1 Anxious Liberal


There Is Blame
May 5, 2011, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Democratizing the Liberal Party

Grassroots Liberals are now being urged to assign no blame to the recent devastating election results.  Very convenient.  I hope they don’t listen.  What is needed in the Liberal Party is a grassroots revolution.  And you don’t have a revolution without removing those currently holding power.

In December of 2008 we had a caucus gone rogue.  We also had a devious leadership camp that used this caucus to by-pass the will of the grassroots.  There was a mechanism in place to check this, though – the Executive.  The caucus believed we needed a permanent leader (their word, not mind) and so they wanted Ignatieff appointed.  And the Executive caved in.  They consulted the leadership of the Liberal Party to ensure they were in support but they never consulted with the membership, and there were mechanisms for them to this quickly and cheaply.  It was a dark day for the Liberal Party.  As upset as I was that the elites of our party would so blatantly trample upon the rights of the grassroots, I was also depressed that the grassroots just let it happen.

But this is reflective of what the Liberal Party is at its core.  It is an elitist party.  If it is to survive it must shed that and become a truly grassroots party.  Those who thought it was perfectly legitimate to anoint the next leader of the Liberal Party are indeed to be blamed … and removed.

On October 15, 2009 I wrote:

“Either the Liberal Party will reform itself into a grassroots party or it will cease to exist as a potent, political force in Canada.”

There’s nothing I wish for more for the Liberal Party then for it to have a grassroots revolution.  It is the only way to reform the party.  Do it!  You have to.  If you do not then the Liberal Party will cease to exist as a potent, political force in Canada.  It’s already half way down that path.  There is blame to be assigned and the grassroots needs to take back the power that rightfully belongs to them.  If some people were more honourable resignations would be forthcoming.  But accountability isn’t what it used to be.  So, grassroots, take the control!

Advertisements


Becoming A Progressive, Democratic Party Again?
May 5, 2011, 7:53 am
Filed under: Democratizing the Liberal Party

I must say that I am happy to see some of the things being said and written by Liberals over the last few days.  Justin Trudeau has said that the work that needs to be done is at the ground level where the grassroots are and that we should NOT be expecting to return to power in four years.  Again, though, it isn’t just Justin that is raising these points.  Others are writing things that I have talked about for a long, long time now.  I doubt they got this from me, far from it.  However, cancelling the leadership race prevented Liberals from having these serious discussions.  This time around Liberals should take all the time necessary to get it right.  And, like I wrote yesterday, plan on an eight year rebuilding process.  You’re not going to go from 30 something seats to 155+.  But I am really excited by what I am seeing.  I am not excited enough to join, it’s far, far too late for that.  The Liberal Party needs to decentralize itself and become a grassroots, DEMOCRATIC party before I ever even consider joining again … and be THEE voice for progressives.  I don’t know yet that this is going to happen.



Top Five Rebuilding Tips
May 3, 2011, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Democratizing the Liberal Party

#1 Quit talking about four years of rebuilding.  You guys really need to give your head a shake.  When you say things like that its almost as if you’re saying, “Okay, Canadians, okay.  We’ll do four years in the wildness and THEN form government again.”  The rebuilding will take as long as it takes and then maybe you’ll earn government agains, but expect a minimum of eight years.  Yes, E-I-G-H-T years.  Don’t do some four year plan.  Plan on eight years of rebuilding.  Perhaps the stars and planets will align for the Liberals to return to power in four years.  But do not plan on that, plan on eight years.

#2 Have competitive riding nominations.  This is the most important step of any rebuilding effort.  If you do nothing else do this.  Sitting MPs should not get a pass.  Some of the dumbest things said and done have been by Liberal MPs who figure they were guaranteed to be re-elected anyways.  Do away with this!  Make them earn their nominations.  Some sitting MPs will lose their seats over the years with these new rules.  Good.  That’s called renewal!

#3 Make the Liberal Party the most grassroots party in the western hemisphere.  That’s right, don’t just make it grassroots.  Aim high and be the most grassroots party in the western hemisphere, if not the world.  Change the processes, mechanisms, EVERYTHING, with a view to making the Liberal Party a grassroots party.  Because right now it isn’t.  And if the Liberals really, really want to return to being a powerful force to be reckoned with this is the way to do it.

#4 Stop staying 60% of Canadians voted against the Conservatives, or at least stop taking solace in it.  The statement is mostly untrue, but for what truth there is in it it is equally true that 80% of Canadians voted against the Liberals – and that is far more telling a statement.

#5 Understand that the negative attack ads played a minor role in your historic defeat.  They most certainly played a role.  However, your inability to respond probably played more of a role than the attacks, and that is due to the Liberal Party’s inability to connect with its base in a way the motivates them to donate in large numbers.  That’s a problem … that’s a serious problem.  But also look at the polling numbers for this election.  Liberals were basically stuck at 29% for the first half of the campaign.  Then came the debates.  And following the debates the Liberals went into a slide.  What does that mean?  Well, Ignatieff had the opportunity to directly connect with Canadians during those debates and he failed.  Deep down grassroot Liberals relate to this and are not surprised, because most of them never connected with Ignatieff either.  However, the latte-elites of the Liberal party still can’t figure it out.  It must have been the attack ads because they were so sure that Ignatieff was almost as good as the second coming – and they can’t be wrong.  They literally, very literally, thought there would be Iggymania around the country.  These people need to give up control of the Liberal Party.  They should be welcome to stay, but they are completely out of touch with Canadians.  THEY are a far bigger problem than the attack ads ever were – root them out and remove them from their leadership positions.  Yes, the attack ads were a problem.  But the LIBERAL PARTY has been the biggest source of damage to the Liberal Party.  Once you figure that out, and stop blaming others, then and only then will you be able to rebuild.  And if after all this you still think the attack ads were the main problem then you just don’t get it.

I will say this.  Ignatieff himself was only a minor problem.  What’s more significant about Ignatieff is that he was a symptom of a much larger problem in the Liberal Party.  But I do feel the need to point out that Ignatieff had so many unfriggin’ believable opportunities put in front of him, and he completely missed all or nearly all of them.  It is truly astounding.  And frankly I think there are two reasons for that: 1) Ignatieff’s political instincts suck; and 2) Ignatieff simply does not believe in some of the core tenants of the Liberal Party; so when opportunities presented themselves that any true Liberal could have hit a home run with he decided to sit out of the issue.  Shame.  Shame on Ignatieff.  Shame on the elites who shoved him down our throats.  And shame on the grassroots for rolling over when it happened.  Good boy, grassroots, good boy.  Here’s hoping you grow a pair and get some pitbull instincts.

And one last thing, a word of warning.  If you think rebuilding is going to be easy, it won’t.  It will be excruciatingly difficult.  There’s probably a 50% chance that the Liberal Party will cease to exist as a viable political force in the country.  Liberals will have a reduced role and visibility in Parliament.  Liberals will have a smaller Parliamentary budget given its tiny caucus; more than likely Liberal MPs are going to have to give a small portion of their own budgets to try to make up for this.  And Harper will use every level at his disposal to further cripple the Liberal Party – he isn’t to nice to kick his opponent when they are down.  Say goodbye to the per vote political subsidy but also be prepared for much more.  Harper is going to be ruthlessly effective at making the Liberal Party’s ability to rebuild nigh on impossible.



Hmmm… and Hurray!
May 2, 2011, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Democratizing the Liberal Party

I must admit that my stomach sinks a little as I look at the results.  However, there is good news.  First, Ignatieff will almost certainly lose is riding.  What  a relief!  Who in their right mind thought this guy was charismatic and had any political instinct?  He was totally unappealing even to Liberals.  Second, the Liberals will finish in third, hurray!  I’m happy about this because I believe it is the only result that can teach the Liberals a lesson.  The fact that the Liberal elites forced Ignatieff down our throats without a leadership race PROVES how out of touch the Liberal Party is.  Only a near-death experience is going to make Liberals understand they DO NOT represent Canadian values.  They’ll find that hard to believe, but the election will finally show them this is factually true.  Canadians waited for the Liberal Party to reform, and it didn’t.  Ignatieff was really the last straw.  Will the Liberal Party now reform itself?  I’m really unsure.  Ignatieff’s defeat helps a great deal, because if he had stayed around it NEVER would have happened.  But I’m not sure that even near annihilation is enough to shake up the Liberals to rebuild the party.  There are definitely some who understand this, and have for a while.  But the broader leadership of the Party is OUT OF TOUCH.



What To Watch For Tonight
May 2, 2011, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Democratizing the Liberal Party

In my opinion, the following regions are going to go almost as predicted: Atlantic Canada, Prairies, Alberta and British Columbia.  That leaves Ontario and Quebec, which are so volatile it’s hard to say how the efficiency of votes will work today.  In Quebec the real story is whether the efficiency of the NDP votes will give them more seats than expected.  In Ontario the real story is whether the efficiency of the Conservative votes will give them more seats than expected.  I’ve picked 20 seats to watch in total, 13 in Quebec and 7 in Ontario.  That’s lopsided mostly because I believe the NDP has the greater potential for an unexpected upswing than the Conservatives do.  And yes, Michael Ignatieff’s own riding is in play.

Listed below are the thirteen ridings to watch in Quebec.  If the NDP are losing almost all of them they may still do as predicted in Quebec, but don’t expect the unexpected – but they still should be competitive in most of them or something has gone wrong.  If the NDP are leading in 15-25% then NDP are likely going to do better than expect in Quebec (that means 2 or 3 ridings).  If the NDP are leading in 30-40% then they are going to do better than expected (that means 4 or 5 ridings).  If the NDP are leading in 45-55% then they are going to do very well (that means 6 or 7 ridings).  If they are leading in 60% or more than watch out (that means 8 ridings)!

Abitibi Baie-James Nunavik Eeyou

Argenteuil-Papineau-Mirabel

Beauharnois-Salaberry

Chambly-Borduas

La Point-de-l’Ile

Lac-Saint-Louis

Laurier-Sainte-Marie

Lotbiniere-Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere

Louis-Hebert

Montcalm

Rimouski-Neigette-Temiscouata-Les Basques

Terrebonne-Blainville

Trois-Rivieres

Vaudreuil-Soulanges

My prediction is that despite everyone believing to the contrary, the NDP will take at least 4 or 5 of these ridings.

Listed below are the seven ridings to watch in Ontario.  If the Conservatives are losing almost all of them they may still do as predicted in Ontario, but don’t expect the unexpected – but they still should be competitive in most of them or something has gone wrong.  If the Conservatives are leading in 15-25% then the Conservatives are likely going to do better than expect in Ontario (that means 1 or 2 ridings).  If the Conservatives are leading in 30-40% then they are going to do better than expected (that means 2 or 3 ridings).  If the Conservatives are leading in 45-55% then they are going to do very well (that means 3 or 4 ridings).  If they are leading in 60% or more than watch out (that means 4 ridings or more)!  (With the lower number to watch there’s more overlap in the gradiation.)  Ignatieff’s own riding will be the most interesting, as he could lose it!

Brampton-Springdale

Don Valley West

Elginton-Lawrence

London North Centre

Mississauga South

Oshawa

York Centre

My prediction is that the Conservatives might take 2 of these, maybe even three, but they might also lose unexpected ridings like Essex.



What A Pompous Iggiot!
May 1, 2011, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Democratizing the Liberal Party

So Ignatieff is quoted today as saying that’ll he’ll stay on as leader because, “This is a democratic party”.  What a slap in the face!  This guy was shoved down our throats, the elites CANCELLED our leadership race, and he has the nerve to say one of the reasons he can stay is because this is a democratic party?!  If he stays there will be total acrimony within the party and the Liberals will be unable to rebuild.  If people thought that the Turner leadership review was a mess just wait, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  I was there for fighting it out in the days of Friends of John Turner and the pro-leadership review group.  Millions were drained to support both sides.  Serious people within the party dedicated well over a year of their time to support either side.  Ignatieff has little to no support at the grassroots and has more but still limited support at the riding executive level.  If he decides to stay on there will be a fight like the Liberal Party has never seen.  Liberals will be split like never before and you can be assured that after it is all done there will be blood on the walls … and it will NEVER really be done, it’ll go on forever.  And this is what he says he wants for the Liberal Party?



Liberals Would Have Done Better…
May 1, 2011, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Democratizing the Liberal Party

…if Dion was still their leader.