Former Toronto MP picks up the pieces 1 year after losing 'punch in the gut' election
Cash, an NDP MP since 2011, says losing his seat in 2015 was like his phone battery going dead
It's been a year since Andrew Cash, the former NDP MP for the Toronto riding of Davenport, lost his seat in a federal election that saw many established politicians swept out of power in a Liberal wave.
Cash spoke with Matt Galloway on Metro Morning about what life is like on the other side of politics.
Questions and answers have been condensed.
Matt Galloway: If you go back a year, what was that like when the election results were coming in and it was clear your life was going to change?
Andrew Cash: We had such a big campaign in Davenport, it was incredibly exciting. And just at about 7 p.m. [that night] I caught out of the corner of my eye on twitter that some of my colleagues on the east coast, including Megan Leslie, who I have a huge amount of respect for, had lost. That was really when I started to think okay, something is seriously happening here.
MG: In the days after that, how did you feel?
AC: The whole result was a bit of a punch in the gut at first. But punches in the gut, they hurt and then they go away. I was very aware of this team I had worked with for so long, and I felt a lot of responsibility for helping those folks get through that initial shock. And I have a family, and they had to get through it too.
MG: How quickly did life change after that?
AC: I got into politics to push the issues of precarious employment, especially with regards to freelancers and people who are working serial contracts, so after it was over it felt like I was on an important, dynamic phone conversation and suddenly my battery went dead. The question I asked myself was, is there a way I can continue to do the work? So I started to put the pieces in place so I can keep pushing this issue.
MG: What did you miss most about that life?
AC: When you're in federal politics, you really are at the centre of what is going on in terms of our country. I do believe that partisan politics are deeply important in how we make change. To be right there, it was quite a remarkable experience and a great honour.
MG: Do you regret the time you spent in politics?
AC: No, and neither does my family. I love the community I represented. I still live there, and I love those people, and there's nothing quite like it. On the other hand, there's also nothing quite like being able to walk your kids to school in the morning.
MG: Do you still feel connected to politics?
AC: Yes, because the motivation for why I got into politics is still what's coursing through my veins, and it's what motivates me to do the work I'm doing now with the urban worker project.
MG: Would it lead you back to politics?
AC: It might.
With files from Metro Morning