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The OYL Election: Some endorsements for the OYL Roots, and some more shenanigans.

This weekend, the Hamilton Annual General Meeting finally arrives for the Liberals, as does the elections for the various Ontario Young Liberals positions within that group. There have been some interesting events going on since I last talked about that topic.

First the good stuff: There’s been some very nice endorsements for the candidates running under the OYL Roots slate, as well as the OYL Roots slate in general. These include individual endorsements from such luminaries as Bob Rae, George Smitherman, and a wide variety of MP’s, MPP’s and various young Liberals both within and living outside Ontario (as an aside, I kind of wish this was put at the main OYLRoots site so other people who don’t use Facebook could see it, but that’s a minor quibble).

And now the shenanigans – or more shenanigans, coming from the present OYL leadership, it seems. This note here by Jamie Callingham a couple days ago at his blog didn’t get as much attention as it should have in detailing how the current OYL leadership and the current OYL president, Jacob Mksyartinian, decertified certain Young Liberal clubs and/or refused to ratify their founding meetings in time so that they could send delegates to the Hamilton AGM, with the accusation being this was done because many in those clubs were OYL Roots sympathetic and would not vote for Jacob, hence he was making sure that they didn’t get the chance to do so.

Jamie lists 5 clubs at his blog that will not be able to send delegates because of this stunt pulled by the current OYL President:

Ottawa-Centre, Federal and Provincial
Ottawa Orleans Federal
Mississauga-Streetsville, Federal
Guelph, Federal and Provincial
Hamilton-Centre, Federal and Provincial

I’ve been since informed in email from an OYL member there are more then this batch, and those are:

Windsor – Tecumseh, Federal and provincial
Algonquin College
Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, federal and province

Apparently, the meeting that Jamie mentioned in his note and by the OYL person who contacted me was scheduled for Jan 19th, before it was abruptly cancelled by Jacob. According to the OYL member who contacted me, Jacob’s only reason for doing this was “he was abiding by the Constitution”, without actually informing anyone what part of the Constitution he was abiding by.

The person who contacted me with this info made this final point:

All of these clubs were founded in cooperation with the senior riding associations, caucus members and candidates, yet Jacob refused to allow them an opportunity to send delegates to the AGM. This has made many people across the province mad and even driven some OYLers to be so fed up with politics that they have left the OYL.

The person who wrote me also mentioned that there’s a constitutional amendment being put forward that will require the OYL exec to hold a meeting 40 days before the AGM so this never happens again – we’ll see if that passes or not. I see no compelling reason why it shouldn’t.

I find it unfortunate that people have become cynical and despairing of the OYL and its processes and left – I imagine the folks holding the reins of power and pulling the strings don’t mind that at all – the less opposition to how they run their little club, the better. There is a BETTER alternative however: It’s to elect the people dedicated to reforming the OYL – and to those Ontario Young Liberals who don’t like what’s been going on – you have a chance to change it for the better by electing the OYL Roots slate (or as many of them as possible) to the OYL positions this weekend.

I’m not saying all OYL Beyond slate candidates are not worthy of office – I know a few of them and they seem genuinely nice people. What I am saying is that the OYL under its current leadership has not only helped lose the organization’s way, they’ve resorted to some rather undemocratic practises of late to try to hold onto their fiefdom.

I urge the majority of the OYL members in Hamilton this weekend to “crash the gate” and vote for the OYL Roots slate.


1 comment to The OYL Election: Some endorsements for the OYL Roots, and some more shenanigans.

  • Deb Prothero

    Scott;These shenanigans remind me of the Martinite era which I had hoped would be put behind us. Unfortunately the youth appear to have learned from the Martinites in each riding and we will be a long time shedding these shady dealings. Nice legacy.

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