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Liberal 308, or “10 + 3”

What exactly is Liberal 308? I’ll let Drew Adamick, the creator of this new group at Facebook, explain in his own words:

We need to rebuild and renew the Liberal Party and Liberalism in Canada. Liberal 308 is a pilot project for this renewal. What does Liberal 308 mean? It means that we must build and active and involved Liberal presence in ALL 308 ridings across Canada. It means that we must reach out to the Liberal grassroots for effective fundraising and policy development. It means we must change our attitudes of the past and set the framework for future Liberal victories.

The aim for Liberal 308 is to create a grassroots policy document that will focus on the following things:

-Rebuild all 308 Liberal riding associations to become effective organizations to fundraise, create policy, recruit volunteers and new members and provide greater logistical support for all Liberal candidates in the next federal election, with the full support of Liberal leaders, MPs and Senators with regular visits and town halls.

-Bring new changes to Liberal Party Constitutions and Bylaws to bring more grassroots decision-making and accountability to the Liberal Party

-Expand Liberal fundraising initiatives with new and inventive solutions.

-Provide greater election readiness and support for candidates, especially in neglected ridings such as Cariboo-Prince George. We can no longer afford to have candidates nominated at the last minute armed with only a few signs, a few thousand dollars, no campaign office and a lot of luck.

Drew was the Liberal candidate in Cariboo-Prince George, if you’re wondering why he was being specific with that last point, but he’s speaking from personal experience. Basically, it’s a group aimed at reforming the Liberal Party from the grassroots up and changing how this party works organizationally and structurally. It goes back to what I said at this blog a couple of days ago, and it goes to what Dan Arnold said at his blog; what we have now in place within the LPC certainly isn’t working, and folks in the LPC who think a change of leader will make everything better, are kidding themselves, and we need to be more competitive in more ridings.

I prefer to call this the “10 + 3 strategy” (10 provinces + 3 territories), partly in deference to it trying to follow Howard Dean’s (and Barack Obama who adopted Dean’s plan) Democratic Party “50 state” strategy, and partly because realistically, we’re not going to win all 308 ridings ever, but we need to have a strategy in place to compete in all 10 provinces and 3 territories. Liberal 308 does sound catchier though πŸ˜‰

Speaking of Liberal bloggers, here is a list of those (amongst other people who have joined as well, of course) who have joined the group so far:

Liberal in the (905)
John Laforet’s Blog
All Politics Is Local
Confessions of a Liberal Mind
Bowie’s Blog
Law is Cool
Prairie Fire
Section 15.
Take off, eh?
The Progressive Right
Runesmith’s Canadian Content
Seeing Red in the Southwest
Woman At Mile 0
The “What Do I Know Grit”
One Woman. One Blog.
The Liberal Bag
The Scott Ross

They may not agree on all points, but they agree on the underlying point. The LPC needs more then a fresh coat of paint (or a fresh face) and it needs more then a messiah to win government again.

So, if you’re a Liberal, and you agree with the aims of the group that the LPC needs to be give an overhaul from the ground up, and you want to participate in creating a grassroots policy document for that express purpose – please join. (and if you happen to run a website or a blog, consider putting the 308 logo on your blog to show you support this initiative)

Liberal 308

UPDATE: Disgruntled Liberal Female joins the Liberal blogs supporting this, as does The Anth Zone.

UPDATE 2 @ 6:45 pm: Pierre Trudeau Is My Homeboy gets onboard.

UPDATE 3 @ 7:53 pm: Random Noise becomes the 24th Liberal blog (including yours truly, of course) to join and support this initiative

UPDATE 4 @ 8:11 pm: Blast Furnace Canada Blog joins and supports the initiative.

UPDATE 5 @ 8:44pm: Little Red Leaf also supports the initiative.

UPDATE 6 @ Oct 23, 7:05 am: Last Canadian Exit gets onboard at their blog.

UPDATE 7 @ Oct 23, 12:53 pm: Liberal4Life endorses Liberal 308, as does (per my comments section) Crescent Canuck


19 comments to Liberal 308, or “10 + 3”

  • Ditch the name “Liberal 308” it’s a disaster. 10+3 is far better. It’s legitimate to say you won’t give up on any province or territory as those are real units of organization that real people identify with. The only people however who identify with the 308 riding associations are the little tin gods who run them – the public mostly doesn’t know which riding it’s in. Empowering the riding level as opposed to improving the dialogue on province- or territory-wide issues, or as opposed to radically improving dialogue facilities to keep the leaders and members talking, ensures the petty interests of local power seekers will be pre-eminent. The choice of name is all important.

    Also you are ruling out many tactics and strategies that may be necessary to beat Harper, like vote-pairing. You aren’t going to win a seat in rural Alberta without it any time soon. Emphasizing that each of “the 308” deserves a shot at public office leads to vote-splitting as a policy. The old days of two party systems are gone. In practice you have to give up or trade off some ridings to the NDP and even the Greens to get some of their supporters to vote for you and beat the Conservative.

    If you doubt it, look at the numbers: NDP support dropped 2-3% from the final polls to the actual results on election day, Green support dropped 4-6%. Most of those votes went Liberal. Without them, without some rapproachment or non-aggression pacts at least in core ridings strategic to those parties, you’re may well see worse results in the 20%-25% per cent range. Plus, of course, no one can afford to run competitively in all 308 ridings.

    The Central Nova leaders’ vote swap was the right thing to do. It pinned down Peter MacKay in Central Nova and kept a few Liberals in office who might have lost their seats. While the Green vote from 2006 went up, it went up nowhere near the degree the polls had suggested.

    Those votes went mostly Liberal due to the Dion/May deal. Without it, you’d have been looking at maybe 60 seats as Green voters preferred Liberal to NDP when they chose their second choice.

    The name “10+3” neatly sidesteps all these riding by riding tactical issues.

    And leaves the door open to actually win at least one seat in all 10+3 instead of running doomed campaigns in 1/3 of Canada that alienate natural allies in the House who you need the day after the election.

  • Thanks for including us under Law is Cool.
    We’re a mixed bunch politically, so might be better to use personal sites.

  • Gayle β€” If it’s any comfort, you’re not “the only person between the ages of 10 and 50 on the planet who does not have a facebook account”… LOL There are a few of us non-Facebook Luddites around. I also don’t have a Blackberry!

    Regarding the “Liberal308” strategry all I can say is: Duh!

  • Ted

    I suggest they consult the man they hated and vilified for years, Preston Manning.
    He started a grass roots movement that funded itself. That is the key, funding it yourself. The Liberal party was too reliant on elite corporate money and leftist media that contradicted the very notion of grass roots.
    I wish 308 success, the Party of Laurier needs refreshing.

  • I blog at Liblogs and I support this initiative as well.

  • I’m posting a link to another blogger you should invite. Not a member of Liblogs or Progressive Blogger but when you read this entry I think you’ll agree this is exactly the kind of young person the liberals should be reaching out to

    The initiative you’re proposing is a good idea but it was a bit off putting to click on the link and be faced with a blank facebook entry page instead of an entry page for 308 Liberal, great logo by the way. I think I’m the only person I know who doesn’t have a facebook account. Even my 86 grandmother has one.

  • Kevin Ames

    I may be missing something but it seems to me that you are still advocating a top down approach. You don’t need the national party to have an effective riding association. It is the local membership that makes an effective riding association. You can’t wait for LPC or the provincial wing to revitalise your riding association. It takes hard work and good people but it is a local solution that doesn’t require a national component.
    I wonder how many of the bloggers who have signed on are actually active in their local association? You can’t just write about renewal you have to work. You can’t wait for an invitation you have to volunteer and by volunteering I don’t mean going to a website and clicking a button, I mean going to local meetings, calling the local executive and getting out to do the dirty work not just offering to look after the website etc.

  • @Goldenhawk

    I’m not the chief administrator of the group, but I presume it’s more the first reason you brought up then the latter (though in regards to the 2nd thing you asked, you obviously would be agreeing with the aims of the group if you’re wanting to join).

  • Goldenhawk

    I see the group is closed, and you must apply to enter. Is this just to keep out trolls from other parties or are there specific requirements for membership?

  • I’m in… Now to get that logo on…

  • Mike

    I love the theme of this, but happen to think that a 308 riding strategy is impossible to follow giving spending limits in election campaigns (which by definition constrain party resources) and the existence of two other mainstream progressive parties competing with us for fundraising. I like your idea of 10+3 better actually since that’s a more realistic goal. The Democrats don’t have a 435 district strategy in the U.S. so your parallel is more apt.

    But neither 10+3 or 308 will be feasible possible without more money to make it happen. The ONLY reason Obama is able to do anything close to a 50 state strategy (and it’s probably more like a 35-40 state strategy since I don’ think he’s working hard in Texas and Mississipi) is because he is flowing in money and there are no spending limits he has to adhere to during his campaign.

    Anyways I like this initiative, but it’s always best to ground it within practical constraints and recognize that we can’t very easily mimic what Obama has done without changes to our elections laws (which we ostensibly support) and the Greens and NDP actively competing with us (which Obama doesn’t have to deal with so he can fundraise money from anyone to the left of John McCain).

    Realistically I think some things in this strategy – namely money from donors – will have to come before some of the others can fall into place. Just my two cents.

  • Moebius

    Be more specific. Does this mean you’ll run a candidate against May this time?

    This sounds a lot like the “corporate-speak” vision statements I’ve heard all my working life.

  • Gayle

    I am not being cynical, but I want to know what action are you proposing. It is all well and good to talk about stuff, but I find things get bogged down in the doing. If someone is not prepared to take the initiative and put any plan into action, you really are not going to get anywhere.

    I should mention I am probably the only person between the ages of 10 and 50 on the planet who does not have a facebook account, so I apologize if that has been discussed already.

    I am not a member of the LPC, but if you come up with something that inspires me I may join, and even act. I guess I will need you to post updates on your progress here though.

    I am trying to imagine how a town hall in rural Alberta would look. πŸ™‚

  • I’m not a Liberal Party member so I won’t join.

    I think the whole concept of Liberal 308 is to redefine the role of the local riding associations. Liberal 10 + 3 implies that the Liberal executive needs to reshape the provincial bodies.

    In Liberal 308, I would think that the riding associations need to be democratic in acquiring new members, letting them run for the local executive, and letting them decide who gets to be their candidate in each federal election. The party might wish to stop letting the leader appoint candidates of his/her choosing. Also, the party may wish to decide how much weight riding delegates may hold vis-Γ -vis ex-officio delegates.

    When I look at the party leader being able to appoint some of the candidates, this undermines the role of the local riding associations and their members. Why would I want to join a local riding association when I may not be able to vote for a nominee? It’s worse when the party leader decides not to let any nominee run because he made an agreement with another party not to run a candidate.

    While I don’t think Liberal 308 is meant to guarantee that every Liberal candidate will get election, I do think that this initiative will help re-build the foundations of the local riding associations so that they will be ready will enough volunteers/members to run an effective local campaign and to let the riding associations represent their members effectively and democratically at Liberal policy conventions.

  • This is what needs to be done. Rebuilding the party from the ground up and by people who care not career politicians.

  • MississaugaPeter

    Right idea.

    Right time.

  • DLF

    I’m IN.

    This is a great idea.

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