Job one for Liberals at the extraordinary convention was to stop the madness of a quick leadership vote. However, it seems we have gone from one extreme to another with a surprisingly long two year wait. I'm ready to move on with what was decided, but a few observations that I think relevant moving forward.
Almost immediately after the election, we heard of this "overwhelming" support for delaying a leadership race for two years. The trouble with the assertions, it mostly seemed to come from party brass. I have formally questioned that argument, because there appears a serious disconnect from sentiment I've seen and read from grassroots Liberals. In fact, if I were a betting man, I would have put all my chips on a compromised option, between a snap leadership and endless waiting. But, there are other forces at play and I submit yesterday's vote as symptomatic of a reality that needs reform moving forward. Not a sour grapes perspective, but important to know how things go down with the Liberal Party of Canada, and why that isn't necessarily attractive moving forward.
I note Scott speaks to a push from party brass on the two year option, which fits my perception. Again, I'm not going to belabour this point moving forward, but Liberals should understand that once again we have a top down thrust, a structure which handicaps the true reform spirit which is imperative for survival. Yesterday, Rob Silver tweeted after the vote that online sentiment sure wasn't representative of the Liberal vote. One could argue that the online Liberal community is different from the membership in general, but if you look at the demographics, various breakdowns, it appears to me entirely representative of the wider population. The fact we saw such a wide chasm between opinions expressed and ultimate vote, let's look at this with a critical eye, because it's important. This isn't to question the democratic component of this vote, merely the influence and manoeuvring behind the scenes to support certain wants, from powerful quarters.
I think two years is decidedly long, and I predict a stall at some point, Liberals spinning their wheels in wait mode. Why? I don't believe in the leadership messiah thesis, but at a certain point we need a pitchman, we need someone to rally behind and galvanize all the ideas swirling around. Liberals need time to develop reforms, but a leadership race doesn't exclude this process, in fact candidates become vessels for various perspectives. That said, we are where we are now, and I'll get behind the process in a positive fashion. However, I will not gloss over how we suddenly moved to the most extreme option during this vote, because at the root of this result offers a revealing clue as to where true reform must start.