Posts Tagged ‘1’

NIKIASHTON&ME

Five years ago I had the pleasure of meeting, knowing and working with Dave McPherson when he managed a campaign and pulled me in, far in, and empowered me to be a strong voice for the candidate and the party. He also knew how (so clever!) to engage my workaholic nature and get the most of my skills and talents during an election. How I miss him! davemcpherson

This year, another  election, another campaign manager of similar construction… Paul Mason, equally clever, equally progressive, equally funny AND with the same capability of getting the most from me…just when I had been somewhat disengaged from a campaign, Paul had me in that place where one is living, breathing, thinking, dreaming, working campaign 24/7. And of course, for progressive leaders (yes leaders) like these, one would work 48/7 to achieve the goal.

Now during that first campaign with Dave…one evening, staffing the office alone because Dave set hours for the office of pre-dawn to 11 PM or some such, I was surprised to receive, totally on my own, then Federal NDP leadership candidate, 29 year old Niki Ashton.  She arrived to help with our by-election and, of course, to meet the people.  Some communication failure had prevented my candidate and any “important” campaign staff from receiving her as they had with all the other leadership candidates. In fact, every leadership candidate except Thomas Mulcair had been in that campaign office! Repeat, I was alone in the office…just me. Showing not a shred of disappointment, Niki and her partner wanted to immediately get to work! We settled on some phone lists and I overheard her enthusiasm as she talked to OUR local voters. We also talked to each other, a lot… and her easy, friendly warmth truly impressed me. My disability and those issues, my issues, DAMN, forgot to chat about them; the evening ended too quickly. My thoughts were, “Not now, Niki, Canada isn’t ready, but when you run again, I will support your leadership campaign because you are AMAZING!” Of course things change, the country changes, the needs of the party change and I must be open-minded, but listening to Niki in debate last night, I have to say she is that same person, so clear, so able, so intelligent and SO PROGRESSIVE! Like the campaign managers who could get the most from me, who keep me from being swallowed by the politics of politics, Niki is that New Democrat who has distilled it all to what we need. No environment = no planet so nothing else matters – and inequality is utterly unacceptable. The calibre of the other candidates is amazing. I love them all! Jagmeet pulls community like no other. Guy is very prime ministerial, he speaks slowly and carefully and stays on message. Charlie has the history… All wonderful but Niki, you had me five years ago. Like John Horgan, you roll up your sleeves and jump in with the people. You are the people. I have no money to contribute to your campaign. I am disabled and therefore marginalized. But I have my words and I can campaign like the wind in a hurricane … with the right  (I mean totally left) leadership.

Is it wrong to say… You Go Girl!

 

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