Pictou West candidate says a vote for her is a vote for the leading party
© AMANDA JESS - THE NEWS
Glennie Langille has witnessed all angles of politics.
She’s been the reporter covering the political scene. She’s been behind the scenes working communications for candidates. Now, she is the Liberal candidate for Pictou West.
“… I realized how wonderful it is to have opinions that you can speak out loud, that you can have real views and express them. It was very freeing and there was no turning back for me once I started down that path.”
The 53-year-old worked in journalism for 25 years in Halifax, from private radio, to CBC Radio and then television.
When her father became sick, she moved back to Pictou County and worked as a freelancer.
“If you’re an advocate for someone who is sick, you start getting opinions,” she said. “Your experiences shape how you view things.”
After he died, she went looking for stable work.
Journalism jobs weren’t available at the time, so she found herself in a Liberal caucus office.
She knew that marked the end of her career as a political journalist, but was ready to start working on the other side of the camera.
Her work at the caucus office was only a six-month stint. From there, she took a job in corporate communications for Nova Scotia Power, but continued working with the Liberal party.
She encouraged Stephen McNeil to run for leadership of the Liberal party and helped him prepare.
She took on the position of his director of communications before the last election.
Langille then moved back to Pictou County and worked as his director of outreach. After commuting on a weekly basis for several years, she was finally back for good.
“The day where all my stuff was in one place, where I wanted to be, was a very big day for me,” she said.
She moved into her family home that she inherited from her parents in Caribou.
Shortly after coming back, she lost her older brother. With only a five-year age difference, she was left feeling shocked, but it pushed her to make a change.
“If you think you only have a few years left, what would you do with them? This is what I wanted to do.”
She says she wanted to make a difference and do something with more meaning. One of the differences she wants to make is in the attitudes of citizens surrounding politics.
“The last time that people had an awful lot of hope and enthusiasm was with the last government. They thought things were going to be really different…,” she said. “For a lot of people, there is a lack of faith that real change can occur.”
She believes the lessening voter turnout rate isn’t just in the younger generation. She says it’s right across the board.
She suggests some fresh young candidates and more women would help people relate to politicians again.
When she steps onto doorsteps, the other issues people want to talk about are education, the economy and opportunities.
“They know we are the party that is talking education all the time. They want to talk about that.”
She says programs from the Liberal Party platform that help new graduates are important, including one that offers incentives to businesses to hire new graduates.
Although she certainly dons the red now, she admits she wasn’t always a card-carrying Liberal.
She believed in the party’s ideas, but says she hasn’t always voted for them.
“Every once in a while, there’s somebody who you just believe should be in the House of Commons or you believe should be in the Legislature.”
She says she considers every vote up for grabs in her riding. She suggests more and more people are considering the individual when voting as well as the platform.
She’s confident Stephen McNeil will be Premier and believes people could vote her way because they want a voice with the leading party.
Despite the craziness of campaigning, Langille says she loves it.
She says door knocking is like speed dating in the sense that you fast-forward to an interesting conversation.
“If I’m in a bad mood when I start, I’m in a good mood within three doors.”
She says she’s using social media a little bit differently than candidates in urban areas may use it.
She prefers to show her interests, rather than spout policy.
Facebook is an important communication tool in her opinion, but Twitter is more “navel-gazing.”
She says it’s the same people talking to each other and serves as a source of information to read, rather than a discussion medium.
As much as she enjoys chatting on people’s doorsteps, she does miss her parrot Buddy. He’s with a babysitter so she doesn’t have to leave him alone.
Langille doesn’t have children, but has two nieces, two nephews and a great-niece and great-nephew.
One of her nephews and his family are expecting a child in a month and she anxiously awaits that.
She also has her sister, Donna, to count on.
Donna has helped out a lot with the campaign, including a little bit of canvassing on her behalf.
“Our joke is, I have a sister and I’m not afraid to use her.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda