Jefferson George Wright, a 38-year-old Independent candidate, says the piano on the corner of Sackville’s Bridge and Main Streets was one of the things that made him decide to run in Memramcook-Tantramar.
“Music is a gift, tones travelling through space and time is a gift,” Wright says after playing a short, jazzy piece on the piano.
“I really appreciate that Sackville has this and it afforded me the opportunity to speak with many great citizens here about issues that are important to all of us, both sonic and temporal.”
Wright, who lives in the Saint John area, says he considered running in several provincial ridings before settling on Memramcook-Tantramar.
He describes the riding as progressive and diverse because it includes such a wide range of communities including Mount Allison University, Sackville as a “Wesleyan-Presbyterian” town, “the strong, original Acadian culture within Memramcook,” and the distinctiveness of the Fort Folly First Nation, the Port Elgin area and Dorchester Penitentiary.
“I’m greatly concerned about the state of prisoners,” he says, “and what we should be doing in a progressive manner towards them.”
Although he’s running as an Independent, Wright says he’s allied with the UFO Party which he describes as a spiritual affiliation of people who believe we came from the stars.
“One of my broader goals is to help all religious people realize,” he says, “that all the religions are the same, we don’t need to be in conflict,” he adds.
“My goal is to try to convince as many religious people and spirited souls that the large corporate, techno-state agenda is against all of us spiritual people,” Wright says, adding that spiritual people could rise up and renegotiate their covenant with the Earth.
“So, UFO Party is a reminder to be rigorous and optimistic at all times,” he says. “It has no designation as a party. If anything, it’s a tribe as in, it’s free to enter, you have free conscience and voice while you’re with the UFO.”
Wright also points out that the initials UFO stood for the United Farmers of Ontario, a party that governed the province from 1919-1923 and that saw eye-to-eye with agrarian movements in western Canada as well as fishermen’s groups in the Maritimes.
“The basis of agrarian thought, especially with regards to economics and social credit, to me is very important,” Wright says. “I’d like to re-discuss how we have money.”
Wright says he’s also concerned about preserving democracy as well as shrinking the size of governments while pursuing a necessary ecological revolution.
“No Canadian disagrees that we don’t need an ecological revolution in some regard, but we can’t let the government, owned by the corporations and making up money that doesn’t exist, be the arbiter of that,” he says.
“We need some level of citizen-engaged referendum and it has to have teeth and how do we do that? That is the question I pose and the answer I think we will find as an intelligent citizenry together.”
When asked what he sees as the main election issues in Memramcook-Tantramar, Wright says: “I will get back to you on that answer,” adding that his campaign officially begins next Monday.
He says he plans to engage voters through public speaking, consultations with citizens as well as a radio program on CFTA, 107.9 FM in Amherst.
“I am attempting to be a holistic, analogue person. I minimize my contact with the internet at all times; I write on a typewriter,” he says.
Wright argues that advertising-driven, digital technologies such as Facebook and Twitter are making it impossible for people to hear or understand things.
“In many ways, everything has become a very loud noise and it takes our attention, but it doesn’t do anything with our intellect,” he says.