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5 Questions for Lindsay Amantea – running for LPC National Policy Chair

lindsay-2016For my readers who are not interested in an internal Liberal Party blogpost – this may not be the post for you 😉  That out of the way, I said a couple weeks back that I would be hopefully starting to quiz some of those running for the various leadership positions that will be elected at the Liberal Party’s Biennial Convention, which is being held this May in Winnipeg. I aim to be impartial when I ask these, and I’ll be either asking people to participate in this, or be more then happy to be contacted by said candidates, so they can let potential LPC delegates know something about themselves and the reason they are running.

My first such person is here: Lindsay Amantea is running to be the Liberal Party of Canada’s National Policy Chair.  She is hoping to replace Maryanne Kampouris, who is not standing for re-election to this position (due to term limits). At this time, no other candidates have come forward to run besides Lindsay; that may or may not change.  Regardless, I sent my 5 questions to Lindsay, and she has sent back the replies for those who may want to find out more about her and why she is running, and why, if there are multiple candidates, she would like you to vote for her.  I post them unedited for your perusal, and I thank her for wanting to participate in this Q & A.

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1) Tell the readers a little bit about yourself – when did you first get involved in the Liberal Party and what have your roles been over the years?


I have been involved in the Liberal Party for longer than I’m willing to admit, in a variety of roles. I was first involved in British Columbia with the Young Liberals of British Columbia, my campus club at UBC-Okanagan, and my riding association. It was in Kelowna-Lake Country where we worked for many thankless years laying the groundwork for a stellar win in 2015.  I moved to Calgary, Alberta almost four years ago. For almost all of that time I have served as the policy chair of the Liberal Party of Canada in Alberta. I have worked on a number of elections in that time, including by-elections in Calgary-Centre (2012) and Macleod (2014). My role in these campaigns was largely the same as it is for most volunteers: knocking on doors and speaking to voters. In the last election I was fortunate to work in Calgary-Centre helping coordinate Get-Out-The-Vote effort for the Hon. Kent Hehr.

2) Could you tell the readers (and me!) what exactly the person who is the National Policy Chair for the LPC responsible for doing?

The National Policy Chair is a member of the National Board of Directors and the chair of the National Policy and Platform Committee. The responsibilities of NPEP are listed in the constitution, but most important among them are to coordinate the policy development process in all the provinces and territories, establish written procedures for policy development, maintain up to date compilations of all current party policy, and contribute to the creation of the national platform.   It is, in my view, a role that requires a leader who is able to coordinate many different processes, create clear timelines, provide transparency, and work towards a strong vision for the role that the policy development process plays on the road to victory in 2019.

3) What made you decide you wanted to (or needed to) run for this position?

I have been policy chair for Alberta for the last four years, but more importantly I have been on the ground in the last several elections. I have been confronted, as I am sure many of your readers have, with questions from voters about why we only speak to them during an election, when we are in a position to tell them what we envision for the future of Canada. This gives voters very little opportunity to tell us their opinions about what they want for the future of Canada, their aspirations and dreams.   I look at the policy process and see it as an underutilised tool for communicating with Canadians on an ongoing basis. I also see a process that seems to start and stop abruptly every two years in the lead up to our national conventions. I believe that we can use the policy development process to create a dialogue with Canadians, engage liberal supporters and find new volunteers.

4) If elected, can you tell us yet what you think your immediate priority would be for you once you got started in the position? A follow-up to that question would be what you feel the biggest challenges are that you will face if elected.

My immediate priority would be to start a nationwide consultation process within the party to determine what how to best revamp the policy development process to make it more outward looking, consultative, ongoing, and able to lay the groundwork for 2019.   The biggest challenge will be finding ways to seek out and include as many people, both members and the general public, in the policy process. Expanding the people who have access to and input into the policy process, especially those who cannot participate directly through the convention process is very important for making sure that the consultation process in the membership is as inclusive as possible. The current process excludes people who are unable to participate due to geographic or financial constraints. These are not easy obstacles to overcome but I have no doubt that we will be able to find creative solutions to these problems, including creating a stronger online component to the development process.

5) What would you say to undecided voters/delegates if they asked you why you felt you were best qualified to run for this position, or why do you think you can handle the National Policy Chair tasks and duties?

I could list any number of attributes that qualify me for this position like effective, timely communicator, detail and process oriented, organized, dedicated, decisive. But these traits can describe many people in the party who have done excellent work over the years.  What makes me different is my experience and my vision. I think that few people have had as much involvement in both the policy process and on the ground campaigning. I believe that for too long we have not seen these two important processes as part of a continuum. I have a clear vision how to make the policy process more inclusive and more relevant to the constant campaign. While we won government in 2015, it was not without fighting tooth and nail. With the right tools we can win 2019 before the election even starts.

 

 

1 comment to 5 Questions for Lindsay Amantea – running for LPC National Policy Chair

  • Fasih Syed

    Lindsay is not only experienced in policy making but also actively participated in last several elections. Though I am a delegate but to my bar exam i will not be able to participate. My prayers and thoughts are with Lindsay.

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