"On the right hand side , ladies and gentlemen, we are passing Lake Yellowhead and Mount Fitzwilliam..." over the VIA loudspeaker. This glorious sunny Saturday morning, we have passed Moose Lake, the source of the Fraser River, Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and the glorious scenery just keeps on coming. Needless to say, I am the only passenger with my nose in a laptop!
It has been less than a week (by about 5 hours!) since I was elected leader of the Green Party of Canada. There has been barely a moment when I was not rushing to get to a media interview on time (I did 28 interviews on monday alone) and now I am on the VIA Vancouver to Toronto train for a trip originally panned with my daughter as a last mini-holiday before she goes back to school on Tuesday. I had a water policy meeting, an obligation pre-dating Green Party leadership, in the Okanagon Valley, and we decided to train it home.
Now the train trip is converted to a cross-country whistle-stop tour to build momentum for the Green Party coming out of the convention. A nice crowd saw me off yesterday afternoon in Vancouver. In an hour, I'll greet Green Party supporters in Jasper. And on board, the VIA personnel is thrilled to have me on board. (No need to tell them I just won Green Party leadership. They greet me by name and thank me for raising awareness of the need to enhance VIA routes and afford ability.)
So, seven days into my leadership, may I ask for your help? Please give the leader and new council a chance to find our feet. Please give us and each other the benefit of the doubt. We need to nurture and support each other. Never assume the worst of someone. In communication (especially on email) take the time to consider : "could I have mis-read this message?" Ask for clarification. Seek common ground. Don't attack.
We need to REALLY be the change we want to see in the world.
I also need your help to innovate remarkably democratic approaches to policy development. Your ideas are welcome. Keep them coming!
Jasper in 20 minutes... Got to run!