Why I tweet

Those frequent readers of my blog (thanks, Mom!) will have surely noticed my Twitter timeline syndicated on the right-hand side of the page. And with the exception of the occasional tweet about the weather, the bulk of my twitter musings are, indeed, quite political in nature.

Naturally, people ask why I tweet. After all, I’m but a lowly cook. What do I care about #cdnpoli#climatechange#Syria, or #robocalls, for example?

Well, I care quite a bit — and not simply because I used to be paid to do so. (See my yet-to-be-written memoir: A Decade in Politics: How I Flushed My 20s Down the Toilet.) I care because politics — the science, the acts, the philosophies, the arts, the issues — are in my blood. They’re in yours, too.

Everything is political.

It is impossible to avoid politics: in the family, the classroom, the playground, the workplace, the neighbourhood, the city, the province, country, the continent, the planet; on television and the Internet, in movies and music, on billboards and bus benches, in newspapers and magazines; between classes, ethnicities, faiths, cultures. Politics informs and affects everything we do, say, think, feel.

Yet, despite its ubiquity, too many people willfully ignore it. I tried to do so — and nearly succeeded for almost five years.

When I threw in the towel — sweat-stained, bloodied, in tatters — of my political career in the spring of 2008, bolting from Parliament Hill like a patient fleeing the asylum, I resolved I’d never again let politics infect my blood and being. It had spread like a virus, consuming my days, my nights, my thoughts, my dreams, the every beat of my compromising, conflicted, constricted heart.

Time and distance, however, are remarkable things. They soften the toughest grudge, the hardest heart. And they have certainly allowed me the chance to reengage with the politics of my own everyday life — aided by this remarkable little thing called Twitter.

Yes, 140 characters are all I need to satisfy that visceral urge to comment and connect, engage and entertain, opine and express outrage. Twitter, simply put, is a pressure-release valve for the mind.

Why do I tweet?

To prevent my head from exploding.

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