While I intend to go into a little more detail on some issues this week, I thought I'd jot down a few observations from the past few days in Vancouver.
First of all, it was terrific to meet so many people. Bloggers, people who comment on blogs, MP's, media types and delegates all with their own perspective and reason for being there.
In the case of the bloggers, it was great to finally put a face or personality to the name. Every one of them serious about where the party is going and interested in playing a part in that. Each with an impressive knowledge of the issues, where the party stands and where they believe the party should be heading. I have to admit, it's great fun to have a conversation about an issue without having to start from square one to explain it. More on these people and my favourite commenter from BC later.
To a person, every MP I met was terrific. Those that I hadn't met previously were who I expected them to be and more. By more I mean that the level of dedication they have for the work they do was beyond impressive. I suppose that is how it should be, but with all the cynical stories that you read, you do wonder at times.
I personally do not think that our MPs get the level of respect that they deserve. I know that they aren't perfect, but I suggest that there are very few of us who would put our lives on hold the way they do, work the hours that they do for very little in return. Making a difference is really what many of them are all about. Sound hokey? Maybe, but from what I saw it's true. Oh and that elitist label that the Conservatives love to throw around about Liberals, politicians or otherwise? What a crock! I witnessed a diverse, engaged group that came from all walks of life and every part of the country.
Now, if you want to talk about a group that exhibited elitism, we need look no further than the media. Not all of them to be sure and the exceptions were notable. I'm not going to name people specifically, but you may pick up on what I'm referring to in future posts.
That said, I do give them marks for working hard, physically. Intellectually? Not so much for some of them. The bubble they often describe politicians of living in seems to surround them in fact and the lack of intellectual curiosity was in some cases, positively stunning. In other cases, I was really impressed. Again, more later.
In general, I came away feeling good about the party. It was really interesting attending pressers and events rather than reading about them after the fact. Indeed, I found reading some of the coverage later totally perplexing. I wondered more than once what event the writer had attended because it bore no resemblance whatsoever to what I had witnessed and I'm not talking about seeing through a partisan lens here. I'm referring to facts.
So, there are some broad observations. As I said, I'll go into some more detail later in the week. Right now I have to go sort clothes to go to the dry cleaners tomorrow and try to figure out if beer will come out of Italian wool, ;).