A year of living politically

A year of living politically
Posted on January 5, 2018 | Rob Dekker | Written on January 5, 2018
Letter type:
Blog Post

What is a “year of living politically”? Is it any different from a “year of living dangerously”?  A friend asked if it was to be political everyday or a philosophical meaning. It could be either really, but for the purposes of you reading this blog today it is a philosophical topic with a dose of real political activity thrown in.

2018 is a big year in Ontario politically; there will be two elections, a provincial general election and municipal elections.  Both have big implications for voters.  As well, the next 12 months are shaping up as a path for either a ‘One Term Trudeau’ in 2019 or a re-election because the opposition could not penetrate past the Teflon that is Justin Trudeau.  The federal Conservatives and the NDP have their work cut out for them.  Ontario will be the key for all three parties to their success or not in 2019.

So, really, what is a year of living politically?  How do I propose to engage?  What actions am I going take?  What’s my plan for being better informed and learned politically?

What is a year of living politically?  I consider it to being aware, aware of the issues and being aware of how I would respond to the issues of the day.  This will require listening, reading and diving past the click bait headlines that are all over social media.  It is important that I don’t spend time on the non-political issues that are taking so much of our airspace.   Getting into the weeds of issues won’t serve me well either; it will serve others though – others that I have no common interest with. Living politically means cutting my losses in engaging in needless and time consuming debate and not going into a needless “tete a tete”. 

My engagement for the year will be, in one word, smart.   No more going down rabbit holes of debate where I never know where I will end up.  I will engage in a smart debate with anyone, I love those.  But the debate where in the end I am called a “white entitled older male” will no longer take place.  I’ll cut and run the moment I see this is where we are headed. That particular comment from a previous  #Twitter back and forth, will never happen again.  Want to call me a “white entitled older male” without even knowing me do it in the start of our conversation so I can save precious time.

I propose to be better educated about the environments I work and engage in.  That means reading, all authors – including those I would not have before.  Don’t they say the best way to overcome your opponents is to know your opponents?  Having just finished Rob Walsh’s “On the House” I have a much better understanding of Parliamentary procedures, where partisanship plays a role and where it doesn’t.  I’ll use this new knowledge day to day hoping to avoid bad advice and embarrassing work situations and advice. 

I am now reading Naomi Klein’s latest “No is not enough”, something I would not have picked up before.   I really need to completely the so called “Leap Manifesto”.  Further reading includes the CBC Massey Lectures “The Wayfinders” by Wade Davis, “Saving Capitalism” from Robert B Reich and finally “The Gatekeepers” an account of Chiefs of Staff from Nixon to Obama by Chris Wipple.  Why not learn from those that have held the highest position of assisting their elected bosses?

Further to what I mentioned above, I’d like to read good material pertaining to our climate, environment, how its changing and what are positive actions governments can take.  I’ll take suggestions from readers for a book or article(s) that meet the criteria.  I’d like to see what government can do address concerns of Canadians, but in a responsible way without taxing us to our graves.

These steps will make my year of living politically a success on the job, door knocking in a campaign and able to hold decent debate and conversations with those that are prepared to have that conversation, not just a shouting match.

I hope your year ahead is just as engaging, learning and invigorating as I plan to make mine 2018.


Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress. I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97.  I can be reached at rdmedia@bell.net

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RobDekker's picture

Rob currently works on Parliament Hill.  He writes regularly on his blog #RedHeartBlueSign at www.redheartbluesign.wordpress.com on lifestyle, political and... More