Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Politics and Pencils

The other night my wife got a call inviting us to a meeting with Bob Rae and Ralph Goodale scheduled for this afternoon. She accepted on our behalf.

I've never publicly identified myself as Liberal, Conservative or NDP so I wasn't invited because of my political affiliations

When I got there I quickly realized I was invited because of my religious affiliations. The table was filled with members of the Regina Jewish community.

We introduced ourselves and then were told that Bob Rae was working on the Liberal platform and wanted input from us. But first Mr. Rae wanted to establish his Jewish Saskatchewan credentials. And when that was done - Did we have any questions?

The room was quiet for a bit but then slowly people began to speak, ask questions and debate primarily with Mr. Rae.

We spent an hour talking mainly about Canada's position concerning Israel.

What fascinated me was that we really weren't told why we were invited. I could have prepared a bit. I do have opinions on what Canada's role and position should be vis a vis Israel and the Middle East. But I wasn't about to give platform advice to the Liberal Party off the top of my head.

But even more intriguing was the fact that although there were 5 party 'operatives' in the room - the man that invited us, Goodale, Rae, another man whose name I didn't catch (but who sat silently at the head of the table with Goodale and Rae) and a man that was clearly some one's staff member - not one of them made one note - each had a pad in front of them but nothing was written down.

Its not that we said anything profound but unless one of them had a great memory whatever we said, good, bad or indifferent, was lost.

So why were we there?

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