I did not vote in the last federal election. This was the first since I have been of age that I did not vote. I did not vote because I feel that my vote no longer counts. I mean that my vote no longer counts because politics has become an entirely self centered thing where power for its own sake is all that there is. The great issues of our time - the environment, global cultural conflict, energy, kids are off the table. Instead there is only work to shore up the interests of those that control the status quo.
My only hope is Ken Dryden - a man who knows that he is a man. A man who is "awkward" in politics. A man who finds spin and rhetoric impossible. I have met him many times now in my work with children and we usually commiserate with each other about how what is truly important is off the table.
Here is part of an interview he gave with the National Post this week - it is what we talk about when we meet.
Doesn’t have the “killer instinct.” Politics is a rough sport, you know. Gotta go into the corners with your elbows up.
Do you know what going into the corners is really about? It’s to get the puck! Go in with your elbows up, you’re off for two minutes – and they get it. The best, the best, know what the prize is, then go after it, get it, then do something with it. Just like those who are the best at politics.
After the last election, we – as a party, as citizens – said we needed to do politics differently. Except political and media insiders looked at each other, winked, and said, “But politics doesn’t work that way.”
Who says? Why not? Has anybody tried? Has anybody asked the public?
Has anybody wondered why the public is disgusted with politics? Big important things – Afghanistan, the future of our aboriginal peoples, global warming – and what do they see? The shouting, laughing, backslapping; the name-calling and disrespect – the stupid political games. This is how politics works? Who does it work for?
Anybody asked the public?
I always thought politics was about people. People who aren’t doing very well and need a boost; people who are doing well and can do even better. If it isn’t about that, why do it? It’s a lousy life. But if it is about people, it’s great. It’s taking that instinct that’s in all of us – to help others – that we express every day in our service clubs and church groups, and give it a big chance, with all the power of government behind it....
This is stop-the-spinning, get-real time. The stakes in the next
election are clear – it’s Kyoto or it’s not; Kelowna or it’s not; child
care or it’s not. It’s a generous, inclusive, connecting Big Canada, or
it’s not. For those who are voting this weekend to select delegates to
Montreal, remember, it is your vote, your decision. Nothing’s been
decided. It is up to you. And that everyone elected as a delegate to
Montreal is really a surrogate for the 32 million Canadians who are not
there. We have to give ourselves our best chance to win. We owe that to