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Monday, February 7, 2011

A family in politics

Dinner table conversations at the Murray household often centre around politics and social issues - the hot topics have inspired both father David and his son Ryan to put themselves on the ballot in upcoming elections.
David Murray,  plans to run in the riding of Abbotsford, and his son Ryan, who's 21, plans to run for Pitt Meadows city council in 2011.
"Young people don't feel they can make a difference," David said. "In reality, they can make a huge difference."
By running in the civic election at the age of 23, Ryan hopes he'll get people his age interested in local issues and decision-making. Getting young people engaged in politics is not easy, Ryan said. "They feel their vote is not worth it."
Politics goes back several generations in the Murray family. Ryan's grandfather, Bud Murray, was involved in the labour movement in the 1930s, campaigned for Tommy Douglas and was present at the Regina Riots in 1935 when a thousand unemployed men set out to meet the prime minister but were stopped in a violent altercation in Regina.
Currently, the average age of a politician is 57 in Canada, David said, and there's a need for younger people to get involved.
David is not expecting a federal election any time soon, but he said the NDP is ready in the riding for whenever an election is called. He will try to get the nomination for the Abbotsford seat, which he said is a "very challenging" riding.
"We need a stronger voice (in Ottawa)," David said. "We have some very serious issues."
Social justice, helping the working man and more recently environmental issues are themes that come up often in those supper-hour conversations.
While David said he and his family are fortunate to live in one of the nicest places in Canada just a 10-minute drive fromm a unique and pristine environment, he still thinks that "we need to plan our communities better," including more affordable housing with amenities close by.
"If we're going to start rebuilding, let's rebuild smart," David said.
Ryan is currently a student at the University of the Fraser Valley majoring in biology, and he plans to pursue a master's degree in physiotherapy. When in high school, Ryan said he was always "big into sports" - he was the all-time highest scorer in high school basketball in B.C.
"Community sports was a huge factor in my life," Ryan said. "Every kid should have a chance to play community sports."
As a student commuting to Abbotsford, Ryan said transportation is one of the bigger political issues for him. Ryan said he also wants to "try and make a difference - try to make it a fair world."

David Murray
David Murray is the Federal NDP candidate for Abbotsford. He is the political columnist for the Today. He can be reached at He can be found on twitter at DavidMurray4ndp

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