What a crazy and draining week.
As VOCM Nightline host Johnathan Richler reminded me earlier this week - political and partisan are not the same.
As a student of political science, I should not have needed the lecture. The idea of discussing and working towards the public good in the marketplace of ideas very much appeals to me. The black and white of partisanship, where we target constituencies and fragment voters rather than debate ideas leaves me intellectually unfulfilled.
Frankly, my days as a blind partisan hack are in past. I consider myself post-partisan political - I am a social democrat first. I believe in the well being of the of society and the state with a strong grasp on the reality of the economic realities. The greed of individuals can not go unmanaged nor can we displace ingenuity and hard work with society must be governed by progressive rules to ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed and be treated fairly.
When it comes right down to it, I like the middle of-the-road, pragmatic middle. Here dogma does not rule supreme, the center can shift as the economic realities dictate. Hence my flirt with the federal NDP when Jack Layton was leader and the Liberals were too weak to mount a challenge to the Harper' Conservatives.
I had been a life-long supporter, volunteer and contributor to the Liberal Party, in particular the strong federalist approach of Pearson, Trudeau and Jean Chretien. I identify as a Liberal because the left wing of the NDP makes me almost as uncomfortable as the right wing of the Conservative Party. Yet, despite my believe in a strong federalist approach, I can not help but think engaging in local politics creates a spirit of empowerment which can trickle upwards.
School councils, sharing local gardens for growing food, recycling programs, good environmental stewardship, fighting library closures as examples - all provide the opportunity to reconnect to politics based an ideal that is bigger than self.
That ideal will embolden us to check the power of politicians and corporations and revive our democracy and the sense of the public good.