Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Party Renewal

There has been a lot of talk about reorganizing the Liberal party in all kinds of grandiose ways, and some of the proposals sound good and some sound awful. But none address my problems with the party. These may be localized to my riding or even just to my social ineptness, but in case these problems affect people other than me, I'll report on them here.

I have lived in Kitchener-Waterloo (Andrew Telegdi's riding) since last August. I contacted my riding association by email after I moved here and said I wanted to help with the upcoming election, but I got no response. As soon as the election was called I phoned Telegdi's campaign office to volunteer and was told someone would call me back, but nobody did.

After the election I asked a prominent Liberal to help me. He was the campaign manager for a Liberal candidate in another riding where I was quite active (helping to write pamphlets, ads and the web site as well as canvassing). He happens to be a friend of the K-W riding association president so he told him about me and said I was trying to get involved. That resulted in my being notified about the riding association AGM.

I am a member of the Liberal party for the K-W riding; I attended my riding association's AGM this year; and I went as a delegate to the LPC(Ontario) AGM (paying all my own expenses). I have told both the riding association president and Andrew Telegdi that I want to be more involved.

Yet nobody in the riding association ever contacts me except the women's group, and so far I haven't been able to meet even with them because they all seem to know when the meetings are so they either don't tell me or they tell me at the last minute and I can't make it.

Someone I know who is not even a party member was sent an invitation last month to a $150/plate fund-raiser for Bob Rae in this area. I didn't receive an invitation (I would have gone if I had, but I learned about it after it happened). I contacted the Rae people and they said that the local organization mailed the invitations.

I have never received any information from the Liberal party or my riding association... not a membership card, not an email update of riding news, not a notice of any meetings. (The exception is the leadership candidates: I get quite a lot of email from them!) I do not have any contact email or phone number other than Andrew Telegdi's MP email which is used by the women's organization.

I'm really quite a normal person. I don't think there's anything in my behavior that could make me such a pariah. I suspect that my riding association is just not very open to new people or to people who aren't insiders. I also suspect that they have inadequate procedures for maintaining contact lists. I also wonder if men are treated as I have been; in a discussion on party renewal recently someone alleged that Liberal women's groups are a sort of ghetto where female members are shunted, and I'm starting to wonder if that's true.

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1 comment:

wilson61 said...

Excellent posts Yappa, lots of common sense.
It does appear that you are being over-looked, even on Liblogs.