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Archive for October, 2008

These folks are your most popular Liberals, in terms of sheer numbers, in the country. This means that they live in Liberal ridings, highly populated, and got more votes than anyone else in the caucus.

  1. David McGuinty – Ottawa South – 29,035
  2. Maurizio Bevilacqua – Vaughn – 27,773
  3. Bob Rae – Toronto Centre – 27,462
  4. Carolyn Bennett – St. Paul’s – 26,286
  5. My very own Joyce Murray – Vancouver Quadra – 25,393

This is special for Quadrans like myself who saw a particularily close race on election night back in March.

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The Days to Come

Well, here we go again. This next leadership race will last until May, so we’re in for another tough slog. I almost hope that this whole process can be moved up so we can start doing what is really important – rebuilding a fractured and decaying party to its former glory. In order to win, we need to become a more effective party, not the lumbering beast that we are now.

I have some thoughts as to what we could structurally do to ensure that party renewal is a key issue at this convention, and to stop us from being distracted from that task by the sexy, sexy leadership convention (typing this sentance makes me realize how much I need to get a life – till then, however, let’s move on).

  1. Cap spending for any given candidate at $400,000. This number is by no means a firm one – it’s really something that I just made up. That being said, the point I am trying to make is to keep the cap low. Last time, we racked up millions in debt. The amount of money we had to raise to pay off our debts by payment deadlines could have been spend campaigning, and instead we were left with only a tiny portion of what our party is capable of raising. (This should not be confused with the idea that we can actually fundraise – we can’t, and that needs to be fixed.)
  2. Cap debt at 50% of the spending cap. You shouldn’t be able to borrow your way into the leadership, which it appears is what Dion did. This is confusing to me, because, when on the Alberta Dion team, we did quite well for ourselves, and did so on a shoestring budget. We definitely were sustainable, donation wise, and I see no reason why we shouldn’t have a similar standard across the country.
  3. Have a mandatory leadership deposit that does not go into party coffers, but into a fund to be used immediately upon completion of the convention to introduce the new leader to the nation. We have to define our new leader before the Tories or Dippers do, and it takes money to do that.
  4. Require (or at least strongly suggest) that candidates include a detailed plan for party renewal.
  5. Use this time to actually implement the centralized membership database, and include questions for targeting. We were told that this would happen at the end of the last convention, but I still get calls from the LPCA and LPCBC independently asking me to renew my membership or sign up to the party again.
  6. Make the convention more accessible. While I loved the experience of Montreal (in no small part because my guy won), it was incredibly expensive. If any city is going to be more expensive than Montreal, it’s Vancouver. We should do two things – block book every cheap hotel we can find in the city RIGHT NOW, and hold satellite conventions across the country. Maybe these won’t be official conventions, but we should make an effort to include everyone, and by holding events across the country, we will be able to bring everyday Liberals and future Liberals into the fold. Rick Mercer has a point.

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