Well, it's not everyday that I get an opportunity to be a witness to front page news.
Last night my twenty-something daughter and I joined the massive throng of Conservative supporters in Mississauga to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper rally the troops for a possible election which the opposition could force at any time.
The crowd estimates ranged anywhere from 2000 to 5000 depending on the bias of your media source. (Interesting that CBC seems to have picked the low end there.)
I can assure you that there were so many enthusiastic, sweating bodies packed in that massive hall like sardines, that everyone was peeling off as many clothes as possible to cool down. The Prime Minister was visibly perspiring from the heat. I don't recall ever being in a closed environment with that number of fellow human beings at one time.
But no one complained.
There was an excitement in the air as the evening started with Jim Flaherty and Josée Verner warmed up the audience. The Finance Minister is a tremendous speaker; full of Irish wit and charm. Flaherty has definitely not reached his full political potential yet.
The Prime Minister's speech is well documented on various news sources, but I can tell you that he seemed energized by the boisterous crowd, which was showing approval with cheers and applause, and the banging of thundersticks almost nonstop.
His remarks were targeted at the average Canadian; the hard-working silent majority who "didn't have the time to stage protests or the money to hire lobbyists." (CTV)
There was also a tone of humility:
"We cannot worry about what they say about us around boardroom tables but we must care what they talk about at the kitchen tables.''
In any case, it was a most enjoyable evening. The icing on the cake was the opportunity to meet some fellow bloggers; notably Sandy (Crux-of-the-Matter), and the Stephen Taylor! What a great guy! Stephen, if you're reading this, I hope we didn't embarrass you too much. ;)
Our meeting up with Sandy was quite "serendipitous" as she referred to it. Perhaps she will elaborate at some point.
Anyway, Sandy and her husband are warm, friendly people whom my daughter and I were very happy to have met. We ended up sitting together, which was great. In fact, it was due to Sandy's brilliant strategic skills that we were even able to find a seat. She is very clever about dealing with line-ups, and how to get around them. I highly recommend that you ask her for tips if you ever plan to attend an event like this.
After the rally, there was a large reception with various MP's milling about, but my focus at that point was more on grabbing some cheese and cold meat, since we were starving. As my daughter and I settled in against a wall to devour our snacks, I noticed Jim Prentice advancing in our general direction. He stopped to chat to a couple of men beside me. I glanced over and noticed that one of them was Jason Kenney!
Didn't get a chance to talk to them (especially with my mouth full of food), but it was fun to be in the same room watching MP's mill around like common folk - which they are, and which we all are.