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Weekend thoughts

The Liberal delegates have (unfortunately in my view) voted to extend the wait back to 2013 before choosing a new Liberal leader. I’ve already gone over my objection to that, but it seems from what I was hearing that the LPC brought out the party leaders heavy artillery and urged acceptance of their motion, rather then accept either the 6 month requirement or a middle of the road option as my friend Jeff was putting forward. The LPC brass got their way, it seems. I’d have thought since 2006 that some of our party would learn that the Party bosses and leaders don’t always know best. PERHAPS they will get it right this time, but I won’t be shocked if they didn’t.

On another Liberal front, this time the provincial battle, the PC’s are copying their federal cousins counterparts in running the same ad over and over again attacking Dalton Mcguinty and the Liberals – mostly on the local sports events like Blue Jays baseball. I hope the OLP doesn’t wait too long to respond to those… because it’s an obvious copycat attempt at cementing a negative view towards the Ontario Premier.

UPDATE: Sunday June 19, 2010 – Happy Father’s Day to all fathers! And, I note I’m not the only one who thinks this was a top-down engineered (or peer pressured) vote yesterday. Steve has similar views of mine. Bottom line: the vote yesterday is what it is, and those of us who disagree with this vote and this process will have to work with it.. but my impressions are we’re a long ways away from having a grassroots oriented party here still.

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15 comments to Weekend thoughts

  • Stan

    I think another backroom deal with the Power Corp boys is the best way to choose a liberal leader.
    Look how well for Canada it turned out last time!

  • Umm

    I think it’s worth noting that 89 per cent was the vote on the final amendment as amended, when the choice was March-June 2013 or October 2011, which no one wanted. Many people that supported earlier dates are in that 89 per cent, because going in October 2011 would be madness. We don’t know that the results were of voting on the three sub-amendments, just that #3 got more than 50 per cent. Saying this timeline was the first choice of 89 per cent would be plain wrong.

  • Mike

    Scott that quote from a young Liberal or two could be said in a more extreme fashion about every constitutional amendment in the party’s history including OMOV which passed in Vancouver and which I gather you supported and didn’t indicate was an illegimate amendment. Again, a regular member’s amendment passed, not that of the party brass. I don’t even recall amendments from regular members even being allowed at past conventions, only those put forth by commissions. The majority of people that spoke were regular members, I’d like names on who thse supposed ex-ministers, MPs and so on were, because they certainly didn’t identify themselves as such (though I would assume everyone knew who Dion was) and if they didn’t identify themselves as such what was the pressure? Some people are unhappy, but 89% is just overwhelming.
    Anyone who wanted to be on the call could do so and not be denied a spot.

    Under the circumstances, was there any way to do this more democratically and more inclusively and than was done under the party’s current constitution?

  • PT

    Don’t agree with this, though good points are made for delaying it and there are a lot of beenfits. With all this time hopefully come January the party will look at really changing the process of how the next leader is chosen so that they can engage as many people as possible in choosing the next Liberal leader. Time will also give potential candidates from outside the current caucus time to build a profile, hopefully leading to many different options when choosing the leader. I’m also supportive of having a fairly long leadership race, not constant campaigning or anything but when you consider the campaign for the Mayor of Toronto basically took 9 months then we should have more then a couple of months to get to know a potential Prime Minister. Maybe there will be some by-election wins before then as well.

    Personally I hope to see more of Ted Hsu over the next two years, on paper his background would definitely qualify him to be an excellent leader of the Liberal Party.

  • Yeah it was a decision made by the party brass. There were 2700 Liberals on the call. Over 50% supported sub-amendment 3, but you, someone not on the call, are right. 1400 people on the call were party brass…. Your comment is insulting.

  • Mike

    It was 89% in favour from a vote of from what I understand was about 2500 delegates voting largely anonymously. I would say that’s a pretty strong endorsement of delaying leadership to 2013 from the membership rather than the party brass. Bear in mind that what passed was actually NOT what the national exec put forth but a sub-amendment that was put forth by an LPC member (who happened to get Stephane Dion to agree to introduce his proposal). The delegates chose this sub-amendment over 2 other sub-amendments by a wide margin that a run-off between the top two sub-amendments wasn’t even deemed necessary. If this was just the national exec and party brass enforcing their will, wouldn’t the national exec’s orginal motion have passed instead of an amended one? This is a significant delay of the leadership vote beyond what the national exec said they wanted.

    I know some Liberals are unhappy but when something gets 89% support that’s a pretty clear will being expressed.

    • I’d like to see the same motion debated and be passed via OMOV rather then this delegated setup.. before I accept it as a clear will being expressed – by these particular delegates? Sure.. but by all the LPC membership? Not so sure.

      • Mike

        Scott this was basically OMOV by any measure. Was there a single LPC member who wanted to vote on this but was denied a delegate spot? Some may have had time commitments but surely some of those would have actually supported the amendments that actually passed. There were 2500 people on the call, how many do you think there would have been if it was officially OMOV?

        And remember again the brass get what they wanted which was a sooner leadership race than what delegates voted for. Dion hasn’t been considered part of party brass for some time and he was the only real bigwig that spoke. National exec’s proposal was defeated in favour of a regular member’s proposal that’s something grassroots should be glad of. The membership and ridings will have power for 2 years that they’ve never had before.

        I imagine you would have gotten a very similar result as what we had this time if this was officially OMOV and gotten a similar participation rate. The delegated aspect only had to be followed to follow the letter of the constitution. An amendment can be moved in Ottawa in Jan 2012 to make future amendments done by official OMOV and that’s worth supporting but I don’t think that de-legitimizes today’s vote considering there doesn’t seem to be a significant enough number of people (to have changed the result) who wanted to participate but were denied the chance to do so.

        Anyways I just don’t see reason to be disappointed with the results. You should look forward to the next 2 years of hard rebuilding and having a louder voice now. I could be wrong and the party blows it, but I think there’s a realization that the party just might not exist in a decade if there aren’t significant changes and more membership consultation and involvement now. I think people know the stakes now.

        Cheers.

        • Mike

          Sorry “Remember again the brass DIDN’T get what they wanted” it should say.

          • Mike

            One final comment, it can’t be denied that the voting on these constitutional amendments was more inclusive both in terms of ability to participate (much easier to take a phone call than to travel to Vancouver or Montreal) and cost ($20 vs $500 or more) than any votes on constitutional amendments in perhaps the entire party’s history. So just bear that in mind since I didn’t recall anyone saying the constitutonal votes from Vancouver or Montreal were illegitimate. I’m on board with more inclusive votes in the future (not just on constitutonal amendments with OMOV of LPC members but also for having leadership races open to the whole public), but hopefully we just move forward together going forward rather than worrying about spilt milk.

          • A sample convo from a couple of Young Liberals who were delegates:

            “We have been talking all about engaging the grassroots for the past year, and then we listen to various ex-ministers and ex-party presidents and current exec members of the pta’s tell us to vote for what they want… and people do.”

  • Other than Dion introducing the third amendment, there were no other arm twisting going on from the brass. At least not anyone I would recognize. So you may be a little misled here. Overall I thought it was a very democratic experience and the technology used worked well once the help line kicked in to get the initial stragglers connected.

    Milken did an excellent job.

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