I’m still stuck on the election. The results are in. The party I feared would gain a majority did not. I am content with the results.
It’s the comments of one of the pundits that is making the difference and disturbing my peace of mind this morning.
Political guru, former PC bagman and advisor to Premiers, Rod Love, was at the WildRose Party headquarters last night. He didn’t actually say he was a supporter, nor did he say he wasn’t. He just was ‘there’. Which in and of itself irks me because it speaks to a desire to not stand up publicly for your beliefs — and that is my opinion not the truth for Mr. Love. (I don’t know what is true for him). In his comments to two separate television reporters he repeated, and repeated, the statement that the ‘PC brand is strong and won’.
The ‘brand’ did not win.
People voted. The PCs won.
Now, let’s be clear here. I have never been a card-carrying PC until Alison Redford’s second run for leadership. Then, I made sure I got out and voted because I did not want her opponents to win and in the leadership election, every Albertan, regardless of political affiliation, could vote if they bought a party membership.
Holding a PC membership card did not dictate my decision to vote PC in this election.
It was a heart and head decision.
I historically vote Liberal not because of the ‘brand’. I vote liberal because I believe in social justice. I am, as Jonathan Haidt describes ‘liberals’ in his 2008 Ted Talk on the moral roots of liberals and conservatives, ‘open to experiences’ as opposed to the conservative affinity to prefer things that are familiar, safe and dependable. It isn’t about right and wrong, it’s about natural affinities, says Haidt and he quotes researcher Robert McCrae who studied the ‘open to experiences’ phenomena and wrote: “Open individuals have an affinity for liberal, progressive, left-wing political views.” They like a society that is open and changing, adds Haidt, who goes on to quote McCrae’s study. “Whereas closed individuals prefer conservative, traditional, right-wing views.”
I didn’t vote a ‘brand’.
I voted for change. And Alison Redford has been shaking up the PC’s since taking office last year. She has been creating and building change into our cultural, social and economic fabric. Change that will make a difference to our province’s future. Change that will create more vibrant, healthy communities.
I didn’t vote brand. I voted against an ideology that is not part of my nature. That does not sit well within my psyche and natural affinity to be ‘open to experiences’. I voted against ultra-right-wing views that promised to entrench our province in hardcore conservative policies that would have hurt those at the bottom struggling to get up.
Okay, so this is becoming a political discourse — not intended, but Rod Love’s repeated comment about ‘the PC brand’ and its strengths, really rubbed me the wrong way last night. It was the worst of my profession — communications. It sounded rote, practiced and a familiar, safe, and predictable comment that doesn’t allow for change to play a part in the political future of our province. Yet, in the context of being open or closed to experience — it makes sense. If an individual tends to have a natural affinity for conservative views, not rocking the boat, holding onto tradition will be natural.
And that’s where I can make a difference.
I can recognize my fear is that I don’t want to be caught in the trap of ‘safe and predictable’ — and note the word trap — it is my perception that safe and predictable is a trap — not the reality for those who hold conservative, traditional, right-wing views near to their hearts.
My perceptions are the trap I fall into when I do not allow differences to have a voice, to hold equal footing for others as my need to be ‘open to experiences’ holds for me.
Yesterday, a surprised PC party continued the party’s reign.
Yesterday, a surprised Wildrose party did not take up the reigns.
Either way, change is in the air.
And I am open to the experience.
And, being open to the experience makes a difference.
If you want to understand more about our natural affinity for open or closed experiences, do watch Jonathan Haidt’s 2008 Ted Talk. It is enlightening.
And…. I promise…. today is the last of my political discourse. Back to regular programming tomorrow!