Monday, December 06, 2010
Post-partisan politics. Rita's story: "We found each other, didn't we?"
BC Mary comment: A wise friend told me a story recently. We were talking politics, as we often do, and I was trying to figure out w.t.f. is going on in all of B.C.'s political parties right now. She told me a political story that had happened in B.C. ... so it may be surprising that Rita's story is a good, positive, uplifting story. For that reason, I'd like to share it. First, here's part of what I said to her, that got things rolling:
Mary to Rita: I think that the first clear sign of the betrayal of NDP principles happened on Saturday, Oct. 15, 1983 when Jack Munro went cap-in-hand to the Kelowna home of Premier Bill Bennett ... and instead of standing up for the workers who were striking and in open revolt against "the hated Social Credit Party and its even more despised leader who had 26 different pieces of new legislation" in the works ... Munroe for no apparent reason capitulated, made nice, and called "Game over!". Frozen in time is a photo of Jack & Bill ... and were they each holding a drink? Like, a celebratory drink? or is my memory playing mischief? ... the two of them stand there together on Bill Bennett's patio in a Best Friends Forever photo, to remind us forever what treachery looks like.
"Bill Bennett Reconsidered" by Bill Tieleman [http://thetyee.ca/Books/2006/06/27/BennettReconsidered/] is worth an immediate re-reading. Between the lines are the visible outlines of the deal which has been described for us. So I'd say that Bill knows. And Bill has taken the sacred oath. Leonard Krog knows. What I for one don't know, is w.t.f. it all means in terms of why they capitulate, comply, and "go along" ... and I sure as heck don't know what people might do next. If it's all so simple, as you say, Rita m'dear, tell me: what do we do next?"
And here, in part, is what my wise friend Rita replied:
What we do as individuals is entirely up to each of us. It depends on what we want I suppose. Quite frankly I'm fed up with political parties...all of them. I'm even questioning democracy as the rule of thumb by which we govern ourselves.
I'm thinking about our small community in the Land of NO [North Oyster] and how a few of us joined with the neighbouring community in South Wellington to battle against Nanaimo airport expansion over the Cassidy Aquifer and within the Agricultural Land Reserve. I suggested to the group that we not vote on the small stuff. Why? Voting means someone loses. I didn't want anyone to lose. So, we went with the only thing we could come up with at the time...consensus. Plus we figuratively passed the "talking stick" so everyone had a chance to voice their concerns, opinions, thoughts.
Oh there was general chaos at times. Who cared?! I simply gave up trying to be the "chair"...what a miserable authoritative status quo occupation.
At the end of the talking we all looked at one another wondering what had just happened...but we all smiled...we were all enthralled with each another...we appreciated each other...there was respect. Oh, deep down we all knew we wouldn't get anywhere on the airport issue, but the point was we had all come together in integrity of purpose...like minds, like hearts. In the end? Our small community was strengthened. We had found each other. I know I could go to any one of these people in complete trust.
The same goes with our online community. Geez, I hope I'm not sounding preachy or esoteric...but it's true. This crap is happening everywhere within a decaying society. We ask, where can we go? Well, we found each other didn't we? Maybe that's all there is. Maybe this is the beginning of something new.
A look at union, labour leader who have cozied up to big business. Very relevent to some of what is driving certain idealogies within the NDP right now.
Two points I'd like to remember -
• Consensus - we agree not necessarily with the issue or with each other, but we agree to move forward.
• by listening to each other and being open to all opinions, we learn to trust each other.
Democracy is not lost and is not a bad word.
It is the sins of capitalism without humanity that are haunting us but also helping us to find our way back.
Links to this post: