Pippa and (American) Politics

Recently I would have pegged myself as a disenchanted Political Science Major. Unsure of what I really want to do in life and unhappy with my current program – just wanting to be out of university and into the world.

But now, with all the hype over the American Election, and the possibility that Harper will be calling a Canadian election for two weeks before the Americans go to the polls for one of the most important elections in recent times, I’m ready to leap into overdrive.

I love interest groups and watching Civil Society take back politics, but every time people go to the polls I realize that elections are where I started in politics, and will remain my favourite part of the process.

I love watching the spin, the reactions, the debates, the speeches, the excitement. I love watching the public relate to and interact with what the politicians are doing.

I’m utterly captivated by Barack Obama, his words, his policies, his speeches. Its not my country, I can’t cast a ballot in this election, but I feel as emotionally involved in this vote as any Canadian election.

Three and a half years ago, in May 2005, I cast my first ballots – in the BC provincial election. My mum took a picture of me walking in with my voter registration card, and I was so happy to be 18 and there to participate in the governing of my country. The previous June I’d helped host a Mock Election and a Candidate Panel discussion at my high school, while still only 17. In 2001 I’d followed the provincial election as the votes came rolling in on the news, writing in giant letters on the board in my Social Studies Classroom the results. In January 2006, I cast an absentee ballot from Southern England, and four of us sat in the computer lab in our political party party hats, watching the results being counted across the Atlantic.

Second Year I declared my Major as Political Science. Somewhere in there I lost focus, had a bad year, and lost my sense of why I was doing what I was doing, studying what I was studying.

This year, my last year, I hope to rekindle what I had lost, begin to believe in my convictions and follow my heart in my studies. I want to leave UVic with a sense of having done what I needed, and what I wanted. I want to leave university with the convictions to do what I want in life and find something that holds the same sense of power and passion for me.

I’m excited to see where this goes next. And I’m excited that I get to study Politics during this amazing time.

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