Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reaching across the aisle

For my friend Darcey Jerrom, this post, a shout-out for Frank Godon, running for the presidency of the Manitoba Metis Federation.

Godon is perhaps better-known to blogospherians as Krazy, who wrote for Dust My Broom, a harsh right-wing place that has now become a blues site. I've certainly had my profound differences with him--not to mention with Darcey, who once booted me from DMB (all his references to me and to the booting have now been expunged).

I still do.

So why this post? Truth is, I don't really know. Maybe just a favour for a friend who, in spite of our political differences, is a person I could literally trust with my life. But, more important, I do believe in alternatives and in accountability. Godon wants the MMF to be accountable for every dime it spends. He wants all Manitoba Metis to be eligible to join the MMF and vote in elections. He's not an outsider, but a member of that community.

He's a former US Marine, and about as conservative as it gets, but he's among his own people now, putting forward a different way of doing business, and it's up to the Metis in Manitoba to decide--the ones who are permitted to, that is. (If you leave the province to work, as Darcey found out, you are stricken from the rolls--even if you return.)

Let's just say that this is a statement of good faith. Just as I want as many democratic alternatives as possible to be presented to Canadians, and to be represented in the House of Commons--which is why I support the CBC, funding for dissensus groups, and proportional representation--so too the MMF deserves real political contention. Godon will certainly provide the latter.

Would I vote for him on June 10 if I were a registered Manitoba Metis? Hard to say. A lot of folks
in the labour movement disapproved of my politics, but I got their votes anyway because I could get the job done. Godon may be someone whose politics I dislike--intensely--but he, too, sounds like someone who can do the job, and he stands for openness and transparency and accountability as well.

I know, I know, Stephen Harper ran on the same ticket, and he blasted it to quarks once elected. But Canadians needed to see that for themselves. Maybe Godon will go the same route, maybe he won't. Manitoba Metis need to see for themselves as well. Either way, he offers a fresh dissenting voice at this point, and has opened up the debate.

My own politics forbid me from offering a formal (or informal) endorsement, but I wish him good luck in the arena. Besides, anyone who has nice words to say about the October Revolution can't be all bad. :)

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