I have a small apartment and a very large home

Sittin’ in the kitchen  awailin’ on the old guitar.  I’m thinkin’ about becomin’   the world’s biggest rock and roll star. 

Well I’d give it a shot, lose or win  but I don’t think I could fit everybody in.  ‘cause sittin’ in the kitchen’  the only place I’d try a stunt like that. 

  - the magnificent and incomparable Bob Snider.

I can’t fit everyone into my kitchen, but I’m so glad that I’ve found a big political home.

I’m extremely pleased to announce that I’ve survived my first official Alberta Party function as a member.

I also wish to announce to corollary, the Alberta Party has also survived me joining them for a function as a member.

I planned my week around meeting Sue Huff.  I gave up a home cooked dinner for tonight - it damned well better have been worth it, right?  So what did I get out of the meeting tonight? 

I chatted with friends.  That’s it.  That’s everything.  And that’s absolutely amazing. 

I’m having this strange bewildering wonderment of who this guy is that keeps going out to these events - because the guy I know wouldn’t bother.  He’d whinge a bit about how lousy the government is and then futilely throw a vote away just so the scruiteneers had something to do at the end of the night.  The guy that showed up tonight showed up with something to say and wanted to be heard and did so knowing full well that he’s going to have to be willing to take on some of the load of work.  This is a guy who cares about himself, his neighbours, his neighbourhood, his city, his province, his country and his planet.  Previously, on a good day, he could muster enough caring to cover the first and the last and a randomly made selection from the middle.

I started at Green Drinks just long enough to be kicking myself for not showing up to a lot more Green Drinks events.  You know, I should be more involved with the stuff I care about and less involved with the stuff I don’t.

Eventually I worked my way over to Broken City.  Robert and Trina Hurdman snagged me up first and we got to chat for a bit before Sue came over to our table.  I’m not sure just how much I managed to express clearly, but much of what Trina posted during the civic election did affect my viewpoint and subsequently my approach and my success with addressing my children’s school.  It was the first time we met face to face, but we were really just picking up the conversation from the point where we left it last time.  I met @jerscape who has the misfortune of being stuck with a rather naive, opinionated (wrongly),  idealist such as myself.  And I spent time speaking with @OrganizerMike and Jeni who are willing to work with people like me who are trying to organize Constituency Associations.  It’s nice to know I have awesome people to rely on who actually know what they’re doing.  I spoke with James and Natalie and Marc and Rob and easily half a dozen more I’m forgetting, who at this point are just friends I like to spend time around.  This isn’t precisely what I expected in a political party.  And for as much time as I’ve spent around Paul Hughes, I’ve spent very little time actually talking to him face to face - and I’ve never actually introduced myself.  Wrapped that up tonight, finally.

Sooo…  who am I missing in the equation?

Sue Huff was the raison d’etre tonight.  The first time I’d ever encountered Sue was when she was chosen to be acting leader of the Alberta Party.  Some commentator along the way spoke highly of her and said the Alberta Party would do well to keep her.  Subsequently, I’ve simply paid attention to her blog and what she’s had to say online.  She sat at the table with Robert, Trina and myself and started speaking and I was able to just sit back, observe and listen.

Now I should mention that I missed getting a nametag walking into the place so initially she had no idea who I was and I had full advantage.  While listening to her, there weren’t surprises, there weren’t discongruencies, it was simply a pleasure to hear someone speaking her mind openly, honestly and eloquently.  It’s when Sue speaks about discussing issues in public instead of locked behind closed doors that I understand it’s not just hot air - she believes in open discussion every single bit as much as I believe in it.

I introduced myself, she recognized me, we had a short but enlightening visit together.  She became just another friend I spoke to tonight.  Perhaps a little higher profile than a lot of the other people I spoke with, but ultimately just another person in the room that was just as fervent and interested and energetic as everyone else.  There is no doubt, I’m really proud to work alongside Ms. Huff in addition to everyone else in the room tonight.

So what’s the point of writing all this besides name dropping and buttering up all these people I’ve met over the past couple of months so that they’ll finally start liking me a little?

Sincerely, go to a Big Listen event.  Attend a meet and greet like we held tonight.  You don’t have to agree.  You don’t even have to be a member.  You ought to be interested and it will help if you’re willing to share your opinion.  Come with your values intact and prepare to be heard, because there are people there who are going to actually listen.  This truly is a different way of politicking.  Finally.

And those people I spoke with tonight – they’re going to be more than happy to speak with you and to listen and to help create positive change.  As will I.  I give you my word.

Especially contact me if you’re in Calgary East.  No matter what, I would love to hear your opinion.