Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jim Ricks - Why I’m Voting for Jane Sterk and the Greens


(If you want to write me something like this about who you are voting and why, please send it to me and I will post it as long as it is not an attack on another candidate - I want personal positive reasons why people are making their choice.  I do not care the part of the political spectrum you are on I will post it in favour of anyone running)

As with most important developments in my life it started with a relationship. Not a deep relationship, but acquaintance through common connections: Rotary Club, my wife’s book club, some friends.

Time went on and that relationship sat dormant. I left Rotary, didn’t hear too much from my wife about the book club, and can’t even remember who the common friends were. Jane Sterk’s name rarely came up until we saw the BC election on the horizon. She communicated to us she would like some help with her campaign. We agreed.

Now we are hip deep in the campaign. Like a freight train, we are roaring down a fast track toward voting day. I can’t remember when I felt so much continuous energy, physical stress, excitement, anger, joy, and dedication, all with increasing momentum. 
We’re solidly behind Jane Sterk and the Greens. But there is more to it. It’s about being part of a collection of people who share a working vision for our community and for the province. Everyone hopes their effort will be rewarded by the satisfaction of a win. Yet I think that at some point, after the campaign has ground to its inevitable stop and after this work turns into reminiscences, we still may have something ineffable. 

Sociologists call it “social capital,” or “social relations that have productive benefits.” That means when people work together, they learn about how to create functional groups or communities. They discover how to accomplish things. That set of skills and knowledge then can be applied elsewhere in the future. So you can be part of a political campaign now and, next year, be part of working on behalf to raise money for a charity.

I think this is something the Greens really understand. In our campaign we have very little money, not many experienced people, and limited interest from some of the media who write us off as a fringe party. We don’t want big corporate supporters because we want the broader community to be the major investor in what we do. Community building is integral to the Green philosophy.

If we are really a kind of political skunk works, that’s good, because under those conditions people do things they would never think they were capable of doing. Creativity and improvisation are at large at our headquarters. Our energy is fiercely concentrated everywhere. One person is under a dark cloud of overwhelm and fear. Another is hugging the candidate. Others are bent over the computers managing the endless contact work to be done. People are loading up with signs to go wave at street corners. Nobody looks disengaged. 

I’m proud to be part of this. There’s a large and a new vision emerging here. I believe we’ll look back on it as one of the best of times. If we win, we will make a great contribution to BC politics. If we don’t we will still make a great contribution to the richness and success of life for those we have engaged, including ourselves. We will have more to build on for other campaigns and, next time we will know more, be able to do more, create more, and be even more passionate!
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