I'd like to start off by saying I try to keep my nose out of politics. I get too emotional, I don't have a thick skin, and I hate ruffling other people's feathers, so I usually keep my yap shut. But sometimes, I can't just stay quiet. Today is one of those days.
I love my small town. I love this community, the spirit here, and the people who rally together when someone is in need. I love the feeling of camaraderie - neighbours and friends who feel like family, and you can count on them to be there for you when you need them most.
But small towns come with quirks, and ours has it's fair share.
In recent years, there has been an upheaval on our municipal council. Our former mayor, Eddie McCann, had served two consecutive four-year terms, and in small-town politics, you are bound to make some enemies during your reign. A group seemed to form that had a number one goal of getting Eddie out of office. And they were successful. Two and a half years ago, he ran for mayor again of our municipality in the election, and lost by a small margin. I think there was a movement at the time that people wanted change, and they didn't care what kind of change it was. They just wanted someone different as mayor, and so they voted for the other candidate. And the other candidate won.
He won. Fair and square. I say absolutely nothing to take that away from him.
Last summer, the councilor for my ward had to resign for personal reasons, and so a by-election as held last fall. Eddie McCann ran for the seat, and won by a vast majority. The people of Quyon had spoken, and the best man won.
Last night, we received word that Eddie has been removed from council after losing a court case that our municipal council filed against him, based on a petty technicality from the past election. In my eyes, there is so much wrong with what has happened here. A group of people who dislike him have been doing everything in their power to make sure he cannot sit at that council table. They have used slander, defamation of character, and now a court case to make sure his reputation is tarnished and his political career is ruined. He has been kicked over and over and over, and they've finally got him down and out.
And it all feels so very unjust. So very unfair.
Last fall, when we went to the polls to vote, I wanted to write something about who I was voting for on Facebook, and why I was voting for him, but I decided against it. I didn't figure anything I said would sway anyone's opinion on who they were voting for that day, so what was the point. In the end, I was thrilled with the result, and was glad that so many in my riding felt the same way I did about this man who had been elected as our councilor, and in such resounding fashion.
Now that has all been taken away, and the voice of Ward 2 has been silenced. And now, my blood is boiling.
So I decided that today, I would finally share why I voted for Eddie McCann, not only in last fall's by-election for Ward 2, but also in the previous elections for mayor:
I voted for the one who has always called me "the little girl next door", even still to this day. The man who my father called one of the best neighbours he ever had, and is still my neighbour now. I voted for the one who was born and raised here, who raised his family here, who is still raising his family here, in the heart of the town he loves so much. I voted for the man who is at every church supper, every community event, every fundraiser for a local cause or a person in need. I voted for the man who can't get through a speech at his daughter's wedding without choking up. I voted for the man who has a passion for politics, and puts his whole heart and soul into the job to best represent his people. I voted for the one who shows up on the morning of a devastating house fire, welcomes the family who has just lost everything back to his home for coffee and breakfast, and offers them a place to stay until they can get back on their feet. I voted for the man who has done countless good deeds and acts of kindness around here that nobody even knows about, because he never looks for recognition or credit - in fact, he asks for it to never be spoken of. A man with a kind and generous heart, who puts his family and his community above all else.
I voted for the best man.
The fact that a clique of people who have a personal vendetta against him have bullied their way into power and ensured that he can no longer sit and represent Ward 2 - our beloved town of Quyon - at that council table? Well, it sickens me. Absolutely sickens me.
At this point, I feel quite helpless. All I have, really, are words, and I know they aren't going to change anything right now. I guess all we can do is bide our time, trust that what goes around comes around, and that the day will come when we will get our say again.
And when that day comes? Well... I hope I get a chance to vote for the best man, yet again.
Because he will always have my vote.