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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 29 September 2014

I Object to This

Justin Trudeau is the Leader of a political party and a potential Prime Minister.  His frame is that he's different - hope and hard work, the people first, all of that.

Yet here I am being told that, should I have the paid-for honour of talking to Trudeau, I've got to be prepared to pitch him, like I'm at a job interview.  The emphasis is on how I can convince him, not the other way around. 

This is my one shot at "the political experience of a lifetime" - donate now, the opportunity won't come again!  You don't want to blow this opportunity to engage in the democratic process!

And just to make sure I'm clear on where my standing is with the party, there's a helpful little notice of how much I have donated compared to XX number of other folk and what they've donated.  Gotta measure up, don't you know, if you want a shot at participation!

You'll note my donations equal zero.  I haven't had the luxury of being able to donate to much of anything to anyone of late, except advice and contacts, which folk like these are all too willing to gobble up without thought that perhaps something in return is in order. 

Not that it matters.  This is a race to the top, after all - if you can't contribute, if you can't support the leader, you're not of value.  Your access to the leader doesn't exist unless you earn it. 

That's fine - such is the nature of partisan politics.  The question is "what can you do for your party/leader" rather than "what your party/leader wants to do for you."  Harper's fund solicitation gimmicks use the same frame.

What I object to, rather strongly, is the notion that unless I give money to Team Trudeau and psych myself up to make an amazing sales pitch to Trudeau himself, I'm not "all in" with my commitment to shaping Canada's future.

Perhaps Katie Telford won't recall the conversation we had, many moons ago, where she advised me it was a hard road, committing to community-building over putting financial wins for oneself first.  I remember it very clearly, because she was absolutely right.

I have dedicated countless hours and my considerable, if varied talents towards pursuing the liberal dream of "strong individuals for a strong society"; I've put in more than my fair share of hope and hard work. I have done so because it's what I believe. 

Katie knows what my big idea is, though she probably hasn't paid much attention to how hard I've been building it.  Occupational mental health, workplace culture, open government, opportunities for grassroots empowerment, actual job-training for political staff - I've spent the past four years pursuing these things with dogged determination which is starting to pay off for many people, possibly society at large - just not so much me.

I have dedicated every fibre of my being and made more than a few sacrifices in furtherance of the vision of Canada that I, Katie, even Justin Trudeau say we believe in.

Part of that vision is that every Canadian has value and that political access should not be exclusive, nor based on how much money you make or how skilled you are at sales-pitches.  Some of the most amazing ideas are emerging at this very moment in marginalized communities from people without money, or access, or refined speech.

These folk believe in themselves; what they need now is for others to believe and invest in them.

That's how moving forward really works - not through exclusive access, like a political indulgence, but by leaving no one behind.

Craig --
When it comes to meeting political leaders and debating big ideas, I’ve been there.
So if you win the chance to brainstorm your big idea for Canada with Justin Trudeau over breakfast, here’s my advice.
Come prepared. Take a deep breath. Smile. And believe in yourself with every fibre of your being. Because you’re about to have the most interesting conversation of your life.
With only 36 hours left to win the political experience of a lifetime, it’s time to decide.
Are you ready to go all in to shape Canada’s future? I hope so, and have included your 2014 donation history below to help:
Third Quarter Fundraising Drive donation status: PENDING**
Total donated nationally in 2014: $0 (You have $1,200 in contribution room left in 2014)
Estimated 2014 tax savings: $0 (of a total of $625 in potential savings)
Recommended donation: $3
When you give, you’ll be joining 3,785 Canadians who’ve chipped in $265,486 in response to emails like this one:
After you donate, share your big idea for Canada and enter to win the political experience of a lifetime: a return flight to Ottawa, breakfast with Justin Trudeau and one of his senior advisors (you bring the big idea!), and a chance to hear former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak over lunch on October 6, 2014.
Everyone who gives will receive an exclusive electronic preview from Justin Trudeau's new book, Common Ground. And if you give $200, or more, you’ll receive a complimentary hard copy of the book.
Thank you.
Chrystia Freeland
MP, Toronto-Centre

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