Monday, July 24, 2017

Political Paul

A happy-go-lucky progressive on the campaign trail in Clayton Park West.

What was I doing while I was "away" from blogging? Well, running for office in the recent Nova Scotia provincial election, for one thing (for my American chums, that's the equivalent of running for your state legislatures).

Did I win? Nope. Did I do better than anyone expected? Yes. I increased my party's share of the vote from 15% in the last election and a third place finish to 26% in this election and the first second place finish in my riding in 15 years. In other words, I left it in better shape for the next person who runs.

Did my interest in the paranormal hurt me? 

Not at all. 

Indeed, while I didn't make a point of mentioning my hobby, when it did come up it was usually because someone had seen one of my films, or my ghost investigating TV shows, and wanted to talk to me about it. Never once did I get a negative comment from a voter (there was a high school student who posted something negative about it on twitter, but that just got him a good dose of opprobrium from constituents who noticed) - in fact, more than a few people told me they thought it was "really cool" (including some fellow candidates). 

In the end, however, it just wasn't a factor. Folks understood that it had no bearing on whether or not I would make a good representative. My views on health care, or the economy, or education, mattered to them  (and given that I was running for a party, my party's views mattered even more) - not my personal interest in the paranormal and its subculture. There is no "laughter curtain" for rational people who have an interest in the subject.  

The results in my riding of Clayton Park West. The last PC candidate finished 3rd with
1,236 votes and 14.68% of the vote in 2013, so I moved my party forward.

I'm back to ghost hunting on TV (and employing some Nova Scotians along the way), but if I ever decide to run again, I have no worries at all that the "paranormal thing" will matter to my fellow Nova Scotians in anything other than a positive way. I even had some fun with it during the recent campaign, in what turned out to be my most popular ad not featuring a talking hamster.

Running was one of the best experiences of my life. I wanted to make a difference, and I think I did. I got to talk about issues - poverty, health care, the film industry, good governance (see the video below) - that matter to me, and more importantly I got to meet my fellow citizens and hear what matters to them. I'm still involved in politics and my community here, and will continue to be involved as long as I have something to contribute.

Intelligent and sensible folks appreciate someone who takes the issues seriously (as I do), but also has the ability to poke some fun at himself - which is exactly how I roll.

Paul Kimball

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