Making lists, checking them twice
In today's Star, novelist Margaret Atwood describes her own Election 2011 checklist, written on a paper napkin.
This isn't the first time I've heard of people trying to grapple with their choices in this fashion during this campaign. As Mia Rabson and I were discussing with Don Martin on CTV's Power Play last night, it may be that this election has been so much about process -- hypothetical scenarios of how a future Parliament might work, etc. -- that the public has caught the strategic bug too. Now everyone is playing three-dimensional chess.
Over the weekend, another checklist came into my hands, after a chance encounter in a walk through my Ottawa neighbourhood. It's a plus-minus assessment of voting Conservative, meticulously created by Ottawa resident and career-development expert Lynne Bezanson and her husband, Alan Landsberg. The list is now circulating among their friends, and their friends, and beyond. I'm putting the file here:
Apologies in advance for the formatting difficulties. I'm sure greater technical minds may be able to sort it out on their own computers, but this is the best version I can come up with. Here's what Bezanson is saying about the handmade "ledger" in the email that's flying around cyberspace.
My husband and I have pored over newspaper columns, internet blogs, and stretched our memories to tabulate the Harper record. We are distributing this “ledger” through our email contacts and the social media in the hope that it will reach a number of folks who are still undecided or indifferent.
We also plan to use our grandchildren’s Facebook networks; we need to get the youth stirred up!
If this resonates with you, we would appreciate you doing the same. If on the other hand, it does not, then we apologize for any intrusion you may feel. Voting is an individual and personal choice of course. At the same time, we know that people’s memories are short and it is very dangerous to base one’s vote solely on the campaign discourse and the marketing advertisements. So this is our attempt to jog memories and encourage reflection.