"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Monday, July 8, 2019

Nelly Shin's 'vocation' to serve

A few days ago, I wrote on this blog about why I've chosen to support Nelly Shin, the Conservative Party of Canada candidate for Port Moody-Coquitlam in the October general election. From our first meeting, Ms. Shin struck me as an intelligent, sincere, and compassionate person who is motivated by a genuine desire to do good through public service.

Calgary MP Michelle Rempel (l) and Shin
Nelly delivered a similar positive message when she was campaigning for a Conservative nomination in Richmond Hill last year*, according to a blog post about her that was published in June, 2018 by Ontarian Emily Wright.

Headlined, "Vocation as a Career," the post opens with a quote from Leo Tolstoy which reads, "The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people.”

The post then continues, "Where Nelly is today is the outcome of a series of small yet pivotal journeys that shaped the direction of her life's work. Her career spans several different job spheres, all connected by the common thread that is her hunger for purpose, and her aspiration to better society."

The next section of the article describes her journey as an educator, skips her stint as a composer and recording artist, and then picks up with her work as a counselor with Christian missions. The piece closes with the following summation:

"For Nelly, running for office is about trying to do the life work she's been doing in terms of restoring peoples' lives and bettering society from a position where she has the authority to make the changes that would most benefit those that need it."

That's certainly the conclusion I have reached and I hope others will too.

*Nelly stepped aside to allow a former Conservative MP, Costa Menegakis, to have an unimpeded path to the nomination.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Nelly Shin's resolute road to the Conservative Party's Port Moody-Coquitlam nomination

Canadians have a big decision to make on October 21 -- electing a new federal government. Residents of the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding have an important role to play in that historic moment, as their longtime MP is retiring, a move that opens the door to the election of a a brand-new person to represent them in Ottawa.
Shin and St. Germain: Endorsement
One of the leading contenders must certainly be Nelly Shin, a bright, engaging and compassionate educator, artist and community worker who is representing the Conservative Party of Canada. Here is a link to her website.
Nelly's backstory is a compelling one. She had originally intended to seek a nomination in the Ontario riding of Richmond Hill but graciously and without complaint stepped aside to clear the way for a former Conservative MP to seek the nomination.
Still wanting to serve the country, and reflecting on a rewarding stage in her life when she had lived in B.C., she--like so many other thousands of people every year-- decided to move to the province to start fresh.
A talented singer, pianist and composer, Nelly says she chose Port Moody because it's the self-proclaimed "City of the Arts." Contrary to some allegations made by political opponents, Nelly does not fit the definition of a "parachute candidate": she decided on her own to move to B.C.; the Conservative party paid none of her expenses; the party made no official decisions or decrees to support her nomination. Importantly, she has now made a home for herself in Port Moody.
This is in clear contrast to the path taken by the NDP leader, for example, who ran (successfully, as it turned out) in a recent Burnaby by-election, even though he doesn't live in the province. Interestingly, the party's support is plummeting in B.C. 
Another unfair charge emerged when the Conservative party disqualified the only other candidate seeking the nomination, a young man who worked for the better part of a year attempting to secure that nomination.
It was said that the disqualified candidate, Matthew Sebastiani, was "blocked," a word that connotes unfairness. It's understandable that the disqualification upset some people, but it's always difficult to explain the justification for disqualifications because the party never makes public its reasons for such decisions. Nevertheless, I have a good understanding of the process, and I trust that the decision was not taken lightly, and was reached only after a fair and just review of the facts.
And so, here we are, less than four months to go until the general election. I, like several others (including former candidate Tim Laidler, leading Tri-Cities Conservative Dave Bassett, and legendary former Conservative senator, MP and party president Gerry St. Germain), have decided to publicly endorse Nelly. Moreover, I have decided to take a role on her campaign team.
I didn't do this lightly, but only after getting to know Nelly Shin; she is intelligent, compassionate, talented and, most of all, committed to public service. I think she will make an exceptional Member of Parliament.