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Friday, August 13, 2010

I first became interested in precinct delegates during the run-up to the 2008 elections. Shortly after that election, I could only find one PD workshop and that was on the other side of Lansing. The event was run by Marlene Chockley a retired vice chair of the State Party. She felt a need to get the whole idea of Precinct Delegates going again and she put together a great power point presentation and coupled with her knowledge from previous elections, she was infectious. I got excited about the idea.

I came back enthused and brimming with ideas for my County party.

There wasn’t much interest and I blamed the Party. In hind sight it was more my fault. As with other things, for an idea to become reality a lot of work (one on one work) is involved. One of my favorite quotes comes from a book titled “The Effective Executive” by Peter F. Drucker, which I heard Newt Gingrich highly recommend in one of his speeches. The following quote sums up the differences between talking and doing; or perhaps the symbiotic nature of the two.

“Unless a decision has “degenerated into work” it is not a decision; it is at best a good intention” Peter F Drucker, “The Effective Executive” pp114 Harper Collins paper back edition, 2006.

I am nothing if I am not stubborn. I get an idea and will keep plugging away at it like a dog does an old bone. That is what I did with the Precinct Delegate thing. My advice to anyone else with a “great” idea who wants a group to get behind it; don’t expect anyone else to be as excited about that idea as you are. Just keep showing your excitement in deed and others will take note and eventually come your way.

While they may come around to your level of excitement it will take some time and a lot of one on one effort. Even then you will have to do the majority of the work. Also if you are planting the seed don’t expect to be the one to harvest the plant. Once the seed takes root others will be fighting to do the harvesting. Just keep plugging away and take what you can get knowing what you did and realizing that you can still keep planting other seeds that will help grow the garden to your liking. Learn to thank them for helping, at the least it will baffle them; then move on.

I’m smiling after last night. We had our Muskegon County Republican Party Precinct Delegate Convention.

David Farhat was the Temp. Chair and did a remarkable job as we covered lots of new territory. Rules had to be checked, and decisions made on the fly and he handled himself well. In fact Susan Hughes co-chair and Stu Peterson the Secretary all were up to the task. I do pity Stu as he will have to put all this down into readable minutes LOL.

There were around 100 people there. The purpose of that convention was to get all the newly elected PDs together to elect 31 delegates to go to and represent us at the State Republican Convention. At that convention the Party nominees for SOS and AG and Supreme Court justices are picked by the PDs state wide among other duties.

I’m smiling because there were about twice as many PDs there who wanted to fill those 31 slots as there were two years ago. The seeds have taken root. The garden seems to be growing well.

There will be those who will say it should have been organized better, but they aren’t the gardeners. I felt a real sense of democracy in action that night. It took a long time, it wasn’t effiecient ballots had to be printed up and tallied. There was a lot of downtime in which to make new acquaintences and cement some previous ones. It took a long time and yet there weren’t any arguments or bad feelings that I saw. I felt we learned and grew through the doing.

What I saw was a group of people trying to overcome some obstacles and doing so in a democratic way. We had one overriding idea; we had had enough and were committing ourselves to doing something about it in a systematic way. For the first time in a while, I was proud of the Republican Party.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

PS I'd like to thank the state party for unleashing Barb Vander Veen who at the end spread the glories of Precinct Delegates far and wide and to whom much is owed.

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