Thursday, December 16, 2004

Question answered

Babble on.

A political Hack gives the definitive answer to Shannon's question. In fact, he spells out exactly why I swallowed my distaste for our tawdry political process and canvassed for a losing candidate this past summer.

Buy a membership. Get involved. If you don't, the Liberals will win until our sun goes supernova.

Babble off.

7 Comments:

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I've been put off with how impossible it is to get someone within the party to talk to me about my concerns. Why should I shell out $10 for a membership when all my best efforts to get a dialog started are ignored?

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Chris Taylor said...

The best place to get your questions and concerns addressed is within your local riding association. They are the bedrock of the political system here in Canada. All of those top-level party platform decisions are made by delegates to the various policy and leadership conventions. The delegates are nominated by (guess who) the local ridings. If you want to influence party policy, join the party, nominate a delegate who supports your positions on the key issues, or become a delegate yourself and vote on those issues on behalf of your riding association. That's how the system works.

Sending an e-mail to the party's web maintainers won't accomplish an awful lot -- whether that party is the NDP, Liberals, or Conservatives. Everything important starts at the riding association level. That's where your voice will be heard the loudest, and where you will have the most impact. And that's why Damian says, quite correctly, that it's important to spend the ten bucks and get involved.

It's not a buffet, where you get to pick and choose what you want from stuff someone has already prepared -- it's a kitchen, and you're one of the cooks. You have to do some of the work, too.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Andrew, you're right, it's a crappy system.

You want to invent a better one, be my guest. Until then, ya work with what ya got.

 
At 4:01 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Chris,

I quickly discovered that the public website feedback form was not the route to use.

Since then I've attempted to contact the riding president (the website was out of date, and the email non-existant) and the membership chair for my riding. Nothing - not even a courtesy email.

It may only be a measly ten bucks to join, but I can find lots of good uses for that cash that don't involve dealing with a party that seems not to care that a prospective member is banging at their door, begging to be convinced to join up.

I have a phone number to an answering machine I can apparently call and maybe get a reply one day - I guess I'll try that next. But I'm not signing up without talking to someone first - it would be like buying a car without even so much as seeing it first.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Update:

Decided to call the number I had, and got a real live person. (wow!) It was the riding president's husband, and he took a message for me. There's hope yet. Someone will hopefully cal me within a week.

I guess the hi-tech approach was the wrong one to take.

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger Chris Taylor said...

Well you did all the legwork, but nobody got back to you -- and that genuinely sucks! It's not terribly unusual though.

About six years ago I attempted to simultaneously join all four major political parties: The Liberals, the Reform Party, the Progressive Conservatives, and the New Democrats. At the time I was intending to use them as a minor tax write-off. The Libs signed me up, sent me a membership card, and continued to do so for the new couple of years (even though I hadn't paid for more than one year), and I still get their newsletter today. The Reform Party never got back to me about membership but did send a couple of newsletters. The PCs never responded about membership but sent two newsletters. The NDP never responded and never sent any additional information.

 
At 10:23 PM, Blogger Ian Scott said...

I pretty much gave up on the Conservatives as a worthwhile bunch to support when I had a conversation with David Tilson, my conservative MPP. All he did was spout centrist ideas, refused to listen to other ideas and alternatives, and basically poo pooed any real libertarian or what some would think as "conservative."

I tried to engage him conversation about some ideas about the health care system. He went on and on about how it's a "Canadian Tradition... blah blah.." made some totally absurd comments about his ideas to straighten it out which was nothing than more socialism (no one gets a family doctor.. instead, you just see whoever is available sort of thing - a limit on the number of physicals you can have in some time period..), and then, when I reminded him that extra billing in Ontario by doctors was outlawed only about 20 years ago, he didn't know what to say about this so called "tradition."

So I put it to him.. what did people do 20, 30, 40 years ago? You know what he said? "Well... ummm.. people died!" That was his response.

I told him people were dying today.. in waiting lines, and poor service, and no choices to go elsewhere.. he just refused to even THINK about alternatives.

So, I bought my membership to The Freedom Party Of Canada.

 

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