I just voted in the advance poll for the Toronto municipal election 2014.
You can’t see me, but I am jumping up and down just a bit. For some reason, I find the act of voting exhilarating, particularly voting in the advance poll, on the first day possible.
But when I reflect upon this, I have to admit a certain character flaw – a certain predictable pattern. I also lined up with friends for the first screening of The Fellowship of the Ring in Toronto in December 2001, and all the subsequent films. I travelled to Birmingham, England to hear an anniversary performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in the Town Hall. I lined up on the sidewalk for 3 hours in the summer heat to obtain standing room for Die Walküre at the Royal Albert Hall. Maybe I have a slight obsession about being first in line.
But this is different. Ever since I was of voting age in Canada, I found the act of voting a real adrenaline rush. Something about the thrill of exerting the tiny amount of authority that I have as an individual living in a democracy that feels very empowering. Something cathartic about “connecting the arrows” (that’s how we vote now) that gives me a sense of ownership in my city, a sense that I belong in my own, wonderful Ward 15.
This is an important election for us. We have seen that the seemingly low-key office of Mayor of Toronto (just another vote on city council) can morph into a position that garners attention around the world. For better or for worse, during Rob Ford’s troubled term as Mayor, there was no coup d’état in Toronto. There was very little civil disobedience or rioting in the street. We have simply waited.
We have waited for this moment to change the course of our city’s history – and god knows we need some change.
Fellow Torontonians – get out there and vote, please.
(Advance polls are open tomorrow, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – only until Oct. 19. If you don’t make the advance polls, then you’ll have to wait until actual election day, Oct 27, and that would be very boring.)