The Individuals of an Election, Part I: Ujjal Dosanjh

Well, another Canadian federal election is underway…

We thought we’d offer a small contribution to the debate by adding a more “human” element. Although it can be said that, unlike with our American friends, politics up here mostly ignores the characters involved in favour of more policy-centred coverage. If we have foresaken the cult of ego, the unfortunate result is that we inspire rather, well, uninspiring individuals to the helm of major national parties.

Since some of the contributors to our book, Kickstart: How Successful Canadians Got Started, are very much involved in the election, set to occur on October 14, we thought we’d highlight a few aspects of their early stories.

Here’s what Ujjal Dosanjh, the Liberal Member of Parliament who is defending his seat in Vancouver South, told us about his first experience running for office in 1979:

It was a difficult campaign. It may seem normal now to have people from different backgrounds in politics, but in that time there weren’t very many. So when I ran, sometimes I’d go to the doorstep, knock on the door and somebody would open it. Before I even said something, the door would shut on me. That was pretty disheartening. But I persevered… and lost.”

That experience was with the provincial NDP in British Columbia. After eventually leading that party (and the province), he opted for the Liberals when he decided to run federally.

For more about Ujjal’s story, click here.

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