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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Addled and Idled in Victoria

I am on vacation well rested and well ensconced in a lovely room on a sunny balcony overlooking the Victoria harbour and just letting my mind wander and wonder. I have just finished an excellent Globe and Mail piece on Stephane Dion “Straight Shooter Looks to Lead” by Tu Thann Ha. It confirms my support for Dion and reassures me of the soundness of my decision.

I go from Dion to Mary Woodard’s Fact and Arguments first person piece in the same paper. Her sub title grabs my attention: “When the mediocre is accepted as excellent discouragement is the only appropriate response.” Dion is the antithesis of mediocre. He has an excellent mind and a committed Canadian who is politically experienced, strong willed yet wise enough to actually lead this country based on sound principles and nurturing values.

I think that there will always be values trade-off made in the real world. They require sound judgment and wisdom and must never be done for purposes of expedient compromise. Such “compromises” are too driven by intimidation and coercion from faceless powerbrokers and special interests that lurk in backrooms. I think (again) that Alberta needs a Lobbyist Registry. More wonder and wandering.

Then I switched over the Daveberta’s Blog and read his understandable disillusion with party politics. I share some of his despair, having been active for over a decade in grassroots policy development at the party level of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party. Revisiting the Globe I see Stephen Lewis commenting on what he sees as a ‘renaissance amongst young people’ noting that youth in Canada today seem to him to have “a real interest in what is going on in other parts of the world, an no cynicism associated with if, just a wish to be engaged and involved.” I make a note to let Daveberta know of this thought…maybe it will cheer him up a little. I still remain optimistic about the positive potential of political parties provided they are open, locally based and accepting of new ideas in a respectful and intelligent way.

All that said my wandering eye catches another news piece and “grounds” (sic) my fleeting optimism in reality. Buried in the Globe A6 notes the federal Conservative are being sued by a grassroots member who dared to seek the CPC Alberta Wild Rose constituency nomination from MP Myron Thompson. Clearly someone must consider Myron Thompson candidacy sacrosanct. He must be considered a great asset for the federal Conservative Party. I have commented on this disturbing turn of events in the CPC party before - see my August 14th entry.

For the third time, the story says another CPC party member intent on serving their country, in what purports to be an open grassroots party in a “representative” democracy, has had their candidacy rejected. This time the accusation is because the sitting MP handpicked the nominating committee from amongst his supporters. There is much to be done to reform political parties as there is a need to “fix” government transparency, enhance political accountability and reconfiguring the concept of the role of government…just to name a few. “Whither” democracy ;->.

And we scoff at the ineptitude and “integrity” of the last US Presidential election decisions and look down our noses at the fiasco that is the recent Mexican presidential elections. Both outcomes were “finally” decided by “activists” judges who ironically selected the conservative candidate in each case. Where was the call from the far right denouncing such inappropriate judicial interference with the “legitimate” political role of the electoral system? Three cheers for hypocrisy…or is that too harsh?

So dear reader, I hope you see some cohesion and thread of order to this stream of consciousness entry. I can but only because of my addled and idled vacation-mode “mind set.”