I'm not much of a 'joiner'. Most journalists aren't; we're observers, interested in the people who do join stuff, who take a stand and who hold strong opinions.
This winter though, I joined. I paid my ten bucks and joined the federal Conservative party.
I haven't suddenly become a fervent tax-cutter; joining is the only way to get into the Simcoe Grey nomination meeting, since the party is pretty strict about not letting members of 'the press' in. (note to the CPC: journalists are members of "the news media" now. I'm not sure even the newspapers use presses any more. Haven't since, like, the 90s...)
Now, I'm not the only journalist in the area to join up in Simcoe Grey just to get into the nomination meeting. At least one of my colleagues in the local media has also joined, also strictly as a way of getting in. Based on the neverending online chronicles of his disdain for and disgust with Chris Carrier, I'm guessing he's likely to cast a vote, too, but not for the former Collingwood mayor.
All three candidates have substantial strengths as far as I can see, and based on the huge number of 'phone calls I'm getting, all of them have good organisational skills.
I had to sign off on believing in the party's founding principles before I could write that cheque, and actually, I can get behind them, as long as they're not code for something. Seriously, how could I NOT believe in universal health care, living up to the constitution, freedom, ethics and accountablity? There's no mention of motherhood or apple pie, but I'm for them, too, as long as the pie's pastry is made with lard and the mother teaches their children good table manners and kindness.
We'll see whether it's good enough to get me into tonight's meeting.
Of course, if I'm kicked out of the meeting because of the job I hold, that might be a bit of a contradiction in the 'freedom' provision of those founding principles, wouldn't it? Plus, that would be a fun story to tell, too.