Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting It Right?

No matter your "position", you at least have to acknowledge there is some real back and forth occurring between the Liberal brass and the membership. I say this for a couple reasons, primarily because I've been asked directly for input and suggestions seem to be taken seriously as this process evolves. Reading Jeff's account of a meeting of grassroots Liberals, you do have to give Alf Apps some credit for engaging, regardless of how it was received. As an aside, I agree with Gerard Kennedy, the whole Apps obsession complete and utter useless distraction, he's gone in a few months anyways, lets focus on what is truly important. In addition, much of this Apps stuff strikes me as the same old "camp" nonsense that has crippled us in the past.

I've suggested that we need "clarity" on this leadership question, a simply delay vote without a specific alternative is a weak choice. Faced with an immediate vote and a possible two year delay, the quick vote might be preferable. I've floated June 2012, or thereabouts, as a sensible compromise, it gives us some time, but it doesn't handicap our renewal evolution waiting to long for a leader. If I'm reading the questions put to me, as well as what Jeff is inferring in his post, there is an openness and we WILL have a more specific question, which to my mind is good step forward.

A clear question put to the membership for a direct vote, that scenario strikes me as pretty much getting it right, under the circumstances. Those concerned about the Constitution, I hear that sentiment on strictly philosophical grounds, but I'm not sure it digests how this amendment "goes down", this process respects the membership, it doesn't go around them. The Liberal Constitution isn't some document worth of tablet form derived from Mount Purity, let's face it, much of it has been crafted by hacks and insiders. As well, this particular stipulation we are amending was just put in last cycle, it's not some long standing tradition we are trampling over. That said, I appreciate the concerns, we do have to respect our tenets, it's just here, this one instance, isolated in nature, I see the grassroots deciding so I'm good with it. If the precedent is any action that deviates from the letter of the Constitution necessiates a direct vote by the membership, how is that offensive?

I look forward to a specific question, and hope it addresses some primary concerns. Is the process perfect? Absolutely not, but if it centers around democratic expression, it's a positive development for a party that needs much more of this direct interaction.


Jerry Prager said...

The party needs to host 308 democracy clubs, (at least one in every riding, depending on the nature of the riding) monthly discussions on a specific topic open to the wider liberal democratic voting community.

Steve V said...

I'm hoping this "vote" is the beginning of an entire new expression of outreach. The online possibilities are endless.

A Eliz. said...

Scott Tribe has interesting it item, about the Liberal Constitution, by J Lennard.

Steve V said...

I read that piece, but I don't share the almost biblical deferance to the Constitution. It will only be amended if 66% of us want it amended, so if it's "our" document what is the beef with "us" altering it. Frankly, I prefer an outright majority, this 2/3rds stipulation seems undemocratic. Again, people can lose themselves in the constitutional minutia, but the bottom line is we vote, that that supercedes all this hand wringing for me.

Kirk said...

The online possibilities are endless.

Online allows for real democracy. When finally felt, the full effects of electricity will transform the Liberal party ;)

John Lennard said...

(typo in my previous post..)

It's not a question of showing biblical deference to the constitution. Liberals **have every right** to change the constitution. We've done so in the past, and we will do so in the future.

But if we want to make amendments, we have to do so in a way that is CONSISTENT WITH the procedures set out in our constitution. Otherwise, we'll see people constantly trying to change the rules even when they know they can't.

Steve V said...

So by "people" changing the rules then you mean grassroots Liberals, because that's the only way this happens? I find it funny how everyone pouring over this subsection and that can't acknowledge the PUREST democratic expression, WE vote on changing or it never happens, nobody is dicating, we decide. Appreciate your POV John, but frankly I think most of the concern is misplaced.

I will say one thing, if the question doesn't have a firm date and it's left to the "brass" to decide on alternatives, THEN I have a serious problem with this process.