Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Loyalty is not for Sale

I was very discouraged by the democratic process last night. Someone who I was campaigning for lost, but that’s not what upset me. I discovered that my candidate had paid canvassers. I had to ask myself where the people were who should be doing this out of pure conviction.

It is naïve and childish of me to think that politics should be pure… I should know better. Perhaps it is an elitist viewpoint that people should be out volunteering and contributing to the democratic process out of the courage of their convictions. Politics should be about thoughts, ideas, and the betterment of society, not money. I was hoping that the people knocking on doors with me were doing it for the same reason I was, and not because there was money at the end of the day. I know that money can buy a lot of things, but I was hoping that a seat in the House of Commons was not one of them.

On the other hand, do I really have a right to feel betrayed? If I wasn’t busy spending time on my career and making money, I could have spent more time canvassing and volunteering. I know that people need to make a living, and volunteering is a privilege of the well to do. This is my internal conflict. I want as many people to get into the democratic process as possible, but at the end of the day, only the financially elite can afford to.

I do what I do because I believe in it. Am I silly to ask the same of others? I am either standing for something, or standing in solidarity against something. Stand with me, or stand against me, but don’t stand there because you’re paid to. Stand because you believe. There is no price for my loyalty; it can only be earned.

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