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Rising Above the Political Dilemma in Families

January 25, 2017

There’s an old adage that says friends should never discuss sex, politics or religion. But what if your family is involved in politics and what if members of the family are of different political persuasions?

I found myself in just such a dilemma.

My nephew is seeking to be the Progressive Conservative candidate for our riding in the next provincial election. To become the political candidate he must first be nominated through the local Progressive Conservative Riding Association.

I have been asked to join the association so I can vote him in as the Progressive Conservative candidate for the riding. However, I am not Conservative politically. As such I cannot see myself joining the Progressive Conservative Riding Association, yet I do wish to support my nephew.

In a field of candidates he would be my choice more than just because he is my nephew.

This young man has expressed an interest in politics at such a young age that his then peers were watching cartoons. From him being at least 6-years-of-age, we would actually discuss politics and policy and how it impacts people. These were remarkable conversations to behold with my nephew as then a little boy both for the topic and the depth of content.

As my nephew grew and developed, his political interest grew and he leaned Conservative. Given his interest when about 13 or 14 years of age, I suggested he volunteer for a local riding association or in the office of a local Member of Parliament.

He took the suggestion seriously as intended and actually went to volunteer for the local Member of Parliament. After working many years as a volunteer he later became a paid employee of the MP’s constituency office. My nephew has since also worked on both federal and national campaigns and even lent support to conservative candidates in the US.

My nephew has come to be respected within the party as a go-getter steeped in conservative thinking. As you may well imagine, we have had many good debates over the years, particularly given our views are at times opposed. Throughout, love and respect.

While I cannot join the Conservative party to elect him as the candidate in our riding, I can say that in the field of Conservative candidates, he is my choice. I know him to be hard working both in his paid employment and also through his now many volunteer activities. His generosity of spirit is a testament to his parents and grandparents before him who all were equally engaged in community support and activism.

If you are a conservative and live within the Hamilton West – Ancaser – Dundas riding, please join the Progressive Conservative Riding Association and vote for Ben Levitt to be the local candidate in the next provincial election.

If you want to meet Ben yourself to decide about you voting him in as the Progressive Conservative candidate, then please attend his “Meet and Greet”.

While the Conservative Party is not my choice, I do believe that the Conservatives are likely to form the next provincial government in Ontario. If they do, then I would want people like my nephew to be part of that government.

How do we rise above political dilemmas in families? We rise above our differences by finding common ground. We continue to be loving and supportive. We are family.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. I am available in person and by Skype. Costs are posted on each webpage describing my services.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

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