Having recently become a campaign manager for this upcoming election, I thought that I would learn a few dirty tricks of the trade, something downright nasty. As the campaign slowly geared up,

I soon realized that this campaign for the deputy grand chief was different than other efforts throughout history. No smear tactics, no name calling, no pulling skeletons out of the closet, no back stabbing and hair pulling (thank God). In fact, this is one of the most honorable things that I have done in my experience with writing and promotions. I learned that all candidates have respect for each other and in fact, on occasion, call each other to reassure and reassert each others respective platforms and ideals. Is this a real campaign or what? Can future Cree politicians learn a thing or two from this foray into the political arena, that honesty, respect for one another, volunteering, helping and personal integrity can be a basis for gaining one’s confidence enough to vote for that particular candidate? I believe so, at least for this campaign for the deputy position.As far as the run for grand chief goes, Doctor Ted is strangely quiet and same for Matthewsie. I, for one, having not heard or seen them in campaign gear, cannot make a comment. So be it. On another note, the blueberries are out and picking is going on like crazy. I like blueberries with a passion, and picking berries is almost therapeutic, with a balance of aggravation from swatting mosquitoes and blackflies on days without a soothing breeze. As I picked berries and thought about the campaign, I likened the election to the act of choosing just the right candidate for the mishmash of political views and somehow making the (fruit) salad taste just so, just right for our Cree palates. Is the berry sour or small, is there any tint of green, is it too soft or was it on the ground? Or was it just the right size and colour, the perfect berry? Did it come from a fair size patch or was it off on the side of the trail, just waiting to be picked by a passing person?

I believe that the perfect candidate should have at least these qualities, respectful, thoughtful, energetic, have a good set of ears and a tongue that doesn’t wag on incessantly, be able to appear at public meetings for the purpose of getting something done, is not double jointed at the shoulder so as to not pat their own back at the drop of a hat, have a derrière that is not swollen from kisses from adoring consultants and other riffraff, does not have the dreaded mad hatter syndrome, does not unknowingly address themselves at one meeting as leader and then address themselves in writing as the president of some company at another function, must be able to stomach huge luncheons held in their honour, drink water as their favoured tipple, and last but not least, walk the talk.ln many ways, asking for the perfect candidate to run would be a political dream, and sometimes candidates who have run in the past are political nightmares, but who says everything has to be perfect. Just doing a good job and getting things done and getting them done the right way would be good enough for me. Just because they may be a little green on one side doesn’t mean that they cannot grow into the perfect berry. Or, in other words, inexperience may be a good thing for a change. Seasoned veterans aside, running for a political office is a choice than anyone can make and should make if they are willing to partake in the running of a nation.