Friday, November 4, 2011

I'm Voting YES on the Happiness Ballot.

No, there's not a referendum going on (although I do like a good referendum now and again). In my town, there is a civic election going on. Yes, I am an avid poli-watcher. I think we're so very lucky to live in a time and place where any citizen can participate in government and where we are free to speak out and vote safely. But lately I've noticed a tendency in myself toward aversion when it comes to local politics.
As I was trolling around my social networking sites today, one of the candidate's posts caught my eye. He is suggesting that new candidates, or those who don't get elected, create a collective list of their best ideas and present them to the new civic Council in December. On so many levels I like this. It's collaborative, it's positive and it suggests that other candidates have good ideas, too. 

This, though, is the line that grabbed me: "Let us use social media to sort out the cranky ideas from the practical".

Okay. I'm a social media advocate, so I love the idea of using the tools to collaborate further (he had me at social media) but it was the word cranky that was the real snagger.

I am so bone-weary of the politics of negativity and so utterly filled with longing for a different kind of dialogue. Even though I am eagerly engaged in local issues, have a heartfelt and almost obsessive passion for community, and nearly always vote in the advance polls because I just can't wait,  I find myself avoiding the general crankiness (and, dare I say, sometimes downright snarkiness) that surrounds much of the online and offline debates.

In my systems coaching work, we have a tenet: "Everybody is right. Only partially." 

I am looking for candidates to stretch into a framework that allows for a diversity of 'rightness' (or even leftness :) - that embraces the encouragement of good ideas from any source, that celebrates joy and shared success, that seeks wisdom rather than scores points. 

So I'm voting. I'm voting yes for happiness, yes for joy, yes for collective wisdom. And when I stumble across candidates who share my platform - why, I'll vote for them, too. 

Don't get me wrong. I get cranky. Sometimes I even get the blues. I can be negative. Human. what interests me is the choice about where I take action from - do I act and speak from my crankiness and negativity? Or, do I act from my joy - from the place inside that is untouched by circumstance? There is power in choice. Freedom. Something a little like voting. 

If you live in my part of the world and you vote in Maple Ridge BC, click here for info on where and when to vote. See you at the polls. I'll be the one at the front of the line with the 'Vote Happiness" button on.


  1. Great post. I have been searching for this exact info for a while now. I will bookmark it in my list.

  2. First time to your blog. Love your insightful yet realistic expression of the election. I can relate. Especially now that I have come to know some of the genuine, joy seeking people who are running as well as the other, dark side of politics. Thank you!

    Kim L

  3. My pleasure and thanks for stopping by! I do often blog about other topics as well, but the current election seems to be capturing my attention and it seems I am a 'noticer'. Here's to the joyside!