The Captain Goes Political

There’s a municipal election coming up soon in Ottawa. I always vote, because I think it’s really important, and I always try to do as much reading as possible of the candidate’s websites so I can make an informed decision.

Although, it’s becoming less and less necessary now that the Captain is seven and totally politically active. He is extremely bitter that he won’t be allowed to vote until he is 18. Just one other thing he is being denied, like Coke and riding in the front seat and the ability to legally say no to cigarettes. Maybe he’ll be Prime Minister someday (rock on, French Immersion!), and then he can work on lowering the voting age to seven. It’ll totally happen.

Anyway, whenever there is an election he gets very interested and likes to know about everyone who is running. Then he picks out a favourite based 100% on what their signs look like around the neighbourhood. This year he is supporting Jim Watson for mayor, although in fairness, Jim is the only candidate to have any signs at all around here. How the other people think they even stand a chance of winning when they are not actively campaigning for the support of seven-year-olds in Kanata, I’m sure I don’t know.

(Funny side story: Jim is also the only candidate who has been to our door. He came by a couple of weeks ago and knocked. Gal Smiley runs to the door while I am packing up the Captain’s stuff for soccer and she’s screaming, “MOM! THE PHONE GUY IS AT THE DOOR!” while I’m screaming, “CAPTAIN! WHERE ARE YOUR SOCCER SOCKS! I ONLY HAVE ONE SOCK HERE! WHERE IS THE OTHER ONE!” and then Gal Smiley with the “MOM! THE PHONE GUY!” And so eventually I make it to the door after a million hours, and lo, there is Jim Watson, and I was so embarrassed. He graciously says, “I can see you are very busy, so I’ll just say hello and leave you my information.” I didn’t even get a chance to tell him that the Captain is totally voting for him, in about 11 years. Also, the other soccer sock turned out to be ATTACHED to the first soccer sock and I just didn’t realize it was two instead of one. I AM AN IDIOT.)


There is a big race for councilor in our ward because our councilor is retiring, meaning it is wide open. Six men are running and I haven’t had time yet to read about all of them, but of course, the Captain has strong opinions. He’s picked someone he wants me to vote for (and the pressure is ON, let me tell you), but mostly, he is horrified, horrified, at the idea that Aaron Helleman will win.

This is why:

Aaron Helleman Sign

The Captain hates his signs. He hates the photo. I would have thought that his seven-year-old brain would be easily swayed by large, flashy, expensive signs featuring multiple colours AND a picture, but no, Aaron is DEAD TO HIM. Every time we pass one of his signs, the Captain calls for a car-wide boycott — children must close their eyes and groan, parents must attempt to spit. And there are a LOT of his signs around. I’m spitting cotton.

At first I found this kind of amusing and thought it was immaterial to my own vote. But the more it happens, the more I find that I, too, am starting to find Aaron’s smirk just a little too obnoxious. Just a little too smug. Is it because I’ve read his website and don’t like his platform? Or is it because the constant barrage of anti-Aaron negativity from the backseat is swaying my judgment?

All I know is, I’m spitting with a little more enthusiasm these days.

Man, maybe the Captain really WILL be Prime Minister someday. Either that, or Canada’s answer to Jon Stewart. I can definitely recommend that future candidates in our area run their signs by him before going ahead. He’s tuned in to the youth of Ottawa, dudes!

Sadly, our outgoing councilor has thrown her support behind Aaron (her old campaign signs ALSO featured her photo, HARDLY A COINCIDENCE), so he’ll probably win. Since I don’t like Aaron’s closest competitor, I’ll probably be throwing away my vote on a smaller candidate.

With really pretty light blue signs, of course. Endorsed by my very own seven-year-old Political Pundit.

[I feel really badly about mentioning Aaron a million times in this post when I probably won’t even vote for him. So to even things up, here are the other five candidates for my ward: Allan Hubley; Marc Favreau; Rodney Tellez; Michel Tardif; and Perry Simpson, who is actively opposed to lawn signs and thus is NEVER going to get any support from the seven-year-olds in his ward.]

15 thoughts on “The Captain Goes Political

  1. The Captain rocks. His annoyance at not being able to vote will only grow in the next few years. I was soooo interested in politics when I was a kid. I used to watch leadership conventions for fun when I was 12 or 13. In high school I followed political happenings quite a bit and felt so frustrated I couldn’t vote. Now I don’t have the time to read up on things as much as I should. It’s funny that the one time I was most politically knowledgeable was when I couldn’t even use it.

  2. i always find it werid when people don’t care about municipal elections. these are the ones that effect us the most on a daily basis. if you are going to vote, vote local! anyhoo, that’s my rant.

    love that the captain is into politics. hopefully he will lean in the same direction as your tendancies when he gets older. the tensions between my leftist hubby and his right wing conservative parents can get a little hot during election time.

    happy voting!

    1. I agree completely. Municipal elections are the only ones were you can actually consider the candidates and then vote for the one who you like the best. In larger elections most people are voting for the party, not the person.

      Perhaps the Captain and I will debate this issue over dinner tonight :).

      1. I found it so much easier when I lived in Ottawa and Toronto to learn about municipal candidates, just because there was more about them in the local media: TV, newspapers, radio…they all cover the regional candidates. And in the small town I grew up in it was easy because everybody knew everybody.

        In Markham it’s hard because we don’t really have local radio or TV coverage much, and the stuff I’ve found in the local paper (which only comes out twice a week) has provided only minimal details about each candidate. It’s hard to base your vote on a sentence or two. It’s taken a lot of digging for me to figure out who I’m probably going to vote for.

        Though I could just choose who to vote for based on their signs. Hmmm…The Captain may be on to something there.

  3. There’s no such thing as “throwing away your vote” on the smaller candidate. Yes, I know what you mean by this, but it’s not a good approach to voting because it locks every democratic election into a binary choice.

    Maybe the smaller candidate won’t win this time, but if they have a stronger showing, it’s a push for next time. And maybe the next time they see another increase. Until finally there’s not just two choices.

    It’s also a vote for “I don’t prefer EITHER of you” to the two most obvious and likely to win candidates.

    It’s not a perfect system, on any of the three main levels of government… you could have one ‘ultra right wing’ party and two left-wing parties of varying degrees of liberalism, and the vote therefore seems to get split between the two lefties in a way that neither of them will win. That kinda sucks. But if they’re that closely aligned, perhaps they should unite efforts. And if they’re not, then you wouldn’t want to cast a vote for a party that doesn’t represent you much more closely than the right-wing party would. The same thing happens when an ultra-right group wants to split from the ‘middle of the road’ right-wingers, too. All you can do is vote for the candidate that you feel will best represent you, and if the rest of your municipality isn’t smart enough of ‘withit’ enough to do the same, that’s out of your control.

    Just my thoughts.

  4. I LOVE politically aware seven-year-olds. I’d also throw a kiss in Greg (from above)’s general direction, since I often do vote for someone I know won’t win, on the very grounds he stated. Also, every time we mention the election, Angus also says “Jim Watson (deep voice) –Mayor”, solely based on signs also. So tell the Captain he has a very worldly ten-year-old on board as well.

  5. Lee Ann

    Can the Captain come talk to my twenty-something sons?? They vote because I MAKE them do it. It’s one of the stipulations of living in my house (like cleaning their rooms, which they like just as much as voting) But I fear they don’t even use signage to inform their vote. It’s more like, ‘who should I vote for, mom?’ Sigh…
    Do you talk a lot of politics at home or was he just born politically aware?

  6. I’m working on 4 hours of sleep so will just pop in long enough to say that I. LOVE. THE. CAPTAIN.

    Good for him – when I was seven I didn’t even know what voting, elections or candidates were for. All I cared about was how long the spat with my best friend would keep me out of her pool and when would I have enough money to buy another Nancy Drew novel?

  7. It sounds like he’s better informed than I am. My councilor is also retiring, and we have ten people running. I really need to get my act together – I think I only know 4 of their names.

    1. Well, the Captain is very interested in the election but I’d hardly call him informed — he just really has a preference for blue signs with nice graphics :). If you like I’ll drive him around your neighbourhood a bit and he can single out the best signage for you!

  8. Captain is so cute! My D hates all the signs and complains all the time that they are an eyesore on the neighbourhood and an environmental disaster. Maybe when he grows up he will be Perry Simpson! 🙂

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