No, seriously… what the fuck is wrong with you?
(Oh… apparently this post has foul language. We can deal with my personal issues later, though.)
(good intentions or not, the damage was done and I believe a public apology for the apparent misunderstanding is the right thing to do)
Sexy soundbite: So the Manitoba Liberals aren’t in the pooper; we’re already flushed halfway down the drainpipe. Nobody’s buying what we’ve been selling, and to be honest I can’t fault anyone for that. We used to rely on the Federal Liberals throwing a tiny life preserver into the toilet for us, but now they’re circling the bowl, too.
It’s our own fault, but that means that we are the ones who can fix it.
I’ve said this before (albeit in a more polite manner), but I’ll say it again, since I’m nothing if not shrill and repetitive:
Conservatives hide their poop.
Dippers hide their poop.
Liberals fling their poop at every other Liberal in the room.
I don’t like being covered in poop; some people do, like those two lovely girls in that video with the cup, but I’m not like that. And I change enough diapers to know that I don’t want that stuff touching my skin (or my eyes, or my mouth, or my vas deferens).
If you are unhappy with something, find constructive solutions. One of my year-and-some son’s favourite books is called Roadwork, and it shows various workers and machinery building a road. Now, if a person wanted to build a road for the Liberals, one that leads from, say, the sewer pipe in the basement up to a place high enough that we wouldn’t need to smell like poop anymore, that person would construct said road, as opposed to tossing hand grenades at the work site and hoping that eventually you’ll get a paved ribbon out of it.
Construction is how you build things. My son has grasped the concept firmly, more firmly than walking on his own or not dropping cheerios down his pants.
But is there a point in doing all this work? Is there any hope for the Liberals?
I think so, but don’t take my word for it. I spend most of my time building a business and writing stories about garden-gnome-on-girl romance. This isn’t my area of expertise.
But I can tell you one thing. There is no party in Manitoba other than the Liberals that I feel I can support in good conscience.
I believe the NDP are corrupt, tired, and ineffective.
I believe the PCs are reactionary, untrustworthy, and ineffective.
I believe the Greens are impractical, inexperienced, and ineffective.
Now the Liberals? Hot dog! They’re intelligent, progressive, and ineffective.
So you can see why I love them so much.
So who is effective, then? Well… in Manitoba, there are plenty of people who are effective, people who know how to get things done and then get those things done, often by asking for advice and help when they need it, and respecting the concept that other people may disagree from time to time. Those people are sometimes called “everyday heroes”, but usually we just call them people who aren’t in politics.
And they aren’t in politics because they enjoy being effective. You don’t get into politics if you like getting things done. Well, you might get into it, but you probably wouldn’t last very long.
When my neighbours and I were trying to save a community centre in Winnipeg, we joined as a team and worked together, focusing primarily on revitalizing the club as opposed to waxing political. We were politically inexperienced and we were motivated by what we felt was the right thing to do, and I still don’t know the political leanings of many of the people I worked alongside.
And when the city shut us down I cried, not because of politics or rivalries, but because I knew that the kids in the neighbourhood were losing something they’d grown proud of.
We weren’t effective in politics (who is, really?) but we were effective in giving kids something to believe in, at least for a little while. If you ask me what part I liked, if it was speaking at city council and doing interviews or if it was working with the kids and building something special, my answer will be pretty clear.
And if I were to do it all a second time, I’d hope to come back into it with enough resources to focus on the kids and stay out of the politics as much as humanly possible. Because like normal people, I enjoy being effective.
Will I return to politics some day? I don’t know. I think about it sometimes, but I’m not sure I’m cut out for it.
I don’t want to pretend that everyone’s uninformed opinion is worth listening to ad nauseum, or that it feels perfectly normal to beg people to vote for you like they’re doing you a favour. If a voter believes a candidate will do the best job, the voter has a duty to vote for that candidate; the candidate’s duty is to do the best job possible.
That’s all there is to it.
So I’ll stay out of the political cage matches for now. If people decide someday that my skills, experience, and ideas are valuable in the public octagon, they know where to find me.
But this isn’t about me. Well, everything’s really about me. But I’ll indulge you for a moment.
The Manitoba Liberals have a fever, and the only prescription is being more selective.
People badmouth the leader publicly? Drop them like a turd, especially if they don’t apologize and particularly if they try to deflect, backpeddle, or act like a misquoted victim (this isn’t a single incident I’m talking about, but a sad series of them over many years). “How’s the leader doing?” “Great.” That’s how it’s done.
Unqualified or unreliable people want to be candidates? Don’t nominate them and accept that you won’t have a full slate. The extra funding from those votes isn’t worth the opportunity cost of damaging the brand by running bad candidates. Bad candidates include anyone who publicly disrespects the leadership, has no intention of campaigning actively, or is running just because they have an axe to grind.
People want you to beg for their vote? Tell them that you’re not in the business of sucking up. I don’t want people to support me or my party as a “favour”. Either we’re the right choice, or we’re not. We’ll do our jobs, and hopefully a handful of voters will do theirs.
I’d rather be a member of a small, principled, and disciplined party that gets a genuine 1% of the vote than a hot mess that gets 5% based on habit or pity.
I’m not sure I’m still a member of the party, actually. I guess that makes it okay for me to mention the Manitoba Liberals and the word ‘poop’ over and over again in a blog post.
About working with the Greens: why not? Is it a merger? No. A federalist Canadian party can’t merge with a Global Greens party; one or the other would die in the process. But if Greens run in Wolseley while Grits run in Fort Rouge? Why not try it? Will the rivers run in red and green blood? Would you even notice the difference in the water?
A while back I crunched the numbers and found that if the Manitoba Liberal Party limited its candidacies to the dozen or so constituencies where it felt it could be competitive, the vote percentage of the party would drop like a stone. We’d go from 7.5% to less than 5%, assuming we could do as well in those ridings.
So a Votepocalypse in traditional terms. That’s true. But how has being traditional been going for us lately?