Saturday, December 09, 2006

Moving Towards Improvement

Ideally, a leadership campaign should leave the membership feeling united, energized, and more committed to the cause of the party. In recent posts I have tried to detail why our recent leadership campaign did not meet those goals for me.

I think I detailed some fairly serious criticisms of our process. To sum up:

1. Our system of choosing leaders produced a result that is unfortunate - not because of who became leader but because of the way he became leader.

2. There were apparently problems with the processing of delegate applications by the party returning offices, resulting in too many applications being lost.

3. The overly partisan behavior of local riding associations (in particular, the use of membership email lists to support one candidate) alienated members who supported other candidates.

4. The campaign was marred by nastiness and dirty tricks.

In my previous posts on these issues I focused on how these problems affected me, but I am raising these issues because I know there are other Liberals who are having similar reactions to our leadership campaign.

Stage one is understanding the problem. Stage two is researching alternatives. Stage three is proposing solutions. Sometimes the best solution is to maintain the status quo, and I'm not counting that out. But I would feel so much better if I had the sense that someone in the party gave a damn about these issues and had some motivation to move forward.

Why the Liberal leadership Race Sucked Part 1
Why the Liberal leadership Race Sucked Part 2
Why the Liberal leadership Race Sucked Part 3
Why the Liberal leadership Race Sucked Part 4



wilson61 said...

Libs made a big mistake voting down one member one vote:

More than a new leader at stake
for some Liberals
Dec. 9, 2006. JAMES TRAVERS
‘'’A significant number of delegates went to Montreal as more than Liberals, or even Canadians — they went as pressure points for ethnic and foreign interests.

Groups with ties to Sri Lanka’s complex conflict are being singled out for their aggressive tactics.
Ignatieff organizers say one Montreal faction put the price of its support on a future Liberal government establishing a consulate in the area fighting for independence.
And Rae supporter Tarek Fatah this week exposed detailed discussions with Tamils allegedly offering to trade votes for a promise to delist Tiger guerrillas as terrorists.”’ ….

Kyle G. Olsen said...

1. I still don't get why you think the way Dion became leader was wrong. Explain why!

By claiming the process was wrong, in the end logically you need to say the result was wrong. But you also state the result was not wrong, therefore the process must have been right. (logically) You say the result was unfortunate but the result was good?

2. Forms are lost. Data isn't 100% inline. 4800 people still made it out to Convention to vote (despite some being lost due to bad weather and appeals)

3. People volunteer their time in riding associations out of sell interest. Presidents get automatic spots, and get to use influence to try to win ridings for their candidate. Nothing is wrong about this. The example cited earlier, you said the riding did send out material for other canadidates upon request. So what is wrong?

All campaigns had the national membership list. They could have spam bombed the entire list, or riding by riding if they wanted. Nothing untoward happend here.

The only solution would be to not allow groups to organize. To cut off membership the day the writ is dropped.

4. Part of politics. Sometimes you have to roll a hard six.

Yappa said...

Hi Kyle Olsen -

I can see that I have failed to convince you of anything! We may just have to agree to disagree, but I'll make one more stab at explaining myself:

1. Why it matters how he won: I feel that Dion won by a trick. While it was legal, his election did not seem to be fair or democratic. As an extreme example of what I mean, imagine that our party president suddenly announced that there was an obscure loophole that allowed him to stop the ballots and appoint whoever he liked. It would matter then (in that extreme impossible case) how the winner won, even if I agreed with who won.

2. There are two aspect to this. One is that I was disappointed that my form 6s were lost - that TWO of them were lost; that there was no procedure for ensuring the forms weren't lost; and that there was no recourse or time to rectify the situation. The other is the larger picture: when I started telling people in my blog and comments on other blogs that my form 6s were lost, other people started chiming in that theirs were lost too. I think there's a problem with the process.

3. My point about riding associations is that this practice alienates party members like me who support a different candidate.

4. Sure, telling people not to vote for someone because he supports apartheid and his wife's a Jew is just part of politics. But when it happens (and all the other crap that went on) we should all stand up and say it's wrong.

My issue with the campaign is that it alienated me (and presumably other people) from the party. I'm not advocating that anyone be arrested or that any decisions be rolled back; I'm just saying that I'd like to see it be done better next time.

Manley Man said...

Your going to base your thinking of the entire race on your perceptions, or truthiness, of the process?

How was electing Dion a trick? What was unfair and undemocratic about the leadership vote?