Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I still believe I can change the world


Afternoons are always an interesting time to campaign door-to-door.


Seniors often come to the doors in sweaters and jackets.


It’s been a long winter and they can’t afford to turn up the heat.


They mention electricity or oil bills of $400 and $500 a month, which they obviously can’t afford.


Seniors’ homes, where I often speak, are at least warm.


It always strikes me when I see a senior in a short-sleeve shirt.


They’re lucky.

•••

I’ve come across a fair number of unemployed men in the afternoon.


The men say they could be working, but choose to stay at home to look after young children because they earned less than their wives.


One man told me Tuesday that it’s hard to find a day-care spot, and even when he did, $160 a week was too expensive.


He said he had 5 children.

•••

I met a woman Monday who was forced to quit her business 10 years ago to look after her son, who was in a severe car accident.


The woman said she wasn’t eligible to be paid as a home-care worker because she was looking after a relative.


The woman spoke of her trials and tribulations with the health-care system and suggested the creation of a new position — patient ombudsman.

•••

I had an interesting meeting Tuesday morning with Shannie Duff, deputy-mayor of St. John’s.


Duff mentioned several issues within the riding of St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, including a call for the federal government to cost-share the purchase of new hybrid busses for the Metrobus fleet.


City officials looked into the new hybrid-electric buses but decided against buying the more-expensive, environmentally friendly vehicles, which cost $300,000 a piece more than standard buses.


Affordable housing is another major issue in the city.


I've toured some real slums.

•••

I’m encountering more and more frustration with politicians.


Adjectives I’ve encountered include "pompous," "assholes," and "pathetic" — peppered often with profanity.


The barrage isn't against me personally — I'm just the nearest politician.


I visited one senior’s home Tuesday evening and he unloaded on me, saying that politicians are all the same, living high on the hog, only out for themselves, and first-class all the way.


People may start out wanting to get into office to do the right thing, but politics changes them.


Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but, even at the age of 44, I still believe I can change the world.

•••

My apologies for not blogging more, but if it wasn’t stressful enough going through a federal election campaign, I’m also moving this week.


What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.


See you at the doors.


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