Friday, December 12, 2008

The challenge of victory

With victory there wakens an unredeemed being.
Empty worlds with vanishing forms.
Shamed by our desire and lifted by our hope.

The requisite skills of the victor,
To cry havoc, and let slip the dogs no more.

The tides of an advancing age absolve our dissolution,
To reinstate existence conceive anew.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Childish Stupidity and Respect for Democracy

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

--John Adams--

My highest commitment is facilitating political discourse. I believe that it is through discourse and open conversation, that we will arrive at the best choices for our society.

However unless we have the proper moral structure in our society and in our party, there is no chance we will prevail. People are victims of their containers, the form of the organization will change the nature of its people.

Part of our problem is that there is nothing more self interested then a coward. They hold on to fame and status like it is their childhood toy. It is a shame they have never grown up and learned what it means to be a responsible citizen of a democracy.

I am appalled by the people who will stand on the shoulders of heroes ,to take something they do not deserve. But this is the world we live in, and many of us tolerate this more then we should.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The wise have no obligation to the ignorant?

Except respect and understanding. Many who embrace ignorance, have never truly had respect or understanding. How do we deal with this problem? It is a very circumstantial issue.

Fundamentally many of our political problems are problems of character, and one thing I can be truly grateful of is that I have learned this lesson well. Even in youth politics we are at each others throats. Even in our own party....

I forget the humility of working under a noble elder. More then anything, I think that part of our culture is truly missing...perhaps I project to much of my own desire for first nations culture on contemporary Canadian society.

At least when I hear the drum, I can see what I hope for.

Am I a fool to believe that social institutions should be a pillar of our society. Noble institutions that represent the best of our society. Or perhaps I am simply becoming jaded like I knew I would, like I was warned. I by no means have been perfect in this endeavor, I have made many mistakes treated people in ways that I am not proud of. All because it was in the same spirit as those who have surrounded me. How am I not the ignorant here, I wish I could have been a better man. To have built these relationships in a better way. I started out this way, truly I did...but slowly day, after, day, and week after week, I started to change.

And I have forgiven myself for this. It is true wisdom to understand the balance of necessity, goodness and peace. So for now I struggle, at least I know I am a fool. At the very least it gives me something to work with.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

People must be free to have a voice that counts.

I have my issues with Canadian elections, coalition governments are not one of them. Political parties are responsible for representing the interests of their constituency and at times their interests are best represented through compromise. Overlapping consensus as coined by Rawls is the foundation of the our democracy and the Conservative government has proven they cannot honor this agreement.

This coalition is in the best interest of the people and it is just.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Trust my dear friends is a very difficult thing. Letting yourself be close to some one is a very difficult thing, guile makes monsters of us all. Yet I cannot help but be reminded of a literary reference, (ironically I have never read the book but....) it is Fyodor Dostoevskys Idiot.

To the best of my understanding the point was that to tell the truth all the time will lead to ruin.( echoing the voice of Machiavelli that just as much harm can be done by good as by evil.) This lesson is all too piercing, this reality all too painful. This world that we live in can bring us to the edge of madness, yet how can this be? We are a democracy not a dictatorship. We cannot all be so self deluded. I resist the implications that we are. We need to survive but we need justice and conviction as well. We need to be strong and we need to be good. There is a time and a place for deception but it should not be among friends.

There is a reason I joined the Liberal party of Canada.

When I was young, had already had enough. Society felt distant and cold. Education was a bondage not the joy that it is to me today and love was something I could only dream I gave up and sat in bed for weeks. Then one day my father forced me out of bed, then told me "Brett I will buy you a ticket to anywhere in the world it will not be better then here". While I may have disagreed with what he truly meant, I learned something worthwhile. Something in me snapped and I came to realize, that I would need to fight for the beauty in this world. If I ever wanted to live with myself that is. From that day I started walking. Here I am.

Tonight I was lying in bed listening to a meditation tape. My friend Tim insisted I listen too it (Blew my mind by the way). It helped me remember something I though that I had forgotten. People can be good and that things can change. This is a simple lesson but it is easy to forget and lose hope. If some one reading this loses hope then remember, I will fight until my dying breath and I have dedicated my life to this pursuit. You are not alone and if you are you don't need to be. Honor is not a myth, while there are no perfect people. There are good ones.

People in their hearts are fundamentally good and I have proof. This is how I know about the basic goodness in our hearts. Simply, we just want to be safe.

I cannot look at vicious people with disgust anymore and I can blame them no more then I could a sick man. We need good medicine to cure this ,to come together and rely on each other. We cannot all be a Judas. We are noble when we are not traumatized. We need to stop being victims of our past and become designers of our future. We need to be human again.

What I want is to know that a child can be safe. To grow up and dream. What I want is for families to be secure. I want this world to be just. And most of all I want to be free...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Finally starting to feel right

I sat down with the guys/girls on my executive today to hammer out the AGM. It has been postponed for various silly reasons. Needless to say during leadership, it made people suspicious and I indulged it more then I should have. This leadership will not tear us a part, and we can finally start getting back on track. I have always heard stories about the Diamond days in Manitoba. Liberal shot glasses and condoms while fighting for gay rights sounded like a blast. Made me really start thinking and reminded me of Atlantic Caucus when Denise was so passionate about gay rights that she was almost in tears. I have allot of respect for that because, that is the kind of passion we need as aspiring politicians. A profound love of Humanity, Justice and Efficiency should permeate our existence.

Honestly we have been in a slump. We did not even make it out to Western Caucus, which is embarrassing to say the least. Now is a good time to make a change. I am looking past where we were to where we will be, and it puts a smile on my face. After the meeting today we just sat around talking about morality, justice and international relations. I love to talk about peacekeeping. If you ever want to get my attention for an hour, talk to me about how we can save innocent lives and I am yours

Off topic...check this out.

Jonathan Haidt: The real difference between liberals and conservatives at It is a seriously wicked lecture. (

But the nice thing is that it started to feel like it should. It wasn't back stabbing or political posturing, we actually acted like responsible young liberals should.

Holding Together

Sometimes we have a chance to do something worth while. In spite of the cynicism that may grip us. In spite of the imperfections that surround us. In spite of the weakness of our own character. We can find reason to hope.

I get through this by remembering my dream and taking every step to reach it. I get up each morning with the sole purpose of fighting for Humanity, Justice, and Efficiency.

All my life I have dreamed of embodying these virtues. Yet at times I have chased shadows, I have failed. If only for a few moments. I cannot deny my utter foolishness, this world is greater then me and always will be. I cannot escape this. We can take comfort in finding elders and friends who have walked the same path. With any luck, they have become much more adapt in walking this path. I am grateful for people like this to look up to, who teach me valuable lessons. I am happy to have people who can teach me to be a better man. We are honor bound to carry the torch for a new generation. To expand humanity at its very core.

Only when we question everything can we ever truly gain stable ground within ourselves. Only once we have aspired to stability, can we truly come to terms with what is right.

At the very core of liberalism there is a deep commitment to the refinement of perspective. This is essential to our party and our principles. How tragic would it be to forget that we must look at ourselves honestly each day.

"If my life is to be prolonged now, I know that I must live out my old age, seeing worse, hearing less, learning with more difficulty, and forgetting more and more of what I have learned. If I see myself growing worse and reproach myself for it, tell me, how could I continue to live pleasantly? " Socrates

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Political Canabalism

Political circumstance, specifically leadership conventions, can cause otherwise cooperative individuals to be at odds with each other in every ways. The underlying issue here is that rationality has now left the building, it becomes a game of survival and benefit. The real commitment to political issues are lost.

We as a democracy and as political parties have a terrible pattern of falling into extended periods of madness.

We need to actively question ourselves and our motives. The reality is that many of us are siding with candidates for less then noble reasons. This is my first leadership convention and I have not had the wonderful experience of being desensitized to it, nor am I the kind of man who will take things at face value.

You cannot have a true just society with out politicians who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of our society. This sacrifice is our own, we must be willing to lose for our nation to win.

When leadership becomes a fist fight instead of a dialogue we are a shadow of our true selves. We do a great disservice to our party and most importantly to Canada.

A dear friend of mine has said something that must be heard.

"When personal freedom is conditional on the actions of others, we become beggars of circumstance. Freedom is an approach, not a condition. All the hope in my heart rests alone on my shoulders."

In a world where we are sometimes blissfully ignorant of peoples intent, we cannot deny the existential isolation that we all feel. The reality is that all desires and thoughts comes from some place that only we can know. This is life, but I can only hope that through right action and right intention we can some how navigate our own hearts. Then maybe, just maybe shine bright enough to bridge the distance and peek through the keyhole. Into the hearts of others, outside the tyranny of ourselves.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Trust is a difficult thing in a world filled with objectives and ego. Guile becomes a tool for survival whether we are willing to admit it or not. Still again that delicate balance exists and you are left to wonder if the passionate ideal lives on or is eclipsed by our vanity.

Political status is egotistically rewarding this is inherent in its nature, so it is not difficult to understand the tensions that are involved.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tory Times are Tough Times

We sit battered and bruised from the second worst liberal defeat in our history, but let us not forget that from the ashes of Turner came Jean Chretien and a solid decade of Liberal Leadership. This was the time where we prevailed, when Canada prevailed.

In spite of how much I disagree with the late Tommy Douglas, we can all agree as Canadians that Tory times are tough times. We simply hold on... weather the storm and wait for an opportunity to break free.

Mr. Harper we are not going to roll over and die. We will not let the very things that define us as Canadians be stripped away, we need to fight! Even more so we need this fight! To renew ourselves, learn from our mistakes and reemerge with more ferocity than the Tories ever thought possible.

We are the Liberal Party of Canada and we will prevail.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Every great movement has faced the delicate balance of moral calibration. Every great fight fills us with fire and ambition that stir us on to victory. More than anything else, we need to realize that we cannot abandon who and what we are to achieve our objectives.

The believer in an ethic of ultimate ends feels 'responsible' only for seeing to it that the flame of pure intentions is not quenched: for example, the flame of protesting against the injustice of the social order. To rekindle the flame ever anew is the purpose of his quite irrational deeds, judged in view of their possible success. They are acts that can and shall have only exemplary value.
-Max Weber

In modern politics there are unfortunate facts. Perception dictates reality and whomever can best influence perception will control the political world. In many ways this is the poverty of democracy, for in a greater world our fate would be controlled by passionate individuals, and good solid reason being the defining factor of the discourse. I do not believe in political ideologies, to me they are simply a matter of mathematics. Liberalism is the logical choice for governance and builds the only real sensible social contract.

However, we need to realize that we are still fighting for perfection in our organization. Democracy is a work in progress that needs to be renewed with new thoughts and ideas. As the political discourse changes so does its structural realities. As technology changes so must the structure of democracy. There are many things that need to be done that are are either temporarily unfeasible or simply put: not sufficiently developed solutions for the constantly apparent political problems of our time. It is very easy to argue that our current organization can at times detract significantly from governmental efficiency. The sad reality of modern politics is that a logical, functional and efficient policy cannot survive on its own esteem. Political discourse in this country is not about adhering to logical fallacies. All too often I hear Stephen Harper using ad hominem arguments exposing the sad reality that such a baseless branding has a tangible effect on Canadian public opinion. Stephan Dion is not a leader is branding an association without common respect for the intellect of the Canadian people. In Manitoba I have heard that same insidious accusation parroted, consistently with no reason associated. What infuriates me the most is that I find myself reduced to talking points that end up being the most persuasive and effective means of countering this effect.

However, this is the reality and we cannot be the logical saints that we wish to be. So what is an honest, well intentioned politician to do?....Fight, and never forget why. Conflict can only be a means to an end. Yet it takes something strong to hold on to, to make sure that your very reason for conflict is not stripped away from you in the battle. This, more then anything, I need to remember. Politics is about duty and not the self, yet it is a realm so attractive to the ego that my fear is not unreasonable. Should I ever lose that fear, would then I know for certain that I had lost?