‘Listen to understand’
jobs in agriculture, processing plants and that sort of thing. I see a big difference in job opportunities for young people here today than when I retired in 1999. That’s a big challenge for whoever gets elected, is to bring back some meaningful and well-paying jobs to the area.” to try to find out what they’re all thinking.”
An NDP MLA and cabinet minister in Darrell Dexter’s government, Ramona Jennex says the best advice she could offer any would-be politician is simple: “listen to people.”
Her suggestion is “listen to understand, not just to respond.”
Looking back at her time knocking on doors, Jennex recalls that 50 per cent of the concerns she heard related to roads.
“That was number one at the door,” she stated, citing Internet service and jobs as close seconds.
“The public wants an investment in transportation.”
She soon learned that all politics is local. In her mind, it is a “very sorry thing that many politicians don’t care about poverty because of the perception that the poor do not vote.”
Predicting a winner in the May 30 vote is hard right now, she adds.
“The PCs and the NDP are polling closely right now at 27 per cent and 24 per cent,” she said. “That splits the vote.”
Having come second in 2013, with just 350 votes less than the winner in Kings South, Keith Irving, Jennex is aware that the personality of most candidates factors into voting by only about five per cent.
“It’s true, it’s the leader who gets you elected,” she added.