-- Download A Year Without Politics as PDF --
From October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, I will be abstaining from politics.
Those who know me are probably wondering if they should be dragging me to the nearest emergency room and demanding expensive brain scans. Those who don’t are probably just confused as to why I would bother in the first place.
I don’t have a great answer, except to say that I am curious as to how a lack of personal awareness shapes our lives. We all know people who live in a political void. They don’t vote, they don’t discuss politics, they don’t understand how the political process works. I find it fascinating, and I want to understand how people live, think, and act, when the vast political system is something they don’t feel they have any interaction with.
For the next year, I will be abstaining from municipal, provincial, federal, and international political news (and discussions thereof), voting, protesting, petition signing, letter writing, speaking to my city councillor, MPP, and MP, and all those other little things that make up a vibrant, politically active life. In areas where some politics are unavoidable (you really can’t be an active public school volunteer without some politics being brought up), I intend to divert my efforts to concrete actions, such as volunteering with the school’s nutrition program, bake sales, and so forth. I will post monthly updates chronicling my adventures in apolitical living.
Well, that’s the goal.
In the last two days, I’ve accidentally discussed politics twice (once regarding school board politics, once regarding the upcoming municipal election), volunteered to research school board and city policy regarding improvements to our school grounds, and received a phone call reminding that I had previously committed to volunteering next week for my municipal ward representative of choice’s campaign. It has invariably taken me hours to realize I have broken the terms of my own challenge, which leaves me a little uneasy about the long-term success of this project.
Lesson of the first two days? I just don’t know how to shut up.
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