The Joys Of This Political Gig
The reason I have difficulty with this so-called criticism is that I'm the perfect example of how untrue it is.
My folks weren't "Big Tories". Dad once attended a nomination meeting back in the 50s, but only because a local fellow from Sandy Lake was running for the nomination. (He lost that nomination to a guy from Minnedosa named Weir.) After that, my father never got involved until I started dragging him along to breakfast fundraisers almost forty years later.
My hometown had a few older Conservatives that encouraged me along, but no one can say there was an established local organization to drag me into it.
No, I just got involved by showing up. Attended my first national convention over ten years ago when Ryan Craig called me up in January '98 and invited me along to support his bid for the national youth presidency. (One of my all-time favorite convention memories came immediately upon my arrival to Ottawa on the first night. I stood in a hotel room bathroom and watched Ryan's younger brother Colin dispense bottles from a hundred-dollar case of beer that a couple of Jean Charest's aids had purchased from the hotel. Thing was, the hotel demanded normal hotel prices. Yes, that was only twenty-four beers. $96. Less than two minutes of stock considering how fast the future Taxpayers Federation rep gave them out.)
And ever since then, I just made an effort to show up and try to get involved. And slowly but surely, my circles expand and with each subsequent provincial election or national convention, I find myself in increasingly fun situations.
Like this morning at the Conservative Club breakfast. I had the great forture of spending fifteen to twenty minutes seated at a table with two cabinet ministers, our guest speaker Monte Solberg (no slouch himself) and a pair of rookie MPs coming fresh off of big victories last month. These are the days when it's legitimately difficult to contain my inner politics nerd.
Didn't get much of a chance to speak with Steven Fletcher, however Heritage Minister - and former Solberg staffer - James Moore was willing to talk a bit of shop and both Ed Holder, the new MP from London, along with Peter Weston from the BC riding formerly held by John Reynolds, were quite engaging and appeared full of energy as befits a brand spanking new MP.
Monte Solberg gave a great speech, both entertaining and thoughtful, and the room was full of out-of-province guests that I'll admit I did a poor job of recognizing. (Including Dr. Roy from Montreal, who I'm sure I'll speak with again this weekend.)
I'm now definitely in convention mode.