“You’re quiet.”
“You know me, I never have much to say.”
“Yes you do!  You just say it in other ways.”

Thanks Jen, you’re right.

The point I was thinking about last night when I stopped writing was the effect of the Alberta Party not being strictly Left or Right oriented.  The most important point to me is one of inclusion.

It doesn’t matter if I’m a fanatical debt averse, libertarian tinted, bleeding heart.  I’ve been welcomed into the Alberta Party based upon what I bring as opinions and solutions to the issues we collectively face.  We are most effective, most capable, most beneficial when we share the very best we have to offer with each other, proceed with complete dedication and just try to make things a little better than they were before.

There is no entry fee.  There are no signs that say you must be this tall or that old.  There is only the invitation to participate and the expectation that you be honest with your thoughts, listen to the opinions of others, and try to raise the level of discourse beyond sound bytes and into the realm of accomplishing good.

The underlying acceptance of people and their opinions is incredibly powerful to me.  The knowledge that the principles I hold dear will be given fair hearing is something I can believe in.  The expectation that I treat others around me with the exact same respect gives me confidence to be honest and to listen openly.  I believe it makes me a better person.  I believe that simply by being a member of the Alberta Party has helped me become more tolerant and patient person.

This inclusiveness was no accident.  It was with great insight that the Reboot Alberta and subsequently the Alberta Party was set up in just such a fashion.  It was a special degree of wisdom and forethought that baked that level of tolerance into the Alberta Party from the start.

We remember Pam Crosby, one of those wonderful people, today and I saw her fingerprints scattered across so much that I value.  I share her belief that we can do better than we have done in the past, there is room for improvement and there is always time to get things right.  No matter what happens down the road, knowing Pam makes my life better today and I cannot thank her enough.  The eclectic mixture of people who shared my sentiment today confirmed she touched every person around her for the better.

Indeed, as I sat beside one of my favourite people in the entire world my mind turned towards the parallels between Pam and my own mom.  The were similar in dedication, in desire to make things a little bit better, in their work to collaborate and give positive council to improve others around them.  It is impossible to carry the torch as high as they held it, but there are many of us in their wake who were touched by their light.

Sorry, Pam, I guess I won’t get you the right address for the next election.  But I’ll do my best to carry on with what you’ve taught me, and I’ll always try to make the world around me just a little bit better than it was before.  And I will welcome all who will work to make things better, whether we agree or not.