Harrumph!

All parties, by times, see supporters disgruntled about something their leaders have done or failed to do, and it’s; “Harrumph! I can’t support them anymore! I’m outa here!”

But flouncing off in a huff, while dramatic and perhaps emotionally satisfying, is but an empty gesture to no real effect.

It’s your time, and your money, of course, and your vote, but I submit that your support shouldn’t be seen as some kind of reward, nor your withdrawal a penalty. It shouldn’t be about the party itself, or its leadership, but what that party represents; it should be, above all, about supporting your own values, and it is those values that should hold your allegiance irrespective of the day to day vagaries of the party.

While your leaders might err or stray from the path, the real question is whether it still is the path, whether those fundamental values are indeed still in play, and whether they’re still your values.

In the end, who or what a party is is not up to the party, its leadership, or the fine words in its governance documents. As members come and go, as more or fewer who motivate it value and understand its underlying principles and perspectives, the party’s stance, its policies and actions, will vary around that core. It is up to each and every one of its members to keep it true to what it is supposed to be, to choose their leadership accordingly at every level, and to encourage them, and indeed other members, to stay on track.

But taking your ball and storming-off home doesn’t do that; it just takes you out of the game and off the field, making your views irrelevant to the outcome.

As long as you support its fundamental values, whatever your party — do hang in there, and keep swinging for the fence!

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