It's election time.
No. Not those elections.
As most of you know, in 2005 we moved from Stittsville (part of the City of Ottawa) to Almonte. Almonte is not a part of Ottawa, but Mississippi Mills residents are voting for our Mayor and Councillors this week as well. You would think that being part of a "big city" the voting process would be harder. Not so. Given that I lived my entire life in the city of Ottawa itself, I had a keen understanding of the wards, candidates and issues - even with the recent amalgamation. Casting my vote for mayor or Goulbourn Councillor wasn't very hard at all.
So far, in Almonte I'm finding the voting process to be increasingly difficult. There are no voting stations. Everyone gets the same envelope in the mail with a voting kit. At that point you have a certain number of days to place your ballot in the mail, or drop it off at the local township offices on the appointed date. So. Much. Room. For. Error. No? Or do I just not trust myself to do anything properly while largely unsupervised?
As of today, I've done my part. I've read the literature. Listened to candidates. Made my choice. It wasn't easy though. With our move, I've found that my political needs have changed a bit. There is a big difference in what we need in the suburbs/city and what we need in rural areas. It's muddled a bit by the fact that we live on a farm, but we don't necessarily farm the land.
In Stittsville, I found myself shaking my head at the explosive pace of development. Sad to see the basic clearcutting of many wetlands and natural habitats. Frusrated with weakened infrastructure. I'm waffling a bit on this issue now. No, I don't want to see Mill St, Almote change. In fact, I want the town of Almonte to remain as it is. Pretty, full of heritage and welcoming to small business. That being said, we've encountered many roadblocks in an attempt to sever off some of our land as estate lots. We are not trying to change the landscape of our town in any way. We want to add four or five homes on the main highway going out of town - more than 7km from the heart of the town itself. No luck yet. Trying to find a candidate sympathetic to this plight without also wanting to undermine some key local businesses is a bit tricky. Right now, this is issue number one for me. Which is not something I ever thought would be.
I suppose it's apt that I'm a bit confused by the voting process in my new town. I'm still trying to figure out my new needs. I feel like I'm eighteen years old and voting for the first time. When did I, a poli-sci major, turn into such a bumbling fool? Though, I've always been of the opinion that being politically minded has little to do with actual electoral politics - and I've always been a policy girl anyway.