Posts Tagged ‘thomas steen’

In the past five years since I returned to Winnipeg, I’ve been disappointed, dissatisfied, and oftentimes in complete disbelief of how governance is done in Winnipeg.  I’ve seen community centres and historic buildings knocked down simply to create empty lots for cars and/or garbage.  I’ve seen construction projects planned that seem to revel in increasing costs while alienating neighbouring residents and businesses.  I’ve even seen a mayor who changes his mind on rapid transit more often than I change my pants.  Whether or not I change my pants often enough, you can guess that there’s too much flip-flopping on the transit issue.

So because of my love of sticking my nose into this or that issue, I’ve had some people ask me why I don’t run for city council.  I seem to know about the issues, and I apparently have the ability to stand up in front of council and voice my opinion.  I also think that it’s something that I could devote myself to, hopefully for the right reasons.

But life happens, and it happened quite a bit to me.  Unfortunately, I have been dealing with a serious illness in my family, one that has been progressing for many years and has now reached the point where it sometimes takes me away from my normal life for days and weeks at a time.  That is sad, but there is happy, too… exhausted happy… my wife just gave birth to my second child, a son, and over the second half of September we’ve been getting used to the life of having both a newborn and possibly the world’s most active toddler.  So obviously we’ve been pretty busy.

But those aren’t the only reasons why I had to step back from politics.  The truth is, politics is a full-time job.  Every time I’ve gotten deeply involved in something political, I’ve had to choose between work and politics, and one or the other always suffers.  For now, I’ve chosen work.

But wait, there’s more…

There are too many candidates in Elmwood-East Kildonan for me to want to enter the race.  There’s the NDP-nominated candidate, the candidate who lost the NDP nod and was allegedly then expelled from the party for still deciding to run, the Conservative/PC party’s hockey-themed candidate, and two others, Nelson Sanderson and Gordon Warren.  If I were going to run in such a race, I would have needed to start around May at the latest, and the task would have required my full attention through the summer and up to Election Day.  Even then, I’d be running against a candidate that all NDP members are supposed to vote for, and a candidate that all Conservatives are supposed to vote for.  Sounds too much like another election I ran in.  🙂

The truth is that I don’t know which Elmwood-East Kildonan candidate is the right choice, nor do I know if some or all of them would have done as good or a better job than me.  Running for office should be done for the right reasons.  I ran in the provincial by-election for Elmwood because I felt that it was important to give voters a choice between the NDP (not a fan) or the PCs (also not a fan); I didn’t do it because I thought I could win (although I did start to hope that I could), and I certainly didn’t do it for a paycheque or for the approval of the people I went to high school with.  If I had run in Elmwood – East Kildonan this year, it wouldn’t have been for any reason other than the fact that some people think I should, and that I think it would be interesting.  If I’m going to switch back to politics for six months, I’m going to do it because I know it’s the right thing to do.

Maybe in 2014 I’ll find the right reason to run… but since I’m going to put so much effort in, maybe I should just run for mayor.

Read Full Post »