Saturday, May 21, 2011


I keep hearing about this "almost unanimous" feeling amongst the rank and file that WE prefer a 18-24 month leadership delay. I'm sure that's true, except in my little world of contacts and conversations, I hear about delaying yes, but up to 2 years, must say hardly any evidence from this outpost. Rather than guesswork about where Liberals really sit, Alf Apps telling us about the flood of emails and overwhelming "consensus" on delaying at least 18 months, I would like a more TRANSPARENT account.

There is plenty of suspicion in this party, and that is borne from past behaviours, it's a LEARNED response. Because of this reality, it is INCUMBENT on the "brass" to produce a process which is entirely in the light of day. Reading Bryden's piece, it really is frustrating and disappointing if true:
Federal Liberals will be asked to postpone electing a new leader for 18 to 22 months.

Under the party's constitution, a vote should take place by late October to choose a successor to Michael Ignatieff, who resigned after leading the once-mighty party to a historic defeat on May 2.

But the party's board of directors has unanimously finalized a plan to get around that constitutional requirement.

The party will stage a special virtual convention on June 18, at which delegates will be asked to amend the constitution.

The proposed amendment calls for a new leader to be chosen sometime between Nov. 1, 2012, and Feb. 28, 2013.

The precise date would be set five months in advance by the board, in consultation with the Liberals' parliamentary caucus and riding presidents.

Who came up with these dates, AND where is the EVIDENCE that this decision is really the result of consultations and feedback? Does the brass not realize many rank and file don't trust their word or interpretation of what they hear, they prefer an upfront account, let us all see the feedback. There is only one solution that respects true will of the party rank and file, that really does speak to one member, one vote and that is to have a clear vote on future leadership dates. For example, where the hell is the option for delaying one year? I know MANY Liberals who don't want a quick race, but also don't want to wait a full two years? If we are given this stark choice, then you force an unfortunate choice between two perceived bad options.

You will never convince me that we can't have a vote on amending the Constitution for leadership, followed by 2 or three date options for alternatives. The fact we can't seem to incorporate OPTIONS with the alternative leaves me very concerned, makes me think this is a "pat on the head" exercise and ultimately the brass will decide what's best. Talk about a missed opportunity to come out of this process with a respected outcome, NO this process will lead to many feeling slighted, many feeling their voice wasn't really heard, they were given choices DICTATED by others.

You're blowing it Liberal Party apparatus, you're BLOWING IT BAD. Who decided 18-22 months is the only option available? I want to know where this "consensus" comes from, where is the empirical evidence to support, rather than simply certain people dictating terms? Beginning the "new" era of the Liberal Party with the same old TOP DOWN dictation is a joke, it tells me people don't get it AT ALL. What I'm sensing, all this consultation is nothing more than band aids, rather than a REAL respect for the people that keep this TUG afloat with their money, energy and passion. We will have a choice apparently, but without a middle ground option, you've left many with no choice and disrespected their wishes for a truly open and transparent process.


A Eliz. said...

The Quebec Liberals are perturbed over practically what everyone has been saying

Steve V said...

I'm not impressed with that letter either, particularly when one of those people used to bash Dion to the press. Reads like a leadership argument, wrapped around reform.

Kirk said...

Lord help the LPC if just narrowing down a leadership convention to a period between 17 and 21 months from now becomes the source of this hysteria. You want 12 months, Steve, but what about 14 months or 15 or 16 months from now? At what exact date does the world end as today seems to have arrived without incident?

We started with a wide 12 to 24 months from a June constitutional amendment and now it being shrunk to 17 to 21 months leaving out those who wanted both 12 months and 24 months.

Is 4 months after your perferred date, Oct. 2012, to be viewed as part of the same big, undefined conspiracy as 5 months, Nov. 2012, after your perferred date is being?

And please remember it will take 2 or 3 months after this whole leadership process issue is decided for a real reform process to even begin. And as soon as a leadership convention date is announced, if not before, all reform will end as all energy will be focused on picking the next messiah.

Maybe the Liberal Party can reform itself in 4 or 5 months but I doubt it while you seem to be seeing it as a done deal.

Steve V said...


You didn't address why people can't have options?? You're already asking the question, I fail to see the harm in saying 12 months 18 months or 24 months. Fair, covers off all opinions and ultimately lets the membership pick the date, rather than the spectre of someone else arbitarily dictating. Anything more than a year, I think I prefer a quick leadership, so it's quite important and I'm not alone. Besides my preference, I'm telling you right now, that unless grassroots has input, there will be a lot of lingering resentment, and it simply doesn't have to be the case. I'm sorry but there is a world of difference between 12 months and 22 months, it's not just splitting hairs. It can all be resolved fairly, I'll respect any decision, but I'm sensing that this time frame isn't the result of "consensus", but preference of those that want it. You can't see how that will be problematic, well...

Steve V said...

Just to add, the last thing you want is people unhappy with this vote, by arbitarily dictating it's this vs that, without any evidence that this truly reflects grassroots feedback, you will leave a bad taste in people's mouths. This vote should be a signal of a new era, so my concerns aren't necessarily about my personal preference, but a READ of where Liberals are at. People that think it doesn't matter simply aren't paying attention at all.

Kirk said...

Now tell me how we decide amongst multiple dates.

We first have to decide to amend the current constitution. So how do we first decide a date greater than allowed under the current Constitution and then decide to change at all?

You're saying that if the date isn't 12 months then you would prefer that the constitution not be changed. If most people chose something other than 12 months then those that want 12 months will cancel the whole process with a simple vote of 1/3 + 1 of the membership? Will they be joined by those who wanted the other of the three options in cancelling the whole process by refusing to support the amendment?

Don't forget that there will be those who don't want the constitution changed at all. Your 12 month date could easily be as dead as any other change if more people react as you are.

So you, while arguing about how many dates we should place on the head of a pin, are designing a process practically guaranteed to change nothing, you probably won't even get 12 months. And if we can't change the date of a leadership convention without this drama how will we change the LPC at all?

BTW, if June is 12 months then February, which is 8 months later, is 20 not 22. Keep inflating the number it, is just convincing me that there is little reason behind these objections.

Steve V said...

Wow, can you sound anymore condescending? You mean people might vote to NOT change the Constitution?

And I find you distoring my position to show your arguments carry little weight. Head of a pin, really? Never mind, don't answer that, I can't bear to hear another lecture.

Kirk said...

Once again:

Now tell me how we decide amongst multiple dates.

Your attitude seems to indicate that we can`t. If just 33.4% of the LPC share your approach picking any date but their preferred one will mean they will cancel the whole process.

55% want a Feb. 2013 Convention? Too bad, 33.4% or more will vote to leave the constitution unchanged if more are like you.

You may want to simply dismiss me but at least I`m offering you a chance to rebut my points instead of ignoring them.

Steve V said...

Yes/No on amending constitution, all participants still pick an alternative date. Simple. Right now you're asking people if they want an election in October of this year or possibly waiting until Feb of 2013, and you're actually trying to bastardize my position as though I'm splitting hairs or something.

I'm done, disagree if you want.

Kirk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk said...

Steve, you're saying people will vote yes/no on amending the constitution without knowing the new Leadership Convention date IF they get to vote on 2 or 3 possible dates (without knowing the result).

But they don't want to vote yes/no on amending the constitution if they know the date will be between Nov/12 and Feb/13 but again don't know which of those 4 months?

Right now you're asking people if they want an election in October of this year or possibly waiting until Feb of 2013

Guess what. That is what you are asking people to do as well. Voting on the amendment and voting on the new date at the same time means people they will be voting on possibly waiting until Feb. 2013. Voting concurrently on the amendment and a possible new date (dependent on the amendment passing) is still voting without knowing the actual date of the leadership convention.

All in all, that still leads me to think that it's not the process at all, as you claim, but that the date range doesn't include a 12 month option.

James Curran said...

Hey. I can solve this for both of you. How about we just ask our constitution what to do. It's in there.

Unknown said...

Allow the National Board to change the constitution whenever they want and engineer the tool to legitimize their action, and you set a very dangerous precedent. We approved a constitution then we must respect it. The staged June 18 so called convention is nothing but window dressing