Friday, July 28, 2006

If Open Participation belies Arrogance so be it

Gary McPherson, rumoured to be considering his own bid in the upcoming PC Leadership Race, seems to have stirred a bit of controversy over his suggestion in the Edmonton Journal (Monday, July 24, 2006) that people consider participating in the PC Leadership Race and not miss the opportunity to become involved in this particular exercise of our democratic process.

McPherson wrote "The way the Alberta Progressive Conservative Association conducts its leadership competition makes it one of the most democratic and participatory political processes available anywhere on Earth. It opens the door for all Albertans including those as young as 16 years of age to participate in the process, no matter what their specific interests or political leanings. The opportunity presented by the PC leadership race is ... an opportunity for Albertans of all political persuasions to participate in this important and historic leadership vote..."

McPherson’s letter seemed to create a "flurry" of objections, but as I know quite well all three of the people who responded in Letter’s to the Editor I don’t see this as being representative (or even anything resembling a coincidence) of any general opinion. But it is interesting the rhetoric that was employed.

My favourite was comments from our beloved Daveberta in the Edmonton Journal (Thursday, July 27, 2006) where he wrote "I am insulted by Gary McPherson's […] suggestion that the Alberta PC leadership race is just as important as an actual democratic election highlights the arrogance of the current governing party. I, for one, am going to keep my $5 and wait for the next election to vote for my choice."

I must admit I picked on Dave because I like him and I know he can take it. Dave, bless his heart, could not bring himself to be objective on this topic even if the lives of an entire litter of kittens depended on it (which thankfully, it doesn’t). Dave is not just a card carrying Liberal Party Member - he is a liberal activist, a liberal campaign worker, a past liberal constituency president and someone who lays awake at night plotting ways to sabotage the entire PC Party of Alberta so he can bring the Liberals and Kevin Taft to rule in Alberta. That's why we love him.

Today new blogger Ken Chapman (welcome to the Blogosphere Ken!) asks "Where is the Arrogance?"

I would have to agree with Ken - people like Dave are never going to consider this opportunity - but that doesn't mean it isn't there and available to them.


daveberta said...

I'm surprised I missed this post. You didn't include this part of the letter in your post, which is what my main issue with the letter was:

"Therefore, it can be rationalized and intelligently argued, that every Albertan 16 years of age and older not only has the opportunity to affect the outcome of the Alberta PC leadership race, but also the duty to participate in this most democratic process that is being made available to them."

Suggesting it is "the duty" of Albertans to pay $5 to the Alberta PC party is what I have a HUGE issue with. It sounds like something someone would say in Communist China.


Allie said...

Communist China? Surely you jest.

I don't know what McPherson's reasoning was behind suggesting democratic participation of ones citizenry should be considered a "duty" but I do know that this is an opportunity for everyone - anyone - who is an Albertan to be as involved as they want to be.

And 5.00 for a party membership? That's less than half what your party charges people to participate in/at the party level of our democracy.