The Canadian Election Worker is the Greatest Unsung Hero - The Intrepid

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Canadian Election Worker is the Greatest Unsung Hero

Elections Canada usually draws temporary workers from strange corners of Canadian society. There are really only three groups of people willing to do such work on Election Day: the old, the young, and the outright bizarre. I don’t want to insult election workers. What they do is necessary. But, the types of characters that are drawn to this kind of temporary work are just too odd to ignore.

Let’s start with the old. Casting your ballot can often feel like a trip to the local nursing home. Things at the polling station seem to move at decelerated pace. The time it takes the elderly Poll Clerk to read your information card, re-read it with their bifocals, find your name, and ever-so-slowly cross it off, can seem like an eternity. Not to mention the fact that they know every other elderly person who comes to vote and feel the distinct need to talk to them, despite the fact that the line now curves around the block.

The elderly are a staple of the election process. Who else is willing to sit around all day? Most people have jobs. Better paying jobs. (Except maybe young people)

Young people are the second group of people drawn to this form of temporary employment. Why? Mostly, because they’re unemployed and Election Day is quick source of cash. The typical youth is usually politically inclined, and in, or just out of university. Hence the need for quick cash.

The final group is a little more difficult to understand. They are usually never young or really old, otherwise their motives would be easy to grasp. Usually, these people are just plain weird.

This group of people can range from no-nothing talk-a-holics to borderline perverts. No two Election Day oddballs are ever the same. If these are the only people willing to perform a civic duty than society is screwed.

Ultimately, Canada gets what it pays for on Election Day. While lineups and seemingly incompetent poll-clerks might be a drag, who wants to spend more money on elections? So next time you’re suck in line waiting to vote, instead of bitching take a look around and laugh at the absurdity of the situation.


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