Come on, pretty girl, I know you are a party animal, put on your party dress, don your party hat, get into the party spirit, become the life of the party, get ready to join the party waiting for your birthday party to get going on the party boat and by no means be a party pooper!
Bad news: A man of the hunting party got lost, now you have to join the search party because you are part of the rescue party.
Important for your country: A governing political party calls an election. If you are a member of any party, be it the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party or a party by any other name you have three choices: 1. become a passionate supporter and volunteer to help your party, 2. decide you couldn’t care less because the party leaders never do what they promise anyway (but in that case don’t complain if the ‘wrong’ party wins!) or 3. be adamant to use your RIGHT to vote for the party who’s platform you support.
There are so many uses of the word “PARTY”. Some sarcastic, cynical or even humorous person tried to explain how a political party consists of a means for a lot of politicians to have their own way of conducting politics. What is or are politics? Take the word apart: ‘Poli’ in Latin or Greek means ‘many’, and ‘tics…’ you know what ‘tics’ are and what they do. Tics are bloodsuckers, says Wikipedia.
I remember in the sixties I visited Ottawa, the Canadian capital, and I also toured the Parliament Building and attended the House of Commons. I was shocked when, during the question period, they were screaming at each other and some of their comments were surely insulting. But it was exciting. I came home and announced to my husband I wanted to join a party, make a difference and get really involved. He just laughed and said “You? My God, when they call you names and threw insults at you, you would just break down and cry! No, my dear, you are not made to be a politician!” I knew he was right.
Occasionally a new party forms because someone has good ideas to improve the way a governing party runs the country. This someone tries to get likeminded people together and sometimes they succeed to make a difference in party politics. Many years ago a friend invited me to a meeting of about a dozen people. We met in the living-room of her apartment. A small number of people had registered a ‘Reform Party’ in Canada. The leader, Mr. Preston Manning, was not an impressive figure but a down to earth man who honestly wanted to make things better for his countrymen. I wanted to support the movement and became a member with a very low membership number. When I was called upon to join the volunteers and man one of the recruiting tables during a public membership drive I copped out because I was too busy. I went to a Rotary meeting where Mr. Manning was the speaker and felt very sorry for him because he was not groomed to be a leader yet. He also repeated himself often and I could sense he was very uncomfortable amongst all the Rotary business people. I left the meeting during the discussion after his speech. When I came out of the meeting room door many media men with huge cameras surrounded me and started to ask questions as if I had been the speaker. They wanted to know what I thought, what the speaker had said, what the questions were during the discussion. I was very professional and answered carefully. Later that evening several friends phoned me during the “News” telling me they had seen me on TV. I waited for the next news and was shocked how they had manipulated my answers and what I seemingly had said. What I really had said was totally different. Since that experience I try to stay out of the media limelight or would answer “no comment”. The Reform Party later merged with the Progressive Conservative Party to form the Conservative Party of Canada. The word “progressive” was dropped.
I think it must be close to fifty years since I had almost become involved in party politics. I have always taken my right to vote very seriously and never missed one election. Another is coming up in my country. The female leader of the “Green” movement had captured a seat at the last election in 2011 and apparently has made quite an imprint across the country and internationally. She was going to speak in my town and introduce her local candidate for our riding, Paul Manly. With a small group of neighbors we went to a rally held in the exhibition hall, curious if the “Greens” could reach their audience goal of about 500 – 700. I have never attended any such meeting and couldn’t believe what was happening. The room filled up, hundreds of people were standing at the door until the many volunteers had removed the curtains hiding a few hundred more chairs and they streamed in. Every seat was taken. There was standing room only and many people waiting outside left because there was “no more room in the inn”.
Over a thousand people attended. I was awestruck by the energy emanating from the crowd. The leader, Elizabeth May, has incredible presence and knowledge and answered every single question thrown to her. She asked how many people were in the room who had not made up their mind who to vote for. A lot of arms went up. Her advice was to carefully listen to speeches, news, to every party leader and no matter what party they vote for, it is important to go and VOTE. She is aware that her party is too young to form the government but the “Greens” will support the others and work TOGETHER for the good of Canada.
I find it is blatant discrimination that she is not invited to participate in joint party debates on radio or TV. Why is that? Are the male ‘contenders’ afraid of this smart lady who has a memory like an elephant and can answer any and all questions across the political spectrum? She remembers and quotes statements the other leaders have made at whatever meetings years ago, – with absolutely no written notes. She speaks freely; she explains and recalls, she has a platform almost too good to be true from child care to eliminating university tuition to senior care, pharmacare, climate change and the economy, nothing has been left out. She has been able to attract an incredible lineup of able candidates across the country and it will be very interesting to see what will happen when the date of the election comes around: October 19th 2015.