Today is a byelection here in the center of the city of Toronto where I live. Both Joe and I are passionate about voting and haven't missed an election, of any stripe, since we became old enough to be considered citizens. Often times, I'll admit, I voted simply by party affiliation. There's one party I can never vote for, one I usually vote for and two others that fall into the 'maybe' and 'sometimes' category. I try to be somewhat informed as to the issues and as to what each candidate stands for.
This by election, however, took me a bit by surprise. I found out when a candidates promotional literature fell through our mail slot. Joe picked it up and remarked that the election was on it's way. Then he said, 'Wow, you've got to take a look at this!'
That tone, that surprise, could mean one of two things. The candidate has said something incredibly stupid, like when Schwarzenegger famously said, 'I think gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.' It can also mean that there is something quite unexpectedly cool in the literature.
In this case, it was the latter. Joe handed me a brochure that showed the candidate speaking with a disability rights activist and there was text supporting the picture that talked about the candidates commitment to diversity, accessibility and equality. The wording was careful without being cumbersome - someone had thought carefully about inclusion and took care to avoid a 'poster child' mentality in the shot of the activist.
Wow. People with disabilities being respected as a valid minority, with votes to spend and power to wield. I feel almost heady with the acknowledgement.
I get to put disability on the agenda and have issues access, equality and employment be seen as valid and appropriate for serious discussion. I was impressed.
And because I was impressed -
X will mark the spot.