Saturday, February 13, 2010

Time to take out the trash.....

For every action, there is a reaction.  
There is no reaction if there is no action.  
Change requires action.  
Action oxygenates our communities.  
Communities need change. 
Change means rising UP!  
Communities need action for reaction.  
Communities need change. 
Change is the only antidote to apathy.  
Apathy IS the poison choking our communities. 

Apathy is the refusal to change how we think and how we feel.  IF we have the incentive to make a shift in our thinking and in our feeling, then we have the energy to ACT.

Politics is in my blood.  It was liberally poured into conversations around the dinner table from my earliest memories.  Daily newspapers and weekly magazines were always within reach.  I grew up in a household where you got involved, and you knew the issues, municipally, provincially, federally.  There was a great deal of respect for the political process.  The majority of politicians were revered and it was felt to be an honourable pursuit.

As an adolescent, my interest grew as I got involved in various campaigns.  Quickly, I felt the thrill of an election campaign.... how it could completely consume you into a world of action and strategies, of comraderie and a sense of empowerment that you could be a part of change.  Policies, opinions, all Candidates nights, door to door campaigning, putting up signs, plotting, fundraising, finding the tempo and the key issues............the cheering, the competition...... the standing up for your beliefs and sharing your voice... supporting a candidate and being right there for the whole story to unfold .... it was all a part of the FUN!

I joined a political party in my early twenties, one that wasn't the same as my parents.  I was following my own opinions and perspectives and it was through this choice that I met my future husband.  I joined because I had an unrelenting sense of idealism and a hunger to learn more, to be involved, to take a stand.   Why, because it all felt like it would matter. 

Since then, I have jumped into the backroom planning fray every once in a while, helping out a few candidates.  Normally, i have been involved in coordinating the "big day" of a convention.  It challenges the "event planner" in me as well as the bossy girl persona I can dredge up at any time.   

It is such a buzz to direct a speech demonstration....timing it right down to the second, making sure the music kicks in and the placard waving supporters know where and when to march the candidate up to the stage.  The pre-convention planning meetings with folks who also thrive in that environment, who have the same strong convictions for the candidate, but who also LOVE a good chewing debate over issues, policies, strategies fuel me with good energy.  To be a part of change........ to be a part of a movement..... of moving forward is such a BUZZ!

Fast forward to where I sit today.  I can't say that I havent thought about running for office every once in a while.  Some days the desire is strong. I have these blips of believing I could make a difference at that level of power.  My brain is wired in a way that I can read the nuances of how government works.... Critical thinking and analysis of stories, situations, policies, problems continue to be my preferred way of stretching my brain muscles.  

But, something has changed in the past couple of years.  As soon as I ponder this thought, I quickly JUMP right out of it, with a taste of disgust in my mouth.  There is no sense of reverence for our elected members.  Whatever honour was attached to dedicating one's career to this political arena has been trashed by everyone involved........ be it the elected official, the backroom gangs, the talking head media and biased journalism, the demanding public.  The whole atmosphere of entitled individualism........ the sense of "what's in it for me" has inevitably altered the way we look at our government.  AND, it has also moulded the type of people who come forward to be elected.

Like many many others, my thinking and feelings have been scabbed by the lack of integrity and maturity found in the once revered legislatures of our country.  The very idea of running for office, or even getting involved with these type of interactions.... where posturing, and pendantic behaviour is the order of the day escapes me.  Good honest Samaritan principles, which once were the cornerstone of our political system  have evaporated.  I see it, hear it, read about, feel it every single day.  

Either you observe a raving lunatic giving the middle finger salute and calling someone a punk during Question Period or you hear once again that yet another lightweight who is good at senseless pomposity, but can't for the life of him advocate or even abide by his promises or you learn about infidelity, frauding, or simply trying to do a sitspin to cover his ass!  Or, what about the chest thumping "I care about this place" people who RUN for the HILLS if anyone confronts them with their opinions?? I'm sick of it!  And it makes me want to tune it all out.   It all seems so childish.  It all seems such a waste of time. 

But, here's the glitch.  If I sit back, and you sit back........... and we all sit back together, we become the marginalized and nothing changes.  And by the grace of God, we need change around here.  Empathy, respect, honour, loyalty, advocacy, justice, and TRUST come on back!!  It's time to take the trash out.  It's time to help get a good honest human being elected.  And, I know just the right person!

I can't sit back.  Time to get involved again, because you can't orchestrate from the outside looking in.  It just doesn't work that way.  I will not run for office, but I refuse to sit on my hands, without a voice, in the margins.  Whether it will help institute change or not, who knows.  What I do know is that without action there is no reaction.  Let's just hope my stirred up passion isn't misconstrued by the fear mongering police as unfit.  Nah!  That could never happen, could it? 


Canadian Sentinel said...

Welcome back! :)

Can't stay away, either.

It's a healthy addiction.

It's an addiction that can change the world... either for the worse... or the better.

I prefer change for the better, based on stoic analysis of observable reality and confirmable facts, as opposed to merely hearsay and Pavlovian reactionarism.

Plenty of good stuff posted recently at the Sentinel, btw... and I was on a roll since coming home from work yesterday...

Off to acquire a nice bottle of tawny to celebrate, albeit early (better the weekend than the middle of the week) my date de naissance. Not much of a drinker these days, but, well, it's my birthday...

And I see a couple hundred lunatic moonbats, in Vancouver, right now on the telly, showing us what kind of folks many young Hard-Leftwingers are... Poor souls, so brainwashed with big lies, and not having learned to think for themselves, yet, if ever... And to think that we were told that there was a "growing crisis" of "right-wing extremists" running amok... like, show us already, just like they showed us the leftist ones...

awareness said...

Sentinel guy! Welcome, welcome! And happy early birthday. I think being born near Valentine's Day means you were born under the LOVE sign. ah....!
As for the moonbatty peeps in downtown Van? Their behaviour is appalling. Sadly, they can't help themselves.

A toast to you!

Jeannine St. Amand said...

Hey Dana,

I haven't been keeping up with my RSS feeds lately, but for some reason tonight I checked into my tab called "thought provoking" and read your post. Thought provoking it is.

This evening I had some very good friends in for dinner and our discussions turned to politics in N.B. several times. It is a sad, sad, state of affairs.

I truly feel that as women we should be making a difference. But, as mothers, how can we even contemplate participating in this circus?

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what is going on in your neck of the woods, Dana, but I admire you for being active!

I do discuss politics with my kids, and I hope to be able to volunteer for local politicians in the near future. I do get SUCH a thrill from participating in the political process!!!

The House on Big Island said...

At home, we have had this discussion so often of late!

I too remember when good people put their own careers or benefit aside to give of their time and expertise for the good of their Country, Province, City, Town...

But those days seem long gone.

I hate the comment "we just don't pay enough to attract the best people!" or "He/She can make so much more money in the private sector".

Of course, the point is, twas ever thus.

But there was a time, (before Entertainment Tonight dominated our newscasts, and the Press deemed it their natural mandate to destroy the image and public credibility of anyone of a different political stripe then they) - that good people put self-interest aside to give of their time and expertise for all.

We continue to wonder where all of the leaders have gone? Although, we witnessed a moving example of great leadership a couple of nights ago, listening to Jim Furlong's speech at the opening of the Vancouver Olympic Games. He espoused a vision, a sense of wonder and greatness, the kind of inspirational leadership and stability this country has not seen in many, many years. We could use more like him!

Lastly - no more lifetime politicians. Minimum 10 (or more) years real life experience (outside the political arena) before you run for office. It can't be a career anymore - people spend too much time protecting their jobs and not working for the good of those around them.

Canuckguy said...

"I joined a political party in my early twenties, one that wasn't the same as my parents." - Awareness

I would guess you joined that lefty bleeding heart NDP.

Surely I must be wrong seeing that the Sentinel likes you.

Walker said...

Living in Ottawa i see a lot of politics.
Working among the politician for decades I saw even more.
I have worked in the offices of all the major parties and saw more and more politics.
Personally I hate politics but I have been involved in a few major debates for a couple of future and ex prime ministers and members of politics.

If we want change we have to wade in to the issues or learn to stop complaining when we don't agree with policy.
I will always hate politics but i won't stay quiet

The House on Big Island said...

(oops, I did mean John Furling!)

The House on Big Island said...

I give up!

awareness said...

Jeannine.... Hi there! As women and mothers how could we? It's appalling and has been for a while now, but this week certainly took the cake. Perhaps we are reaching a point in time when big changes have to occur both at the provincial and federal level, and I believe women have to take a lead in this. Sadly, we're bloody busy running the show in our homes too. There's not enough time in the day for work and home as well as volunteering in our community to add much more to the list of to do's. However, it has to be tackled somehow.
I wish I had the time.....

awareness said...

Jen... A few events have pushed me back into wanting to get involved again. Plus, there is someone locally whom I have worked for in the past and he is seriously looking at running in my riding.
Recently, an elected official in our provincial legislature actually gave another member the finger .... more than once and then mouthed off like a bully. He's since been kicked out for 3 days without pay, but not by his Leader (the Premier of the Province.... comparable to your Governor) He's lame, lame, lame.
The government in charge is in the process of selling off our electric power utility to another province when in fact they were elected on a promise not to. This has raised the ire of the majority of people who live here. They will lose the next election over it, but the sale will have gone through before that happens.
On a personal level, I was given the word of an elected official that he was going to advocate on behalf of a good friend who is the brunt of some unethical activities of the civil service. He has since gone completely silent and hasn't done a damn thing. It makes me sick. If you can't live up to your word.... well what worth are you?
So..... I am back in the game and I will not be silent.
Plus......YOUR RIGHT! It's a helluva lot of fun. :)

awareness said...

Shasta Ian.... :)

I agree with you about Furlong's speech and how he spoke at the press conference about the Luge athlete. There are leaders everywhere, they have just chosen not to enter the crazy political arena. Maybe that's the key. Maybe we have to all be leaders wherever our expertise is best utilized and take away the overarching power of the government. Maybe we need to take it upon ourselves to make the changes needed in our communities from other podiums and at the grassroots of our communities. Less government should be the goal.
It seems to me we need an alternative party eh?????

As for our past, there are examples of scandals and misbehaviour eh? My Mother in Law used to laugh and talk about the stories of payoffs during elections.... and then there are all the Duplessis stories! Good God, we even had a PM that held seances to talk to his dead mother! Perhaps we just weren't privy to the comings and goings of our elected officials?
Power is an aphrodisiac isn't it?

However, what has gone, gone, gone is the type of debate, and the level of respect shown in the House of Commons and in our Provincial Legislative House of Assemblies.

WE need to get together one day and chew this all out! I'm sure we could figure out a game plan over a good bottle of wine in front of a campfire don't you think??

awareness said... are surely wrong. I think I am the only one left in this country who still likes Brian Mulroney. He was the person who moved me to the right in the first place.
I may come across as a bleeding heart, but I'm not. Bleeding hearts bleed to death and then what use are they?

awareness said...

Walker...I'm with you. You can't change a damn thing if you aren't in the middle of it. It's why I will remain in the public service...
I do try to pick the hills I fight over. It's the only way to stay sane.

The House on Big Island said...

You can't engage in healthy debate unless you listen. But promoting a narrow agenda does not require listening.

I agree that the complete lack of respect for one another is amongst the most despicable traits of today's politicians.

Unfortunately, in Ontario such utter disdain for political opponents is now being showered upon citizens as well. Our provincial governors have resorted to bullying and labeling concerned citizens with derogatory names instead of listening to and dealing intelligently with legitimate concerns.

And although never a fan of God's Chosen Party of Canada, a little drawing of policy initiatives from dead relatives / pets might be refreshing compared to the "listen to nobody" style of governance we endure these days.

I mean, a guy who loved his mother that much couldn't have been all bad (despite the seemingly overwhelming evidence to the contrary).

I used to care a lot but I think I am too tired to worry anymore. Perhaps a nice small house in the Pyrenees-Orientales / Catalan might be the answer.

awareness said...

Daisy... You've had a long hard battle on your hands for a while. I can't imagine how weary as well as angering it must be.

the way you described the scenario in Ontario is very very similar to here. We've seen the narrow rigid agendas and the pedantic attitudes towards the public. This is what has pissed of the voters! This is what will either turn some away and will turn some towards the foray.

I'd still like to chew it all out with you over a bottle of wine and a campfire though.... :)