Few politicians are heroes. It doesn’t come with the territory. They tend to be associated with cold calculation and fake smiles, the sense that they are showing the world a mask and hiding what they really think and feel. As a result, people who seek public office are greeted with mistrust and cynicism, seen to be out for their own interests or perhaps their narrow worldview.
Few politicians are like Mike Morrice, a friend and colleague I’ve been honoured to work with at Green Economy Canada until his departure to seek the Green Party nomination in Kitchener Center. Mike ran a campaign that started early and grew steadily. He filled rooms. He raised money. Most importantly, he gathered a small army of committed volunteers and joined them tirelessly on the doorsteps of potential voters, bringing a message of social and economic equality combined with environmental action.
Mike did not win against a rebounding Liberal Party (and collapsed Conservative party), but he increased his party’s vote from 1500 to nearly 15000, an almost 25% increase, and a strong second finish.
His story, which he released publicly this week, tells of bravery that we rarely see in any sector. In the middle of his first campaign, Mike developed cancer which required surgery. The procedure would have ended his bid to represent the riding, and so he postponed it several weeks and simply doubled down on his determination to win. His amazing story is a worth a read, and his incredible commitment to public service worth another look when we head back to the polls probably in spring of 2021.
But more than that, this story is a reminder that many politicians have little in common with the opportunistic and self-aggrandizing reputation their peers have earned. Some, like Mike Morrice, are bright, optimistic and unwavering in their goal of achieving a better tomorrow.