Brockville Ontario city councillor Leigh Bursey is one of thirty Canadians chosen to go to North Carolina during …A recent BBC survey indicated that about 65 per cent of Canadians would vote for Barack Obama — if they could — in the upcoming U.S. election.
Rookie Brockville Ontario city councillor Leigh Bursey is taking it a step further: he's actually going to go and work on the president's re-election bid.
Bursey is one of thirty Canadians chosen by an organization called Canadians for Obama to go to North Carolina during the last three days of the campaign to help 'get out the vote.'
In an interview with Yahoo! Canada News, the 25 year old political junkie says he is raring to go.
"We're going to be identifying the vote," he said noting that he will be billeted by a Democrat family while in the Tar Heel State.
"We already know in many cases where a lot of the support is going to be so it's a matter of making sure that we're getting those people to the polls and making sure that we're constantly repeating the message and driving it home when the election is."
Bursey says the Canucks are all going to North Carolina because that's where they're needed. The latest national polls have Obama and Romney in a statistical dead heat — swing states such as North Carolina could make the difference.
The volunteer work is not all altruistic, however. Bursey expects the experience to buoy his career as a social advocate, as a city councillor and as a campaign worker for the NDP in Ontario.
He also believes Obama would be better for Canada than Mitt Romney administration.
"You look at some of the legislation that's coming down the line here [in Canada] on a national level when it comes to women's rights, when it comes to trade agreements [and] when it comes to food protection," he said.
"They resemble policies that are being put in place by Republican congressman. I think continuing to have a progressive leader [like Obama] that says we need to hold steady — that's the type of message we need to be sending Canadians too."
Americans not allowed to campaign in Canada
Interestingly, Bursey's new friends in the United States won't be able to reciprocate.
Under the Canada Elections Act, it is illegal for a non-resident to directly participate in election campaigns:
331. No person who does not reside in Canada shall, during an election period, in any way induce electors to vote or refrain from voting or vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate unless the person is:
- (a) a Canadian citizen; or
- (b) a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
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