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Some things the new Liberal leader will need to change..

One glaring thing that needs to be addressed is making sure the lack of organization in the Liberal Party, particularly at election time, gets changed. Example 1 of such lack of cohesion or organization or almost seeming lack of interest in responding to potential volunteers is this blogpost:

When the Green Shift was first announced, I was excited about the Liberal Party for the first time in my life. So I contacted my local Liberal candidate to volunteer to maintain his website – keep it up to date with the latest news items, refresh its design, post events, etc. – and to help with canvassing. I also later volunteered my services to the Green candidate, an offer which she took up. Got an email response from the Liberal candidate within a few days with a Thank You! and an advisement that I’d be hearing from his campaign.

Never heard a word from them….it’s not as if the local campaign couldn’t have used the help. The website never was maintained, events posted continued to be from a year and more ago, some even from the last election…When I met the candidate in the last week before the election, I suggested that the local Liberals really needed to get their grassroots involved – at which point he said in a disheartened manner and apparent resignation, “There is no grassroots.”

The implication from the subsequent conversation was not only an absence of “ordinary” Canadians in local and national Liberal campaigning, but also that said ordinary folk wouldn’t be welcome by the Liberal elites – of which the shrinking party seems mainly made up.

Example 2 is a comment in that same blogpost:

There was absolutely no sense of urgency from the party. I also learnt yesterday that party’s efforts to recruit voters may have been erratic. Couple of streets from where I live, people received 2 to 3 visits from the Liberal candidate’s canvassers. In my street, none! Worse yet, I had provided an official who called at my home with my phone number when she asked whether I would be interested in helping the campaign. I said I would willingly do some phone canvassing. She said that somebody would be contacting me on that matter. Zilch! Nada! Nobody called! I finally requested a lawn sign, via the Internet. There had been none on my street. Never heard from the Party! Never got the bloomin’ lawn sign!

Example 3 I can provide. I was contacted personally by someone who reads my blog living in the Arctic who informed me that at the announcement of the election, she’d contacted the LPC to offer herself as a volunteer for the local Liberal candidate up there, and she still hadn’t heard back from anyone after a couple of weeks. She was a Liberal Party member to boot. It took me writing into someone I know at the LPC pointing this situation out and getting a reply asking me to personally forward this person on to him to get anything going with that regard, and I’m still not exactly sure if they ever took her up on her offering to volunteer.

This is part of the structural and organizational reform and shakeup the next Liberal leader needs to do which I mentioned in the last blogpost as a prerequisite for me declaring support for any of them. It is absolutely inexcusable that any of these situations happened in an election campaign. You can blame Dion if you want.. but Dion isn’t expected to run the organizational part of an election – that’s up to whoever is in that role – “election readiness” if you will. Either the party was in an organizational mess that it couldn’t respond to people wanting to volunteer, which it desperately needed, or else someone (or multiple someones) was deliberately not trying very hard – either scenario is equally disconcerting, and it needs to be fixed, pronto.


9 comments to Some things the new Liberal leader will need to change..

  • jenn

    Why in god’s name do progressive Liberals stay in this party. The constant infighting based on personal power and fiefdoms at the expense of progressive policy and values drove me away as a voter.

    As a former Liberal supporter, I have voted for the NDP for two elections and I am very pleased with my switch. The NDP were an excellent opposition to Harper’s government and were able to get real climate change legislation passed (c377) and they voted against the extension of the war in Afghanistan which was particularly important to me.

    The NDP has shown that it can win in all provinces and I don’t doubt that the next election will prove the final push for the NDP at the federal level.

    I hope more of my progressive compatriots will join me.

  • @Chipmunk

    Are you sure you saw the current President of the Liberal Party doing that?

    Stephen LeDrew has been trashing Dion.. but he’s the former Prez of the LPC, not the current one, which is Doug Ferguson.

  • Chipmunk

    It sure doesn’t help anything that the pres of the Liberal Party trashed Dion on the news today. What are his responsibilities anyway? Does he not bear some responsibility for the fundraising or lack thereof? the organization? When is HIS leadership review coming up?? I have actually donated money to the Libs every year, but this guy is a complete turnoff! Hope to see some BIG changes before I donate again.

  • Jennifer: Those very facts might be the problem. If the local candidates don’t have the resources they need, national resources may be necessary.

    (Certainly individual congressional districts don’t run MyBO, but damned if they don’t benefit from it.)

  • Ted

    The examples are anecdotal.
    If you want to be involved, find out where the office is, walk in and volenteer. My sister and brother in law did that in a losing Liberal campaign in Georgetown. They enjoyed the experience.
    My sister loved the comraderie.

    The only thing I agree with this blogpost is the elitism. The Conservatives have much more grass roots financial support, this stems from the Reform roots, not the PC!. The Liberal and lefitst media elite loved to trash the Reformers. Meanwhile, the Liberals were addicted to the elite corporate money, and with the new fundraising rules they now have have to appeal to the grass roots. When a member donates 10 to 20 dollars a month automatically to the party it speaks volumes.

    Dion has now said he will remain as leader until the convention. I am afraid this will be even more difficult few years ahead for the Liberal party.

  • tootrusting

    I and a friend had much the same experience, both our candidates one a sitting MP lost.
    Surprise, surprise.

  • There was plenty wrong with the Liberal election machine, but I’m afraid the organization of volunteers is up to the individual candidates and their staff – particularly the campaign manager. Voter databases, guidelines, and lots of other materials are made available by the national and regional party organizers, but beyond that I’m not sure what more can be done.

    As far as I know, everyone who signed up to volunteer for the Halton campaign was contacted and put to work doing something. In fact, our biggest problem was people saying they wanted to volunteer, but then being perpetually unavailable when we needed them. Despite that, I would have to say we were a well oiled machine.

    Then again, our campaign manager was an ex-Conservative 🙂

  • This to me is just evidence that the Liberal Party was never behind Dion, at least not as much as would have been necessary to even dream of winning. When all is said and done, I’m sure there are many Liberals who are happy Stephan Dion wasn’t successful. This is a shame, because Dion is one of the few Liberals I could actually be happy about as Prime Minister.

  • maureen

    Well I feel better reading those posts. I was feeling a little persona non grata for a while. I also contacted the local riding when the election was called and received an email immediately advising someone from the association or the candidate would be in touch. I never heard from anyone. I ended up voting strategically,switching my vote with some one from Saanich. Both our candidates lost.

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