By: Asher Lurie
Less than two years ago, I could have told you who the Prime Minster was. I could have rattled off the names of the major parties and I could have told you the colours that represent them. But I probably couldn’t have told you much more than that.
Since I turned 18, I’ve never missed an opportunity to vote, but my political interest or involvement stopped there. None of my friends are the least bit political, and aside from the occasional dinner table conversation, my family never really delved too deeply into the political fray. I was content knowing what I knew, which was pretty much just the scraps I could glean from my memories of high school civics class. I wouldn’t be lost at sea when a political conversation came up, but I would only have one paddle and a faulty compass.
Then I joined the CJPAC family. To say I now know significantly more about politics, and perhaps more essentially, the importance of being a politically engaged citizen, would be a tremendous understatement. Immersing myself in the always fascinating and colourful world of Canadian politics has opened my eyes to how this great country of ours operates.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for all the MPs, staffers and public servants on Parliament Hill. They go to work every day with the goal of improving the lives of Canadians; jobs don’t get much more important than that. But the people I truly admire are the volunteers that helped those people reach the Hill in the first place. I am blown away by the hard work that volunteers do on behalf of those they support and believe in.
I have been fortunate enough to chat with many campaign volunteers, past and present. While their experiences differ, the issues they feel most strongly about vary and the parties they represent lie across the political spectrum, one thing remains a constant: they are all proud to participate in the democratic process, have picked up valuable skills from their time on campaign trail, and have met some amazing people along the way.
Many pundits are calling this year’s federal election the most unpredictable in our country’s history. In other words, this is the perfect opportunity for citizens across Canada to make their mark and get involved this election season. Become a volunteer. I may not be an expert when it comes to politics, but I do know one thing: you won’t regret it.
Asher is CJPAC’s Marketing & Communications Specialist. While politics is a new passion for him, he has been a lifelong (and long-suffering) Toronto sports fan. Asher has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. When he’s not working, you can usually find Asher on the soccer pitch, where he lets his trusty left foot do most of the talking. Asher is a really nice guy unless you’re facing him in fantasy football. You can follow him on Twitter.