a time for being non-partisan

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I’ve been meaning to write about why I like being part of a group that is political but non-partisan.

I know some people talk about being non-partisan as though they were talking about being multi-faith or non-denominational, like its an inclusivity issue so that everyone can be part of it. Believe in a particular party isn’t a requirement for membership or participation, and even the political equivalent of an athiest rejecting all parties can be involved. That’s good, but its not the only reason I like the group being non-partisan.

But to me, the biggest thing is that I reject the idea that our political salvation comes from getting “our” party elected. The politicians who are in parliament or provincial parliament right now, they are OUR politicians. They are still supposed to be working for us, even if we disagree with them, even if they disagree with us. We’re not waiting for our turn at the bat. They’re supposed to be on our team too, and if they aren’t we have to find the ways to make them.

But if the provincial Conservatives want food-only debt cards (modern day food-stamps) and other incredibly awful things, how do we work with them? If the provincial Liberals say one thing and then do a different, why wouldn’t we want NDP to be in charge? I can understand the idea of individuals wanting NDP or Green to be in charge. I can understand volunteering for a political party, and I don’t think it is necessarily easy to force a political party to change its party lines, so maybe in the long run working to get a different party elected is the thing to do. But at the same time, we have to demand action now, not just hope for the next election. We have to challenge the idea that the party in power gets to ignore other voices.

We need to get people in the streets. We need to get the newspapers filled with letters to the editors. We need to do sit ins and mass mobilizations.

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