I’m finishing up my very last course in my BA. FINALLY!
It’s a 3rd year course on women & politics that looks at many aspects of women’s participation. I’ve dabbled in politics over the past 15 years, as a campaign volunteer and even once tried to be a federal candidate.
It’s municipal election time in Ontario, Canada and I was helping a friend on his campaign with door to door canvassing. Yes, folks still walk around knocking on doors and dropping off information about candidates.
I have to admit getting a chance to hang out regularly with my oldest son Olivier as well as John & Nancy has been pretty fantastic.
It’s been 4 years since the last campaign and this time around I was struck by how physically demanding campaigning can be.
If you stick to a schedule of canvassing 6 days a week the walking, stairs, holding clipboards and even knocking doors start to wear on your body.
Of course you are squeezing that all in around the other things you do in your day.
I sat reading my course and popping ibuprofen and realized that we don’t talk much about the ableist approach to politics. Most traditional ways of contacting potential voters rely on being physically present, at the door, debates and community events. But those doors are spread out and have many stairs.
Locally there is a Women in Politics group that seeks to support women to enter into politics at all levels of government but I’m not aware of much in the realm of analyzing where ableist assumptions and approaches are barriers to more folks running for office.
I’m glad I can occasionally participate in political organizing & activities and am thinking more about accessibility.
If I come up with any great ideas I’ll let you know 🙂