This time, it’s personal. 

In the grand scheme of things, I’m new here. I started following politics in 2015 and I wasn’t overly involved in political party processes. I was an outsider in 2017 and I made a volunteer cry at my second political convention because I didn’t realize how much people put themselves into working for something they believe in; like a political party. I was just there for the story. 

I’ve made friends along the way. I have two people I would consider friends who work for the NDP and more than a few more who support them. I have three or four more I consider friends in the UCP. I have a couple in the Freedom Conservative Party. I have a number of good friends from the Alberta Party.

 One of those friends from the UCP was told he would be stepping aside for a star candidate yesterday. He was not the only person who was working to win a nomination in the riding but he’s the one I know. He’s a person I would not hesitate to reach out to; ever. He is a good person and he is a party loyalist. I didn’t agree with all of his political views but I don’t doubt that if I needed him, he’d be there.

I have not been shy about my dislike of the UCP under Jason Kenney. I have been extremely disappointed at some things they’ve done and laughed at others. But this is the expired icing on the moldy cake. 

A young man who has been involved in politics since 1997, was mentored by the late Gene Zwozdesky, and was running in his riding, has been campaigning for almost a year. He has knocked on doors, made phone calls and sold memberships. He was on the right side of the two leadership races he had to endure in 2017 – as in, he supported Jason Kenney. 

I don’t know if it matters that he is Sikh or not. Someone mentioned it today online. Maybe it only matters because he was told to step aside for an old white guy. Personally, I don’t care who else they wanted to throw in that riding; my friend has spent hours, days and months working to win that nomination. 

Knowing there could be someone like Arundeep Singh Sandhu in a United Conservative Party caucus actually made it feel as if maybe they wouldn’t be so bad. Asking him to step aside for a guy who apparently wants to be a representative in the 11th hour is disrespectful, despicable and downright ignorant.

I didn’t support the party in the first place but some decent people I know did. They believed in the Party, the process and the potential. People joke that some would vote for a rock if it had a blue sign. They forget that a blue sign also means that good people are expendable if someone “better” comes along. 

This post is an opinion. 

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean

dmaclean@countersign.ca

@Mitchell_AB @thisweekinAB

 


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