Grade 8/9 Rep because no one else was running. I was hoping I’d get into power by acclamation. I don’t even think I put up any campaign posters. And then in a buzzer-beater type move, Caroline joined the foray. She was in Grade 9, and was the star of the basketball/volleyball/track & field teams. I tried to escape from the ballot, but it was too late. On Election Day, voting was fierce as there was no way Grade 9’s were going to let a Grade 8 represent their interests on Student Council. If I could have voted for her, I would have, she was that good. She won, by a landslide and ended my political aspirations.
Today, I exercised my right to vote for the leader of Canada. The polling station was abuzz with excitement and I felt powerful as I marked up my ballot, explaining the electoral process to my preschooler who was tagging along. Along with so many others, I followed the election buzz on Twitter, pushing #tweettheresults to the top trending topic. Despite the need for electoral reform in Canada, I felt proud to be part of a nation so inspired to come out and exercise their political right.
But as I watched the results trickle in on television this evening, I felt so badly for Michael Ignatieff. Maybe it’s the sting of my own experience in the political foray, but this is an earnest man, a man who cared enough to thoughtfully answer every off-track question from every octogenarian across the country. He is beyond intelligent, a loving husband, and willingly went under the microscope of politics. There are not many could do that. I know that I wouldn’t. Maybe he was too nice. Maybe he could have used more posters. Even though he inherited a party mired in scandals, he was gracious in defeat, coined a “beautiful loser” as per the pundits. I hope he sticks around, we could use more classy Canadians like him.