Thursday, February 26, 2015

Friends in more than one party

I have decided that I do not care about political parties. I have really begun to question the mindless wisdom associated with aligning oneself with a single ideology, it makes as much sense to me as the nonsense of things like "true believers", it makes none.

I make this bold proclamation because politics are ultimately about the acts and character of individuals, not the party machinery.  I've been to too many sevents where rabid sign wavers take their assigned spot on the stage behind the "leader" contrived events where they always subscribe to the theory of "the smaller the hall, the bigger the crowd looks".

They all do this, except the Liberals when Raj won the leadership. For some reason at that event they booked the butter done and would have been better off with a butter dish, so few people materialized.

The long term view and reason for strong parties is actually to discourage voter participation, I was elected because Ed Stelmach was premier, I was on Eds "team". We had talking points about policies and very little discussion about who the actual candidates were. The parties don't mind this, the old adage, "put a PC badge on it and you could elect a goat in this constituency" has been proven more than once.  The NDP are the worse with this, making their members promise not to join any other party, they marshal resources from the Tommy Douglas institute and every post secondary arts program in the west, their loyalists routinely sleep on the floors of like minded peoples homes and once the election is over they go back to class where they spend their time complaining about the cost of tuition and how washrooms aren't gender neutral.

It's a natural behavior frankly. Doesn't matter what party, they all do it.

So while I'm enjoying sunrise in Belize, a country in the midst of an election where politics matter because it's all local and where getting a new village water pump is often the hottest campaign issue, I  have decided to divorce myself from caring about party lines and will instead put all my efforts into helping candidates with integrity.

I will be campaigning for candidates, not parties. The parties  will have to accept that while in Edmonton Calder, Strathcona  or Castledowns, I'm supporting the PC candidate; in Westlock, Glenora  or Meadowlark I am not.   Other constituencies, like Decore or Manning I won't be supporting anybody.

I am campaigning for the person I happen to believe is the best candidate,  the party leaders are of no concern to me nor are the policies, promises and criticisms they are about to throw at each other, I will be very selective in my help. Some will need money, some shoe leather and while the party mandarins might not like my approach, I do not believe ANY party has the market cornered on candidates with integrity.