I’ve been asked where I’ve been lately. Well, I took a week off and for the first time in probably six years I skied for five consecutive days at Apex Mountain Resort. I was trying to get the first chapter of my new book completed so I could forward it to the individual who hopefully will be my editor for this project, and I needed some time away from the distractions of screens and town life… the results? Well my knees hurt more than usual, but not badly enough to cause a concern; and the first chapter has been forwarded for review.
And now, as I begin to lay out a work plan for the next six weeks (I may have some new consulting work in the world of educational leadership programming), I have a more immediate challenge. I need to prepare for the national convention of the federal Conservative party. Yes, believe it or not, but somehow I was elected as one of the ten delegates from the South Okanagan – West Kootenay electoral riding. From others I know in different parts of the country, this is most surprising as in several places strong conservative voices were not elected to their respective teams. As a result of this finding, I realize that I have to take this challenge very seriously. This morning I have been going over Constitution and Policy documents prior to plenary sessions later today and/or tomorrow during which I will be required to vote. I also have been wading through a variety of e-mails from different people in BC who want to be elected to the National Council. It has been interesting to see the types of people who are asking for support, what they seem to believe and why they are attractive candidates (or otherwise).
I should mention, in the event that you aren’t already aware, my great uncle (William Sinclair) was a strong and forceful Liberal. In fact for a period of time he was leader of the Ontario provincial Liberals. As well he was a personal friend of MacKenzie King (even invited to a dinner at Laurier-King House where his name appears on a seating plan still available for viewing). However I never knew how his brother (my Grandfather: N.R.D. Sinclair) nor my father (R.A. Sinclair) voted in any federal or provincial election. Moreover, my mother’s father (Grandad Glenn Gamble) was a personal friend of Tommy Douglas the CCF/NDP icon & leader (this was validated by a personal conversation in YEG [Edmonton International Airport] when we ran into each other between flights). And I have never known how my mother (Josephine Sinclair) has voted. Therefore, while there is a history on both sides of my lineage for political involvement, it’s just that most of seems to be to the left side of the spectrum. As for my own journey, I did start out as a very young Liberal, but after spending time in the Maritimes in the early sixties, I came to respect Robert Stanfield especially in his role as Premier of Nova Scotia. When he became leader of the PC Party, I became a progressive conservative…and have tended to lean that way ever since. In any event, I am interested in politics and the ways we are governed and part of that life-long journey has led me to this moment.
As the Convention starts shortly, I will be brief (a follow-up after it is over will be posted):
A virtual convention is not a really dynamic one if you do not know most of the players, therefore I am approaching all the conversations with the mind of a skeptic, because I am not going to have the opportunity to chat in the hallways or raise a glass at a bar or even go for a wee walk & talk in order to get to know the individual behind the comments they make (and vice versa)…
The Conservative party at the moment parallels the Republicans to the south in one major way, there is a proclivity to exert much energy on internal fights rather than focusing on those other parties with fundamentally different political philosophies that bear strong scrutiny and potentially deserve to be defeated at the polls…
In some of the emails I have received there is an undertone of liberal-style thinking – i.e. there is only one way to do things and that is the best way; in this regard I wonder if some are once again suggesting that abortion should be a central focus because somehow this runs counter to the commandment that one ought not to kill – I might be convinced of such an argument if the other commandments hadn’t already been dismissed by most people including many who argue for a strict interpretation of the killing clause and in this regard I simply remind people that one is supposed to, among other things, honour the Sabbath, honour one’s parents, refuse to covet, and most of all have only one God – until I see a firm commitment on the part of any politician, let alone a member of a political party, I suggest we render until Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s…personal beliefs are important yes, but deal with them personally and don’t try to require me to accept them as mine!!
Conventions need to be inclusive which means there needs to be the opportunity for each participant to be heard and be welcomed into key conversations – I’m not sure that even in three days of virtual reality that is possible and therefore this convention will need to make sure that there are on-going dialogues and conversations reaching out and hearing from every delegate and then continue the conversations back at each electoral district association (EDA).
There has been no effort on the part of my EDA to let me know what is expected of me over the next three days, nor more importantly after the convention is over – I hope that changes by the weekend as I would like to think someone (at least the conservative candidate in the next federal election) would be interested in my analysis of it all…
It is going to be an interesting venture I am sure. No doubt I will have more questions as it unfolds. Trust me though, while I am conservative I also am independent, so that may create some intriguing moments!! In the interim, have a good march forward into Spring which will happen before the convention is over…