I watched the NDP's Convention Live Stream on CBC News' iPad app, well, I watched Tom Mulcair's speech and the voting afterward while I did the laundry or drank coffee and recovered from my month of crowdfunding. I thought as I watched: it's appealing being a party member. For a political junkie like me, it looked like a lot of fun!
Being a Canadian, I am free to vote in our elections for whichever candidate and party I
want to -- if I was a party member, I could even vote against the party I'm a member of since every
vote is a secret ballot and my ballot is exactly the same as every
Canadian citizen's ballot. Being a non-partisan blogger and
Canadian, I am free to choose which party I agree with at any given
moment without feeling like I'm betraying anyone.
But there is no party of non-partisan Canadians.
The closest I got was the pre-social media group of non-partisan bloggers that James Bow founded. Many of us transitioned to social media back in 2008 or later . . . about the same time I outed myself by name and gender and expanded my postings to beyond politics. It got a little lonely.
But as a partisan Canadian, you're not lonely.
You get to be part of a group. You get to have your say and affect a party's policy direction. You get a say in who our future Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition will be. And you get to talk shop, debate heatedly, feel like you live in a democracy, and go home exhausted, on a high of being with other people like you.
It sure is appealing.
But ultimately, I'm not suited to group-think. I like groups that gather around other things like the Brain Injury Society of Toronto, where thinking or believing in a similar way is not the entrance to the group. In its mission, I belong. But in thought, I stand outside this group.
My freedom in non-partisanship comes at a price.