How to hate politics: Jennifer Hollett at TEDxDistilleryDistrictWomen

How to hate politics: Jennifer Hollett at TEDxDistilleryDistrictWomen



so I was on a bus from New York to Boston and sitting next to me was a professor of philosophy and we were chatting and I explained at the time I was doing my mpa as a mid-career student and the problem with an MPA is people here mba and they get really excited but it's an NPA and that means Master of Public Administration yes what do you want to do with that I reply I'd like to get into politics become a politician and she looks at me blankly really you why would you want to do that and this bothers me because well I tell this story to my mentor and it doesn't surprise her at all her expertise is women in public policy she says Jen when people think of politicians you're the exact opposite of what people think of you're young you're female you're passionate you're smart yeah whiners would you want to get into politics that's exactly why want to get into politics it it can be better right it must be better when we think of a politician we shouldn't just think of a cranky old white guy yeah now I wasn't raised in a political family I was brought up by a single mom who taught me and my sister to value hard work and the potential of Canada I decided to pursue a career as a TV host and reporter to get a better understanding of the world around me and I did exactly that but after over a decade of asking questions I wanted to do more I wanted to find answers so I made the move into politics what I discovered going door-to-door in this very community is that so many people are disappointed in disillusioned with politics and in the City of Toronto can you blame them from the local to the national to the international level there's no shortage of political scandals now while canvassing in social housing where people are very vocal about politics you can actually point to the issues i came across a sign it's very common to see signs on doors that say no flyers no solicitors and maybe even some of you have signs on your doors that say no flyers no solicitors and maybe even i once used to have a sign on my door that said no flyers no solicitors but there I was and this sign it was a bit different it said no fliers no neighborhood bulletin no look no dolla battle no pizza pizza no religions and no political so I wanted to knock on the door but I decided it was probably best to move on and it's important to respect people's wishes but I agree no political I get it people don't like politics it's hard to like politics I sometimes struggle with it myself and I've met so many people at their doors who tell me it's all the same it's never going to change someone once said to me I don't do politics so let me present you the top three ways to hate politics number one define politics narrowly a recent study by samara found that only forty percent of participants had a conversation about a political or societal issue in the last year forty percent politics is all around you it's it's what you eat it's what you drink it's the roads it's the right to marry it's where you work where you don't work how can you not be talking about these things politics defined broadly that would be like hating everything number two play defense instead of offense a video connected to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford made headlines in May 2013 and it inspired something called a crack starter and this was a crowdfunding attempt to raise enough money to buy the alleged crack video featuring our mayor but that didn't end up happening but the crack starter raised close to two hundred thousand dollars and that money was donated to Toronto organizations working with people who are living with addictions nearly two hundred thousand dollars raised to get someone out of office instead of into office now that's enough money to run two very impressive campaigns for members of parliament to run for 26 campaigns for city councillors imagine if we took all the time we spend complaining and I rolling about politics and we invested in candidates and ideas we believe in better representation and supported women and people of color and working-class families and number three the number three way to hate politics don't vote don't even show up unfortunately you won't be alone in the last federal election we saw the lowest second lowest voter turnout in Canadian history fifty-four percent and the election that elected Rob Ford fifty-four percent voter turnout so the next time you hear someone complaining about Rob Ford there's a fifty percent chance they didn't even vote but what a privilege to not be able to vote in 2007 I had an incredible opportunity to be in Sarah Lyon for their election and this was the first time in the country's history a democratically elected president with to hand over power to another democratically elected president and I remember driving down the streets of Freetown in the morning I was in a shared taxi and there were all these people coming onto the street I thought oh there must be a fire or something in an evacuation and then I realized they are in line to vote ninety percent of eligible voters registered voter turnout with seventy-six percent and that's because in a country like Sarah Lyon voting is a matter of life or death it is clean water it is electricity it is literacy it's the ability to go to a hospital now politics isn't easy on average it takes asking a woman seven times to run for office before she does then there's losing I lost and it's not fun I then work on the campaign for the woman I lost you and then we lost I'm still processing that but it's part of the journey it's a long game of working towards the change that you want to see and politics isn't sexy it's doing things that people hate knocking on doors you pretended you're not home I've done a lot of door knocking it's asking for money its crack starter but I think we can learn something from crack starter and stay with me technology is offering us new and innovative ways of taking something that is normally abstract and far removed and bringing it closer in the 2012 u.s. presidential election 2 billion dollars spent on TV advertising 2 billion dollars with my co-founder dan siegel we created super PAC app and this is an opportunity for people instead of tuning out of those TV ads to tune in by holding up the app which recognized the TV commercial and tells you who's behind it how much money is behind it if those crazy claims are even true then there's startups like turbo vote they're on a mission to make voting as easy as getting a movie from netflix during my nomination campaign i met an incredible young woman her name is Emma and she came to our volunteer session and we were going around and you know talking about our interest in the campaign and she said she had worked on three political campaigns and that was more experience most of us in the room and it was more experienced than me and I was the candidate and later as we were chatting my friend Ali says Tim Emma so remember what do you do for a living and she laughs she says I'm in greed 10 and we still laugh about that meh-meh' is known for her hard work and dedication but she's also known for a blog where she takes selfies with politicians she goes up to members of parliament and she says will you take a selfie and then they pose on the cell phone and in it's brilliant and it's brilliant not only because i like seeing which mps good at taking a selfie because there's an art to the selfie it's brilliant because at such a young age mama is making politics fun and exciting and relevant and she's making it her own i like to say politics is what we make it and it's the best part of politics democracy is depending on us so if politics is what we make it are we going to make it something that we hate or rather something that we can be really proud of thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *