Posted by DemocracyKit on 04/23/2017

Clive Doucet, Former City Councillor | What I've learned

Video TypeInterview
Campaign AreaExplore-Candidate,

Clive Doucet, Former City Councillor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1. What have you learned from your time in municipal politics?

Hi, Clive Doucet, I was a city politician for 4 mandates ran for mayor in Ottawa. I thought I knew a lot about politics when I started because I was an urban anthropologist and ... go back as far as the Spadina Expressway resistance. But when I actually ran for politics, I found out that it's the oldest level of government in Canada, older than the federal government and people know the least about it. And I certainly didn't know much about it, which is sort of shameful but I think it's reflective of the general population. Most people run for for City have no idea what they're doing. We didn't. We were very lucky - we did win the first time and we won all the subsequent campaigns. We made lots of mistakes. I think DemocracyKit gives... I would have loved to have the chance of my team and any one of those elections including the mayoralty to have have gone through that training program, because we would have not made a lot of the mistakes we made. And some of them are pretty simple but there are incredibly important. I give you one example: running for mayor, I didn't realize that the the pre vote that happens about a month before the actual vote, it's the anticipatory vote. All the old folks homes vote in that and there's lots of them in the city. As a local councillor, I didn't think about it too much because there weren't too many old folks homes in my ward. What happened was politically, and when I ran for mayor, was I noticed one of my my opponents were going crazy about a month before the election - well they were going crazy because they were getting out all of that elderly vote and it all happened without our knowledge. You'd think somebody been around for as long as I would not make that mistake; we made it and it really really hurt. So that's one of the things I'd like to say. The other thing I'd like to say is realistically you're entering the toughest toughest area of politics on the planet. I heard... one of the things I heard is there's no parties at the civic level. There's a big party, it's called a development party and it controls most of the governments right across this country. Ottawa, for example, has never had a mayor was nor council that wasn't controlled by developers never - I think it was one actually - so you're entering an area where you're going to need help. You're going to, and the mechanics of you getting elected like DemocracyKit is incredibly important. After that you're going to need some philosophical hand-holding and you know, look around for a good priest because you're going to need him. Hey, that's it thanks, bye.

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