Lawn Signs

Chaos in Print

Here we are, once again in the throes of a federal election. As I write this, there’s still about three weeks until the big day, and the election campaign is just going to get nastier and nastier. It reminds me what I did during the last federal election, just a short two years ago. Now, I’m fairly certain that I talked about this to death over in my blog, but when I recently re-told it to my best friend, it was all new to him. So then, let me remind you of how I got a lawn sign for every candidate.

It was something I’d talked about doing for a long time: getting a lawn sign for every candidate. And, in the 2004 election, I decided to finally do it. The only problem is I live in the riding of Yellowhead. Yellowhead is geographically huge. All the candidates had their campaign offices a minimum 2 hour drive away. So I couldn’t get my signs by simply dropping by their offices. Instead, I swung by the Elections Canada website. When you’re there, all you have to do is punch in your postal code, and they’ll tell you your riding, who all’s running, and the phone numbers of their campaign offices. I figured I’d just simply phone up each office and ask them to bring a sign to me. Phone numbers in hand, I sat down and started making calls.

First up was the Christian Heritage Party. They seem to be the token “third party” in this riding, and I did say a lawn sign for every candidate. I called them up, and the phone was answered by a very nice young woman who was noticeably surprised that the Christian Heritage Party was getting any kind of support. She gave me the phone number of the local volunteer in charge of sign distribution. I called up that volunteer, only to find that the phone was disconnected. Finally, I stole a sign out of the ditch.

From there we went to the third party with dreams of more: the Green Party. I phoned up their office and the candidate himself answered the phone. That was a plus in my book. Again, he seemed genuinely amazed that he had support. He was more than eager to give me a sign, and he wanted to give me pamphlets, and sign up me to be a volunteer. I was like, “Uhh…OK. If that’ll give me a lawn sign.” The candidate promised to get me everything ASAP. So, I sat back and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And, I eventually stole a sign out of the ditch.

From here, I went on up to the Conservative Party. Now, this riding has been Conservative, Alliance, Reform, PC, and just plain right wing for as long as I could remember. So, of course, a crack staff would get me a lawn sign within the hour. Right? Wrong. Even though I phoned their office at 11AM, the Conservative volunteer who answered the phone sounded as though I’d gotten her out of bed. She seemed rather bored and disinterested in my request for a sign, but she said that I’d get one ASAP. The next day, I was looking out the kitchen window when I saw a vehicle slow down and throw something onto my lawn before speeding away. I went out to see what trash was now on my lawn, and it was a lawn sign for the Conservative Party. I got my sign, although I could tell they really didn’t care about me.

Next up, the Liberal Party. The ruling party for 11 years, and desperate to get back into Alberta. Surely, they would have some very dedicated, very polite volunteers. I phoned the campaign office. I got voice mail. I left a message and waited. I called a few days later. Still voice mail. Another day later, and more voice mail. Nothing but voice mail. Eventually, I stole a sign out of the ditch.

Finally, everyone’s favourite third party, the New Democrat Party. I called up their office, and got a very polite volunteer. He seemed eager to talk to me. I asked for a lawn sign and he said, “Let me check the schedule…yup, the sign crew’s gonna be coming through Entwistle on Thursday! You’ll get your sign on Thursday!” Thursday came, and the candidate himself drove by. He drove the sign into my lawn, and we had a pleasant 5 minute chat about the issues. I waved good-bye as he drove off down the street.

When he left, I went back to the garage and got the rest of the signs. I’d been stockpiling them in the garage so as not to arouse suspicion when sign crews drove by. I placed them all on my lawn in a nice little row, and for the remainder of the election, cars always drove by my house slowly.

Election day came. Guess who I voted for.

I don’t think I’ll be doing it again this election, though. Shortly after the federal election was the provincial election, and my father felt like doing the same thing for the provincial level. I’m certain that this house is starting to get a reputation, so it’s best that I lie low for a while. Nope, this time I’ll base my vote on the issues and stuff.

Although, all those signs did look really cool.

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