Come Saturday afternoon, I’ll no longer be the president of the Green Party of Saskatchewan. I’ve occupied the role for the last four years, since I was placed into the position by the board as the interim president in the Autumn of 2008, and was then elected and reelected by the party membership. It may not sound like a long time, but it feels like it. And come Saturday I’ll be stepping down not just from that particular role, but from the board in general.
I do have to admit, the decision has come with some mixed emotions… and it really wasn’t much of a decision really. The party has a requirement that members not serve on the board any longer than three years. I stayed on longer as there was no-one to fill the role except for myself. This year though, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to serve with Vicki Strelioff who was elected as my VP. And after working with her all this past year, and seeing how wonderfully she has handled herself through what proved to be a rather difficult year for the board, I have EVERY confidence in her ability to serve the membership as party chair.
I now have to decide if I do my one last duty, or if I step aside and allow Vicki to chair our AGM. It would seem an obvious decision. I attend the AGM, and chair one final meeting. The only reason it is a choice at all, and not just a given, is I know how difficult I will find it.
There is no glory in being the president of a political party. You hold all the responsibility, for everything that happens within the party, yet hardly anyone even knows your name. The leader – the figurehead – gets the all the prestige (and in some instances, without nearly the work). But if something ever goes wrong, that shifts very quickly. The president is the scapegoat, the one who’s head hits the chopping block in any scandal. However, if you’ve done your job well? Life continues on normally, no-one even realizing you are there – navigating the rough water, keeping an even keel. Ensuring your ship and her crew are safe and at ease. …it’s not a perfect metaphor, but it works. 😉
The GPS has been such a huge part of my daily life for the last half decade… There is some relief at no longer having to shoulder the burden, but there is also a very large sense of loss. I know myself, and know how prone to tears I can be. I’m not sure I’d make it through that final meeting without coming apart – and that’s hardly befitting the chair of the board. I don’t know. I very honestly am not sure what I want to do.
At first it didn’t even enter into my mind that attending was a choice. It’s part of the job description. I call and chair all the meetings… but the closer this meeting gets, the more I’m finding I’m dreading it. I feel kind of silly over the whole thing, but part of me knows I’ll have to say good bye, and if I avoid the meeting, I can avoid doing so.
I guess we’ll see. I don’t have long now, and one way or another I need to make the choice. It really is the end of an era for me, and to be honest I’m torn over how I feel. Relief and sadness… they make for odd bedfellows.
I’m feeling generally dissatisfied tonight. Just too much going on that I’m really not all that happy with, and no time to sort it all out just now. …and this isn’t due to my January blah’s. It’s not a blah feeling, and it’s not January. 😉 This is me, wishing I could just shake the snot out of people and tell them to wake up – but I’m too tired to put that kind of effort out. So for now? I’ll just gripe briefly and feel dissatisfied. It’ll pass, one or two things will get worked out, and I’ll be back to my chipper self. Right now though? I’d be quite happy to take a paid vacation somewhere… most anywhere… anyone wanna send me some place? Please? No? Well, ya can’t blame a grrrl for trying.
I don’t know. People can’t move forward as a group when there’s dissension. Discord and argument for their own sake? I’ll never understand it. Work together, compromise, make change happen. Create progress. In a small grassroots group this should be easy. It has always been easy in the past. Even when we’ve disagreed we do so peaceably knowing we need to work together for the common good. Two or three people causing strife for what seems like the fun of it. It doesn’t benefit anyone, and I just don’t get it. Give the wrong individual the illusion of power and see the friction they can create. And that’s what’s happened here. One person voted into a position in the interim… temporarily. And it’s a role with no power, a figure head, someone to present to the public who can put voice to the decisions the executive has made… and suddenly there is no end to the conflict. It’s a comedy of errors that has resulted in near-atrocities, that thankfully for the long standing reputation of another board member was able to be smoothed over. Ugh. So many of us have considered just walking away, but the idea of leaving all our hard work to bring things this far in the hands of individuals who would run things into the ground? Not something we’re willing to do.
There you go. That’s my gripe. Volunteering is sooo not worth this type of headache, but there are some things we do for the good of the collective, things that most people will never have any idea we’ve done… things that need to be done. It falls to us. Often because there is no one else willing to pick up the torch. So it’s onward, and we truly hope upward.
If I try to pass the torch, will you be there to pick it up and run with it?
Tomorrow I will officially announce my one month leave of absence from the Green Party of Saskatchewan. I am not leaving the party, so no worries there what-so-ever. Now that the busyness of election time has begun to calm, I know that I can take some time for myself and my family. It is something I’ve needed to do for a little while now, but would never leave the party without a capable captain at the helm.
My second is Vicki Strelioff. She was voted into the roll of Vice President at the Party’s AGM this past Spring. And quite honestly, it’s the first time in my years with the party that I’ve had a capable second… someone whom I felt I could trust to handle my duties and lead the party in my absence. I’ll admit, having Vicki around has considerably lessened the stress involved with my role. I will still be around during this month off, and will help Vicki wherever and whenever she needs me… but I think she’ll do just fine. 😉
This last year I have found a shift in my priorities. A shift in my focus. And I need to take some time away from my political work to really examine my role within the party. I need to ensure I’m serving the Greens in the best possible way without sacrificing my many other responsibilities. And I need to do so without the daily pressures associated with running the party.
So… a leave of absence. I have to admit, it will probably feel a little odd not to have my duties and responsibilities constantly on my mind. But I think it will be a good thing. We all need a little time to recharge, and I’d say it’s high time I took that time for myself.
During these last few weeks I have wrestled with a number of things in relation to the Green Party of Saskatchewan. I have always been open and honest, and I will continue to be so. I don’t like politics, I don’t like what it does to people… yet I continue on in my role as President of the provincial Green Party, and as a candidate whenever called upon. After all, if I were to step down, I’d be letting the politicians win – and they’ve already shown their colours. I can’t, in good conscience, leave the politics to the politicians.
I believe in the Green Party. I believe in our principles. I believe people can make a difference. I cling to the ideal that we are better when we work together, and that we can accomplish anything. I believe in honest open discussion. I believe that we can move past our mistakes to become better. I must hold fast to the notion that we will bring about change. But today? Today I am disheartened.
I just deleted eight paragraphs from this blog post. Eight Paragraphs! The fact of the matter is that there are things going on of which I am not proud. I am concerned. And for one particular thing I am down right embarrassed. If my daughter treated someone as shabbily as some members of the provincial Greens have treated a former candidate and leadership contender she would be up for a stern discussion, at the end of which you could be darn sure she would never treat someone that poorly again.
I hate politics. I hate what it does to people. Can we not stand on different sides of an issue, on different sides of a campaign, yet still treat one another with respect and dignity? We are all in the same boat… and it appears to be taking on water. 😦
Before proceeding to Larry Waldinger’s answers to my seven questions for our leadership candidates I wanted to issue a quick apology. I had intended to post his response yesterday, but time just seemed to get away from me. For that, I am sorry.
Victor Lau has yet to respond.
What inspired you to put your name forward for party leadership?
I sensed that it would help the party and my campaign at the same time. Also, some people I spoke to were enthusiastic about me running.
What one issue do you feel should be the priority for our provincial election platform?
It is hard to separate which is more important people and planet or planet and people. If we don’t come to grips with climate change it will cause a lot of damage to the planet and a lot of misery to the people, so what I like to say is that climate change is our “signature issue”. If I had to choose I would say that climate change is the thing, but we need to balance a little sacrifice now with avoiding mass misery later.
How will you juggle work, family, and leadership duties leading into the provincial election?
I will balance all of my responsibilities the way I have been and the way I continue to do each day. It’s not that complicated. I will work hard at all of my responsibilities. My union (ATU615) has negotiated the luxury for its members of being able to arrange time off from work, so I am able to put my work responsibility on the back burner for a while. In fact I have been doing that for some time. That makes the juggling act much more easy.
Can you please tell us a little about what first brought you into “a life political”?
I felt an overwhelming need to do something about the many crisis facing us. I started with a donation to the GPS, followed it with an offer of volunteer help, and it all just seemed to flow naturally to where I am at now.
When did you first identify as a Green?
I think it is in my DNA
Why should we vote for you?
People should vote for me because of the passion, energy, and innovation that I have already brought to the table. Since 2010 I have been active, loyal, and dedicated to the GPS. I have experience in leadership positions. Same applies to my candidacy in the Saskatchewan general election to be held on November 7, 2011.
Where can we go to learn a little more about you?
Google me, click on one of the many links below, or use some of the contact information below to contact me directly:
Or may I suggest to you that you go to the leadership convention…
Okay, here’s another of my “famous” I’m-too-tired-to-post-posts. We had a very productive Green Party of Saskatchewan executive meeting tonight (it JUST let out) and I am beat. Lots accomplished. Exciting times within the party. 😀
Today I’d intended to write about the girlie heading back to school… and nothing else. I mean, honestly. That’s big enough a topic, isn’t it? But then, like everything in my life the last few weeks, it just seemed to be one thing after another today.
Ever since Camp fYrefly wrapped up, it really has been one thing after another keeping me from finishing up camp associated work. It’s a little frustrating. And today was no different. Just one more thing added to the heap. Today I got the news that Larissa is stepping down from the provincial Greens.
I don’t know all the details, but I imagine it is health related. Larissa and I have many of the same diagnosis, and for her age and maturity level, she has handled them better than I did at the same point in my life. Today most of my physical issues don’t weigh very heavily on me – but it’s only because of years full of coping experience. Six or seven years ago, I wasn’t in the same place I am now and I know Larissa must be drained. Being the leader of a provincial party can take a lot out of a healthy individual, and it can have a brutal effect on someone who’s health isn’t tip top.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan is losing a great leader today. Larissa’s passion, vigor, and knowledge served us well for these last years. Her dedication and dreams of a better Saskatchewan inspired many. Thank you Larissa, for everything. You will be missed.
The executive will now have to gear up for a special leadership race and election – in addition to gearing up for the provincial election coming in November. As the President of the party, I can assure you, we will all be working very hard to ensure every member of the party has a chance to voice their concerns, and to have their thoughts heard. If you are interested in possibly running, do let me know. I’ll make sure your name is brought forward to the board.
So… back to school. LOL It would have been plenty to attend with today. But that’s just not how the chips fell. Here’s the girlie on our walk to school today. Sling pack on, and ready to go. And yes! We totally glittered up and embellished the pack – just how she wanted it. 😉
Got up at five a.m. today to head out to Lloydminster for a Green Party of Saskatchewan General Meeting. I don’t do mornings. It’s not that I don’t like mornings. It’s that I’m usually sick in the morning (gotta love FMS and IBS).
If I’m allowed to wake up on my own, no alarm except my internal one? Then I’m absolutely fine. But if I’m forced to rise before my body is ready? It wrecks havoc on my entire day. It’s lousy, but I’ve gotten used to it.
Like anything one deals with on a regular basis, you find ways to make things work. And if they don’t work? You work around them. And being a person with a chronic pain disorder is no different.
After a while, one comes to terms with the things you can or cannot do. You don’t beat yourself up over it. And you just accept things as they are. This is normal for me, and to be honest, sometimes I actually forget that not everyone has to do things the way I do. LOL It just feels normal.
So yeah… it was kind of a rough day because of that early start. But we got a lot done. And it was nice to see some of our members that I don’t often run into. I don’t really know where I’m going with this. LMFAO Like I said, rough day, long day… my brain isn’t exactly at the top of it’s game. LOL But it is what it is. 😉
Here’s the wee girlie, just being cute. 🙂
I had a lot I planned on writing about today. It was a busy day. BIG Green Party of Saskatchewan board meeting. Lots accomplished. Really exciting plans for this summer. But it’s late, and I’m tired. So you’ll all just have to wait… LOL I do feel bad for not sharing tonight, but not so bad that I’ll lose sleep over it. In fact, I’m f alli n g asl e ep as i t yp e… go o d n i g ht.