Tag Archives: LPC

Communication and the LPC

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.

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Do the Work

I’m busy reading an April 2009 document called, “Advancing Change Together: A Time to Act” which is the report of the LPC Change Commission that was co-chaired by Doug Ferguson, Carolyn Bennet and Brigette Garceau.  First thing I want to know was why was this document not highlighted front and centre at every opportunity since its publication in 2009?  Why was it not sent as an e-mail attachment along with the LPC constitution to every member, especially every new member?

I realise that the leader has had to deal with Stephen Harper and with public opinion that grew out of misrepresentation though attack ads, but the organisation as a whole seems to have dropped the ball leading us to a party that has set a record low for voter support and elected seats following the last election.  We are at a point in time where a few in leadership are working towards taking the LPC into the NDP which basically results in the end of an LPC.  I am a member of the LPC and I am not happy about what is happening to “my” party.  It is my party and it is “your” party should you be a member or a volunteer, or someone who votes for the LPC.  The party doesn’t belong to a select few at the top, it belongs to us.  At least, this is what our constitution tells us.

As you can tell, I am a bit frustrated and angry.  However, I still have a hope that in the coming weeks and months that we will be able to reclaim the party with the selection of a leader who will commit to making the LPC a party that focuses on liberal Canadians.  Do the work and the party will again become the Government of Canada.

PS – Go to progressive bloggers and vote for this post.


			

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Post-Election Thoughts

The election for Canada’s 41st Parliament is over and the results are in. As expected, Stephen Harper has won a majority which should allow him to further his agenda (hidden or not hidden) and that of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). And, unexpectedly, the New Democratic Party (NDP) took over as the official opposition as the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) slipped into third place. I am a liberal at heart and though I am saddened by the result, I am also relieved. This result allows some real changes to occur in the LPC so that it better reflects what it is to be liberal and Canadian.

I don’t want to focus on the election itself as that is one for history, not about what comes next.  It doesn’t matter who did or said what, who did or didn’t take part in debates or who did or didn’t answer media questions, or about the role of the media during the election or about reports not released because there was an election taking place.  The results are in and we now have to live with them for at least four years assuming Stephen Harper follows his own election law this time around.  What I want to focus on is “Now what do we do if we believe in a Canada that is inclusive, a Canada that is unified in all of its diversity?”

First steps on the level of the political party – choose a leader and hold that leader accountable.  An interim leader is being chosen at this moment and will serve until a full leadership convention.  Care has to be given to the selection of the interim leader as many would see this as an endorsement and an unfair advantage to the interim leader in the leadership convention which follows.  Given the polarity of vision in various leadership contenders, this is even more vital as it is obvious to most that certain candidates would fold the party in order to have a “united left party” with the NDP.  Obviously, this is not something that can be decided by a leader, but must be decided by the party membership as a whole, and only after enough time, resources and research have been invested, including the EDA leadership doing an extended conversation with their local LPC supporters.  Will we have the courage and the patience to do this work?  Or will we throw up our hands and admit that we are dinosaurs and cease to exist as a political party in Canada.

Our choice, I hope.

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A Polarized Canadian Electorate

The polls for the current election are showing something that is quite surprising, but somehow at the same time, something that makes sense.  Canada is divided again.  It wasn’t that many years ago that Canadians divided over the notion of two nations within one nation – a Québecois Nation and a Canadian Nation.  Today the divide is based on ideology, or so it seems.  Canadians are either holding fast to ultra conservativism (CPC) or racing to jump on an ultra left bandwagon (NDP).  The Liberals, a centrist political party, has almost been abandoned.

How does this make any sense politically?  Canadians aren’t extremists by nature.  Canadians are a people who steadily work and live a life on the middle road, caring for their families and neighbours while working hard to pay their bills.  I will try to find sense by looking at the phenomenon through the lens of human psychology, particularly that of the personal and collective unconscious.  But first, some background.

The Liberals, the centrist party of Canada, lost its way because of being too long in power.  Canadians trusted the Liberals and that trust became taken for granted.  And the abuses, the scams became bigger.  Along came the PC under the leadership of Brian Mulroney to avenge the Canadian voters.  Mulroney quickly showed Canadians that they had placed their trust in the wrong man and the wrong party and the Liberals were returned to power.  The old Liberal ways returned telling Canadians that the Liberals had not learned their lessons and again needed punishment.  A new version of the conservative party, the CPC held a hope for real change, after all its leader Steven Harper had promised transparency, accountability and honesty – values that seemed to have disappeared in the Canadian political world.

Five years later, and Canada is in shock.  Not only did the CPC not deliver its promises, it took abuse to a new level and added a new element, contempt.  The electorate was pummeled by attack ad after attack ad that sought to redefine the political world in black and white terms.  Invoking an evangelical template, the CPC placed themselves on the right hand of God in battle with the evil forces of darkness which they defined as any who opposed the CPC.  Most Canadians are believing Christians though not evangelical.  The constant bombardment of this war of good versus evil disturbed and shook the worldview of the average Canadian.  Fear began to appear, but not a fear that was easy to define, just a vague fear of the darkness, the instability of the place called home, Canada.

Steven Harper, knows what he is doing, he knows the power and value of fear as he tries to con Canadians to vote for him to be the leader of Canada.  There is no pretense that Canadians are voting for local candidates.  It is all about voting for Stephen Harper or against Stephen Harper.  I don’t believe that the Steven Harper that goes home each night to his family is an evil man, but the man we see as the leader of the CPC is a man possessed.  His hubris feeds on the collective unconscious.  And that, is what has come to scare most Canadians who have unconsciously known they couldn’t trust the man completely.  In this election, the stakes are higher.

And Canadians are in a panic.  Anyone But Harper! Anyone but conservative (ABC) has resulted in a fleeing from the extreme right – a fight or flight reaction – not a reasoned response.  Reason would tell Canadians to go back to the middle.  But the wounds inflicted by past Liberal governments, betrayed trust, have Canadians frantically scanning the political spectrum for a new safe place, as far away from Harper as they can get.  And the NDP are there, waiting for them with open arms trying to assure these Canadians that they can provide accountable, transparent and honest government.

Can the NDP deliver?  Personally, I don’t think so.  They aren’t a party of the centre and they will end up acting out of their extreme, non-centrist nature.  But, perhaps . . .

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