Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Intern Blog: Multi-Partisanship

 

I have never worked in politics before: which means I’m a rookie in every sense of the word. Consequently, until this point, newspapers, television shows and discussions informed my perceptions about politics. In fact, before I came to CJPAC, I thought that politics was largely composed of partisan squabbles, dramatic speeches and limited consensus. Although this was not entirely uninformed, I have found the political world to be a far more cordial environment. In fact, my introduction has been through the unique and wonderful world of multi-partisanship. Multi-partisanship, for me, has meant dealing with many parties, hearing different points of view on an issue and learning about different elements of the Canadian government.

Before I came to CJPAC, I thought that maintaining multi-partisanship within an organization would be something that would be very difficult to achieve given the strong convictions people hold on many issues. However, at CJPAC I learned that it is achievable, and with grace. In fact, I learned that ideological disagreements on issues are commonplace within our office.  One example that comes to mind is witnessing two of my colleagues engage in a serious debate on the subject of abortion, a very personal and divisive issue. Despite holding a fundamental difference of opinion, they agreed to disagree and remain collegiate colleagues and good friends. In fact, minutes later they were laughing and making plans to grab coffee later that evening. This experience provided me with insight into what it means to work in a multi-partisan organization like CJPAC. It demonstrated to me in concrete terms that despite our disagreements on many issues we are united by something stronger; shared core value and a belief in the state of Israel.

This has informed by understanding of why CJPAC is multi-partisan and why that is important for our community. As demonstrated in the example above, we as a community will never whole-heartedly agree on every issue. The recognition of inevitable disagreements within our community is further evidence why we must never relegate our efforts to just one political party. This is important because political fortunes change, and we must have relationships with all parties that inform the system. This approach allows for our community to ensure that we have support and that Israeli-related issues never become a wedge issue politically speaking.

Furthermore, I learned about the distinction between non-partisanship and multi-partisanship. Multi-partisanship allows for us to be all encompassing; meaning that we are supportive  of diverse partisan positions without biased or preferential treatment. This exempts us from being labelled as just another partisan organization supporting the beliefs of a single-party. Multi-partisanship allows for us to understand our differences, respect them and still work together for a common goal.

Throughout my time at CJPAC, I have learned about the importance and effectiveness of a multi-partisan approach. It is essential in order to ensure that our community’s issues are represented by all parties. I have also learned that for politicos in the Jewish community, supporting the State of Israel is a unifying cause and creates a greater sense of community.

I can’t wait to keep everyone posted on everything CJPAC in the near future!

Until next time,

Graham