The worst possible thing that can happen to a new, struggling political party is for it to become introspective, to start looking in on itself.
The danger lies in that the party will begin to turn on itself, seeing an enemy behind every tree, and a traitor in every dissident voice. It will become obsessed with rules and regulations, to the detriment of any real constructive action. The Party will begin to look paranoid and exclusionary, alienating the very people whose initial support gave it life, and making it appear closed to any seeking refuge.
Rules are made, and motions passed, all toward rooting out the perceived enemy, and silencing the dissident. The once open, welcoming party is reduced to nothing more than a cabal of short sighted, narrow-minded schemers, whose only interest is power, principle be damned.
When it reaches this point, it will begin to lose the support of those who first sought out the party as a last refuge of free thought, free speech, and free exchange of ideas, unencumbered by restrictive rules.
This is an ugly, unfortunate truth.
Last month, I and two others were voted off the Drumheller/Stettler Constituency Board of the Wildrose Party.
Our crime? We refused to sign a confidentiality agreement, something that I never expected to see in a party that prides itself on openness, honesty, integrity and transparency.
It was a rude shock. It was a further rude shock to be labeled a “red Tory mole” by the president of the board, on a Facebook posting.