Allow me to answer Luisa D’Amato’s question. Some say Stephen Woodworth shouldn’t write ‘Re-elect’ on his signs
Everyone wants to talk about Stephen Woodworth’s election signs. Don’t we have better things to discuss, Luisa D’Amato asks.
Do we have better things to discuss? Yes. A lot of things are more important in the grand scheme than what’s written on homeboy’s signs. But does that mean we shouldn’t talk about them at all? No, because honesty is still somewhat important, even in politics.
Let me start by saying that reusing old signs to save money and prevent turning them into garbage is completely legitimate. More people should do that when appropriate. But that’s the problem. Even though it may not be technically incorrect to say re-elect because he used to be an MP, you can’t tell me that it isn’t meant at least in part to sow confusion and that the environment isn’t a convenient excuse to that end. That’s not appropriate, it’s shifty. It’s especially shifty when taken together with this.
One thing that also bothered more than a few people was that after he lost the 2015 election, Woodworth continued to work full-time as an unpaid politician and political activist.
He continued to respond to people who asked him for help on everything from how to return something they bought and didn’t want, to concerns about immigration.
He went to community events like the Multicultural Festival in Victoria Park with a large sign for his table.
It said: “Your Voice in Ottawa.”
Doesn’t that make it sound like you are the MP, I asked him on Tuesday.
“That’s my aspiration,” he replied.
“It’s an aspirational slogan.
“I resist the notion of having a Liberal tell me what my slogan can or cannot be.”
You can call that aspirational and say you’re standing up against the establishment all you want, but you’re not going to look at me with a straight face and say that it isn’t also blatant misrepresentation.
And don’t even get me started on “I don’t think people are that uninformed. Everybody knows I’m not the incumbent,” because yes they are and no they don’t. Not all of the people are that uninformed, but you’re leaving out a lot of folks who are through little or no fault of their own. A young voter just getting up to speed on current events so she can vote for the first time probably isn’t going to know who represented the riding two elections ago, nor, I suspect, is someone who just moved here from another community and has little or no reason to remember or care. If those people are satisfied with the general state of things, those re-elect and your voice in Ottawa signs are quite possibly going to give them the impression, at least temporarily, that you’re the one to thank. And environment or not, that’s no accident. And it doesn’t sit right.