<p>One of my goals for my leave was to find leverage: places where I could make a disproportionate impact, by helping the right group of people with the right goals at the right time, where they needed the things I could bring to the table.</p>
<p>I think I found it. Yesterday's <a href="http://enr.elections.ca/ElectoralDistricts_e.aspx">by-election</a> put the Green Party nearly tied with the NDP in three of the ridings. It probably <a href="http://enr.elections.ca/ElectoralDistricts_e.aspx">squished</a> expectations for an imminent election. And it looks like it helped push the Liberals towards <a href="http://www.christindal.ca/2008/03/18/victory/">Green Tax Shift</a>. </p>
<p>The campaign was a blast: I met a tonne of people, knocked on many hundreds of doors, said "Chris Tindal" twelve zillion times, and jumped in on election day to help repair a logistical problem. Elections Canada was beta-testing a new system for reporting who had voted to the campaigns (I didn't even know this happened) and it caused a knock-on effect on the paperwork required for scrutineers to get that information. </p>
<p>The whole thing was hugely educational, both as a citizen and as a partisan. I learned how elections work from the inside, which is great -- this was one of the best-run Green Party of Canada campaigns ever, as I understand it, and differed in scale but not kind from the Liberal campaign, at least as far as I could see: they had organized lunches for scrutineers, and plenty more of them, and we ordered pizza and didn't have as many volunteers heading out, but it was a full-blown election machine, and that was great to see.</p>
<p>Here are some <a href="http://thewingnuterer.blogspot.com/2008/03/and-party-in-pear-tree.html">photos from the Victory Party</a>. There's some good neutral analysis <a href="http://idealisticpragmatist.blogspot.com/2008/03/real-by-election-story-there-is-no.html">over here</a>. And there's some good <a href="http://thewingnuterer.blogspot.com/2008/03/chris-tindals-might-green-machine-war.html">commentary on the campaign machine</a>.</p>
<p>I feel like I have a second lease on my leave -- the last few weeks have been pretty campaign focussed, though "full time" isn't quite accurate, since I've been keeping up with some other stuff. But now my time is suddenly re-freed, which is nice.