Monday, October 01, 2007

An Idea For The Liberal Party

It would appear that a fall election will be avoided. If the Liberals are planning to keep their powder dry, then it is time to move into high gear on the grassroots front. I have an idea, that engages, empowers and possible expands the base.

Anyone familiar with the Howard Dean campaign of 2004 has heard of Meetups. Local people, gathering monthly, discussing ideas and politics, interacting across the country. This idea was a gigantic success story for the Dean campaign, both in terms of fundraising and engaging. The Liberals already hold riding meetings, but it is all very formal, very top-down. What if the Liberal Party adopted a Meetup like forum, in every riding, to be held monthly? All the groups, meeting across the county, on the same night, with a interactive component, possibly a "conference call", video link.

I'm a self-admitted stooge when it comes to technological aptitude (I can barely post), and I realize the Liberal Party isn't awash in money, but I would be very wise to invest in whatever is required to "hook-up" Liberals from across the country. A Meetup could begin with a live appearance by Dion, or one of the other prominent Liberals, with some brief comments, possibly some questions, followed by a local discussion. You could also set-up a live interaction with two different ridings, from different parts of the country, in an effort to foster some cohesion and get a better grasp of various concerns and opinions from other people, outside of you particular riding. You could also pass the hat around, nudge nudge, wink wink. Participants would be encouraged to invite "non-Liberals" who are politically engaged, and the whole thing could take on a very organic feel.

Building a sense of cohesion and a commitment to go beyond a top-heavy organization could change the dynamics, and breath some life into a tired institution. Is this a good idea? Feel free to flesh it out or rip it apart.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

LPC will be undertaking '1 week, 100 dinners' this fall to provide erxactly this type of opportunity.

James said...

Steve,

The link to the hill times article isn't working properly.

Kris said...

I think it's an idea worthy of investigation. It would give a lot of members, for whom being a Liberal means little more than voting Liberal on election day, something tangible to invest themselves in. The idea of a physical place, where concerns and ideas can be registered and discussed among party (and non-party) members, would give not only the grassroots a real and meaningful sense of connection to and communication with the party, but the brass would have have the benefit of a generally consistent and reasonably informed idea of where the grassroots stand, something that seems much harder for the leadership to come by the way the party currently operates.

Steve V said...

"LPC will be undertaking '1 week, 100 dinners' this fall to provide erxactly this type of opportunity."

With all due respect, that is motivated by fundraising. What I propose could have a fundraising aspect, but first and foremost a way to motivate the grassroots.

james

That happens with The Hill Times for some reason. You can get it on the frontpage.

Aaron said...

Its a constructive idea and potentially a really good one. Who's organizing this though? How does it get from idea to reality?

Steve V said...

"Who's organizing this though?"

Head office ;)

petroom said...

It is a good idea, needs to be talked up more for sure. Last week I suggested bloggers take ownership of a riding each in order to establish a grassroots connection with locals.

I'm working on creating a list of libloggers and their ridings.

Sam said...

Now that I know that you do not publish all comments that are questioning your ideas, typical Liberal - I will try this again.

What about the ridings where DeYawn parachutes a candidate into without the grassroots say about it. He tried it in Quebec - look what happened. If he had any integrity he would let the ridings know where he will be placing candidates of his choice so they can at least pretend to support that decision.

I know you do not want to even think of this possibility, yet it will happen [he said so] and, when it does and the Liberals are disillusioned, I will say I told you this would happen.

The grassroots mean nothing to your leader; he only wants power and money. Both Harper and DeYawn are control freaks - the only difference is that Harper doesn’t have a quota of women and friends to place into ridings. Grassroots are important, yet your leader seems to ignore them and their decisions.

You have a good idea – something the Cons and Alliance have been doing for years, therefore success in knowing where their voters stand on issues – but will your leader humble himself to talk to a common person?

Gayle said...

sam

It is hard to take anyone seriously when they refer to Dion as "Deyawn".

Go back to school. Come back here when you are capable of critical thought.

Steve - I like your idea, but I think that a poster on one of your previous threads had it right - the liberal party has to purge itself of all their power hungry corrupt members.

While I do not believe Dion "only wants power and money", I certainly do believe that the forces working against him in the party feel that way.

There has to be some bottom up strategizing, but I fear it will never happen until there is some bottom up purging.

Just my two cents from someone on the outside looking in.

Sam said...

sfynHe is called DeYawn because if you listen to him you end up yawning.

Seriously though - if a Liberal can be serious:

Now what about the riddings where he parachutes people in. You still have not even noticed this - you are liberal - therefore blind to an honest question.

This good proposal wll fail if your reaction to this question is not answered and proves that you - like DeYawn - are not open to new ideas such as listening to the grassrooots - which you appear to be.

Are you going ti ignore the parachuting in of his friends and women into riddings? As a grassroot member this should be a concern to you.

Anonymous said...

no one is organizing it centrally, its up to each mp to do it.
jamie carroll has been got quit today.

Steve V said...

"Now that I know that you do not publish all comments that are questioning your ideas, typical Liberal - I will try this again."

Try saying something constructive, instead of juvenile nothingness Typical Con, all bash, no substance.

Sam said...

what is more constructive than asking a simple question"

What about the riddinga where your leader parachutes his "person" in without grassroots decision?

Or is this a fact that you hope doesn't happen to your riddin?

I am not a Con, I was interested in the Liberals until I see how you dismiss an honest question. You [a rep of the Liberal party's grassroots] ignore anybody that aske questions, no wonder some of my friends tell me to vote for the Cons , at least they answer questions.

So, what part of the question do you not understand?

"What about the riddinga where your leader parachutes his "person" in without grassroots decision?

Steve V said...

"I am not a Con, I was interested in the Liberals until I see how you dismiss an honest question. You [a rep of the Liberal party's grassroots] ignore anybody that aske questions, no wonder some of my friends tell me to vote for the Cons , at least they answer questions."

Not buying, the Deyawn crack is Con 101. Next.

Geo said...

Give this link a try...

www.meetup.com

It's a great tool for organizing and reminding people that a meet up is happening. And for signing people up too.

I used to belong to a couple of techie/graphics ones and I get the reminders by email each month with a short description of what the topic or who the guest will be. I rsvp if I will attend or not.

Usually it's held at a nice little pool hall/pub in town and a good time is held by all. Fun and relaxed.

I do think it's a good idea and it need not even be one per riding as some ridings are fairly large. But that could evolve if there was an interest.

Good Luck

G

Sam said...

Well, all I can hope for is that he parachutes a candadate of his chioce into your ridding, then perhaps you will answer the question then.

Steve V said...

Thanks geo :)

sam

What about giving unelected Senators a role in government? Please.

Sam said...

Tthe Cons already do that.