I have to thank the fact that there are people who leak out information, that media publishes these leaks and that a number of my followers and those that I follow on Twitter catch this information so that I can stay somewhat up-to-date on what is happening within the LPC. I am a member of the party but that doesn’t seem to count for much in terms of communication. Perhaps if I was on the national executive or one of the remaining 34 MPs I would be privy to information about my party. I shouldn’t complain too much as there is a portal for ordinary members to make some noise at en famille, the forum for LPC members. Of course there is a wealth of documents stored on the national party’s website as well, much of these bits of information tucked away in PDF format just waiting for any member to ask.
But, when there is a question of immediacy such as is currently the case in terms of appointing an interim leader, it is embarrassing to not know what is going on except via the media. One would think that membership would be the first to know, at least officially notified a few minutes before it’s released to the public. Our constitution has a process that is supposed to be followed in the selection of an interim leader. There is no need for a consult with the membership, just a process that will allow a further process to begin, one in which membership has a real say thanks to the revised constitution.
But the media tells me that the current national leadership has a different idea in mind, one in which the rules need to be changed. My guess is that the leadership has listened in to the debates raging on Twitter and on blog sites across the land. My guess is that this leadership then makes assumptions from what they think they are hearing, yet they don’t bother to do the fact-checking with the actual membership.
Twitter is noisy and much of that noise comes from many who are not members of the LPC, and that is what makes this social media so vital. That said, it isn’t a replacement for dialogue with the LPC membership. The party knows who the members are and where they are located and how to contact them. There are EDA’s which can become more useful at the riding level for a more inclusive dialogue. We can also use a secure polling option hosted at the National Party’s website to get a quick overall view of what members think in regards to any number of questions of a more immediate nature.
Since none of this is being utilised, the leadership has set themselves apart from the membership, something that suggests a certain level of contempt for the membership. Yes, I said it – contempt. Members are not equal, not regarded as more than a source of funds for the most part as those who are more-than-equal play leadership games and work behind the scenes on different power agendas.
It’s time to claim the Liberal Party of Canada for its members, by its members. A lot of work has been done in preparing for renewal (ACT 2009) and now it is the time to do the work of breathing life back into the party so that we can once again be proud to be called Liberals.