Politics from the ground up

Braeden Cain, a second-year political science student at Carleton University, has already begun getting involved in his future line of work. Photo: Emma Perreault

By Emma Perreault

Braeden Cain is only in his second year of political science at Carleton University, but the full-time Glebe student has already gotten his feet wet by working for Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter on her unsuccessful campaign for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Cain didn’t actually seek out the position; rather it sought him out. “I actually got involved through Model Parliament at Carleton, and a good friend of mine asked if I would be interested in getting involved in [Mitzie Hunter’s] campaign,” said Cain. While he was unsure of whom to support, this was quickly settled when he received a phone call directly from Hunter, who represents Scarborough-Guildwood in Toronto.

“My friend got the candidate to give me a call, and we talked for a little while and by the end of it I decided that yeah, I think I’d like to make this person premier.”

Cain’s duties included making schedules, organizing events, planning Hunter’s week and helping out with canvassing. “I also help find times when there could be interviews done with CKCU and the Charlatan, a whole bunch of stuff really” he said in an interview during the campaign. While all these tasks might deter a busy student, Cain was not phased – the work inspired him and politics is his passion so he accomplished his jobs with ease.

He loved the hustle and bustle that is part of working for a political candidate. “It’s always fun following the candidate to her various events because you’ll always meet interesting people,” he said. The experience he picked up and the people he met from all over the province and country has provided him with skills, contacts and connections that will enhance his potential future career in the political world. It has also allowed him to meet people with the same interests and have insightful discussions about their shared beliefs.

When asked about his motivations for getting involved in the campaign, Cain said, “I’ve always thought that the best way to make people’s lives better is to get involved with campaigns and candidates who you think will do that. I also really enjoy working on campaigns, it’s just a lot of fun, it’s when you can get the most people involved. And of course working for a candidate who’s really nice, who cares about issues, who listens to what people have to say is also really gratifying.”

Though he is only in second year, Cain’s experience has led him to consider working in the future as a political staff member. He’d also like to help on more campaigns, as he enjoys the planning of events and the organization involved in helping someone get elected. The fast-paced environment would not be a challenge for him, as he excels when something so important is on the line. While it may seem early for some to be thinking this far ahead, Cain knows that when you are this passionate about something, it’s usually the job that’s meant for you.

With the busy workload of a university student, it is hard to believe Cain had the time to commit to Hunter’s campaign. “I haven’t found it too difficult,” he laughed. Even though the work was sometimes challenging, Cain enjoyed every minute it, and he hopes his experience will inspire other students to get involved. It’s not easy to get real-life experience while attending university so Cain considers himself lucky to pick up the skills he did while working with a candidate who shared his beliefs and values.

Emma Perreault is a first-year journalism student at Carleton University.

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