Politics is ugly. It's ugly, and it's nasty, and it's dirty.
But it can also be a noble and uplifting pursuit, when the right people are involved.
With the Christmas season upon us, I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to put the weight of our weekly pan-partisan Politweet events in Calgary behind something uplifting in time for the holidays. We certainly have a great time and learn a lot by putting away our swords and commiserating as real PEOPLE instead of as faceless partisan avatars retweeting our respective caucus communications trolls... but how do we do something that makes a real difference for someone who needs a hand up?
So here's what we're going to do...
My friend Shane over at Calgary Rants has been working this December to help raise funds and donations of items for the great charity Inn From The Cold. During the course of this process, he has also received a commitment from an anonymous benefactor that all donations will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $5,000. This would make a HUGE difference to the people who need to services that Inn From The Cold offers, especially at this time of year. And we're going to help.
At the Blind Monk (918, 12th Avenue SW) on Wednesday night, Kent Hehr is hosting his regular Pints and Politics night. And at 8:00 pm, taking advantage of the fact that at least 60 politicos, if not more, will be in attendance, we are going to have ourselves a chow-a-thon. Partisans and politically involved folks from all over the province can pledge their support to any one of our designated eaters - some will be downing chicken wings, while some - myself included - will be taking advantage of "South of the Border Wednesdays" at the Monk, and will be crushing tacos instead. In the end, though, it makes no difference: While we're competing for bragging rights for our respective parties, the important thing is that every wing or taco that gets eaten will be raising money - through your pledges - for Inn From The Cold.
We're going to try and get at least one "designated eater" to represent each provincial party, if you define your support as a partisan enterprise. Pledges can be made in the comments section of this post, on Twitter using the hashtag "#ablegcares", or in person at the Monk. Each eater will collect the pledges they earn, and pass them on to Shane to be matched by the anonymous donor.
Thus far, we have the following confirmed eaters - always room for more! Just email me at joey (at) dulcetmelodies (dot) ca to be added to this list! (Eaters will be picking up their own tab, unless someone volunteers to do it for them):
- Derrick Jacobson (@AlbertaAltruist) - Representing the Wildrose Party. Will be eating wings.
- Joey Oberhoffner (@oberhoffner) - Representing the Progressive Conservative Party. Tacos.
- Vincent St Pierre (@vsp) - Representing the Alberta Liberals. Tacos.
- Marc Doll (@dollhouseyyc) - Representing the Alberta Party. Tacos.
The object here, folks, is to RAISE MONEY THROUGH PLEDGES for Inn From The Cold. While we'll appreciate any cheerleading you can do in person or via Twitter, as well, we're only actually doing any good if you can pledge. Retweet the HECK out of this post, even if you normally disagree with 99% of what I post. There's already a commitment from Jane and Cory Morgan of $2 per wing eaten by Derrick. Surely, my PC friends can do better than that? We're not going to let the far right walk away with this thing, are we? ;)
And not to talk too much trash, here, but I'm going to win this thing. It's going to be April 23rd all over again. Don't believe the polls - I was BORN for this kind of a contest. So if you're looking at making a huge difference in the lives of some of Calgary's less fortunate this Christmas, pledge at least $2 per taco on Joey Oberhoffner's plate. I won't let you down. ;)
Come on, #ableg. Let's show everyone that when the rubber hits the road, we can do more than TALK about how to make things better. Put your money where our mouths are.
UPDATE 1: Where are you, NDP? Alberta Greens? Derrick has confirmed pledges of at least $3.75 per chicken wing. I'm sitting at $4 per taco - but even a skinny guy like Derrick can eat a lot more chicken wings than tacos. I'm going to need some more pledges to defend the honour of the PC Party. Of course, if more PC's want to EAT and raise pledges themselves, that's fine too - Inn From The Cold can use all the help we can offer!
UPDATE 2: Still waiting for the NDP and Greens to get in on the action. The pledges continue to roll in, with Marc Doll having wrangled FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS to Inn From The Cold for every taco he eats tonight. My fellow PCs, we are getting CRUSHED in the pledge department - I'm going to have to out-eat Marc 3-to-1 just to keep pace! Open your hearts and your wallets - it's Christmas, after all!