- "Unfair Advantage"
November 20, 2006
We are now on a 7 day count down, but since you cannot campaign on election day, make that six. Tonight was our third all-candidates debate, although all of them could be called the "some candidates debates." The most substantive, at Huron College on Thursday had all of what the media now call the "four major parties -- Conservative, Liberal , NDP and Green," but not the Independent Candidate, the Canadian Action Party and Progressive Canadian candidate. The last two debates (one on Fanshawe College Radio yesterday and the one tonight at Western on health topics) invited all seven candidates, but Conservative candidate Diane Haskett could not attend. I saw her earlier today at the Canadian Club luncheon with featured speaker (one of my faves) Senator Hugh Segal. For pure joie de vivre, you cannot beat Hugh. We are old friends and he managed to give me a nice reference, although non-partisan, acknowledging Diane as well. I am loving the politicking, because I love meeting people, so happily worked the room till it was time for the speech. I saw tons of old friends and lots of my new ones too! I keep feeling a sense of swelling momentum... It is hard to pin down the moments when it feels most real... this morning in the rush hour traffic, when a very well dressed man in a nice car rolled down his window to yell "Good Luck", while in another direction a full car with an Islamic family and kids waved wildly and grinned at me as though I was a pop star. Or when people come up to me and say they want a lawn sign. There are a lot of little moments, what my daughter calls my "mini-victories." Tonight after the debate was a really seminal moment for me. A radio reporter asked "Do you feel you have an unfair advantage in this race as leader of a federal political party when the other candidates aren't?" NEWS FLASH! No one has ever asked a Green Party candidate anywhere in Canada if they feel they have an unfair advantage!! We have a lot of energy out there across London. It manifests in smiles and waves and people hugging me and saying (teary-eyed) that voting for me in the advance polls gave them more hope than any vote they ever cast in their lives. It is in the way people I don't know on the street know me and shout out my name and give me a thumbs up. Six days to go....let the hope spread like wild flowers (as my mum used to say... she had a gift for Freudian malapropisms!).