Thursday, August 9, 2012


Reunions! High-school, university, school council, family and organizational reunions are a strange phenomena, full of expectations..... and lots of unknowns.

This summer has offered up a bunch of reunion possibilities. There is the epic “Having a Time” Reunion at Memorial University and a big CSU reunion to boot For an outgoing fella, I suck at networking. It takes too much effort and time.

On the surface the opportunity to reconnect and reminisce has a certain appeal. I can see who has been using Photoshop to enhance their photos on Facebook. There are lots of people that I have lost contact with over the years. People whom I shared thoughts, debates, research, swapped spit,shared  drinks at the Breezeway and played 120s with in the Thompson Student Center with.

The urge to reconnect with the past collides with the present. What I mean is that preparing for a re-union  causes you to take pause and reflect on who you have become. You can not help but measure where you are, up against what you wanted to be and what your peers might have expected of you. A sort of self-reflection that might just be the nexus for a middle age crisis!

Perhaps the exercise might be redemptive. 20 years ago I was very much into student and partisan politics. I was a political animal who was consumed with partisan politics. My peers probably expected me to run for public office. However, I've found happiness away from the partisan game. I'm a good dad, a good person who prefers community activism to the hard ball and cut and thrust of the partisan games. 

Which gets me to a recent invite from the provincial Liberals to attend a brainstorming session for current and past staffers,  as part of the "Provincial Renewal Tour". Any thoughts that I have to offer about renewal can be found on these pages. I certainly can not be accused of taking any back doors.  I just can not seem to get on-board because, frankly, I am still looking for that promised renewal where merit trumps nepotism, where double dipping is shunned on and conflicting opinions are discussed, not a recipe for being blacklisted

Frankly, it seems as if the extra-parliamentary wing of the party is rowing in one direction and the fifth floor up at the Confederation Building is pulling in another direction. The grumbling continues, but there is no sign of renewal.

This is one reunion that I may pass on, I am just so disappointed with the leadership in the Official Opposition that it poisons the renewal process. I see no evidence that the two are marching in tandem with one another.

I hope I am wrong, but the evidence points to the continuation of the decade long decline. To quote Jim Bennett, "They say the fish starts to rot from the head, and that’s really where the problem is right now,”

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