And So It Goes …

A Councillor's wife reminisces on Peterborough's 2014 election campaign

Donna Clarke scans the crowd as husband Henry speaks to an interested voter at Electionfest, held on October 22 at the Envinrude Centre (photo: Sam Tweedle)
Donna Clarke scans the crowd as husband Henry speaks to an interested voter at Electionfest, held on October 22 at the Envinrude Centre (photo: Sam Tweedle)

It’s now less than five days out, yet it feels as if the Worst. Election. Ever. is months away.

Some would conclude that’s because we want it to be over so badly that scant minutes seem like interminable hours. I thought it was due to a proliferation of regurgitated piffle — tweeted, re-tweeted, hash-tagged and Facebooked — which left voters feeling they’ve been forced to perform as unacknowledged and unappreciated extras in a remake of Groundhog Day.

That said, this election campaign has not been absent its share of memorable experiences. In the past six weeks, hubby has managed to survive the following:

  • A debate over “old white man’s tears”. Concluding that it had to be a Stevie Wonder cover of an old country song we’d never heard, hubby decided that, if asked, he’d say that he hadn’t had the opportunity to listen to it yet but would keep his implant open for it. I’d have given a year’s salary to read how those who thought this was an issue in our election responded to that, but the query never came.
  • Drive-by treeings numbering in the hundreds, streetlight inspections that had to come close to a thousand, and vehicular pothole testing that destroyed two sets of tires, dislodged five fillings, and put me on my chiropractor’s preferred customer list.
  • Being asked at a urinal what his position was on The Parkway. For those who may be thinking by now that this discussion couldn’t have occurred in a more fitting place, I’m told that concentration is somewhat difficult while keeping a vigilant watch on your shoes.
  • A failure to engage the electorate by using Twitter every half hour as a means of communicating to the masses that he had awakened to face another day, still loved his community despite the terrible shape it’s in, and would tweet it all better.
  • Missing out on the endorsement of an anonymous blogger and two lobby groups, and not being invited to dance for democracy. The latter was a particularly crushing blow: after visiting 7,500 doors asking people to participate in a democratic election, he truly believed he’d lost enough weight to do justice to a leotard.
  • The top 10 exterior renovation ideas I discovered while campaigning with him — until I tallied up the cost, chucked them all, and found a great house for sale instead. Perhaps that’s why, when others are consumed with a last-minute push for votes, he’s made it his mission to search the garage and basement for packed boxes, muttering something about a cobra and mongoose as Harley the dog sits there, wagging his tail.

Harley, not having been distracted by four months of campaigning, has figured out that the enlarged copy of the property listing stuck to the fridge will disappear after a re-facing job on the kitchen cupboards. It’s cheaper than the new digs I found and safer than having a similar procedure performed on me — because mine, which could also take a crew of experienced professionals up to three days, doesn’t come with guaranteed results.

It’s a spousal upside of elections that something is offered to assuage the discomfort created by restraining ourselves from clocking someone before the ballots are cast. I dropped a dress size and logged enough pedo-miles to fly to Belgium while door knocking for democracy — and he was the one almost invited to dance for it. A kitchen improvement seems only fair.

After all, it’s not my fault that democracy isn’t ready for hubby to jeté about in tights.

For that matter, neither is Harley.