This was the first AGM in this riding in 30 months. (No kidding: the last one was April 9, 2006.) When I moved to the riding I tried to volunteer, but was told that the candidate has his own group and doesn't want anyone else to be involved. I thought about running for the board but I heard from a board member that they don't meet and are never consulted. I was told I could join the women's group. The riding has a women's group that organizes a dinner dance every fall. I'm not a dinner dance kinda gal. Our candidate has a web site promoting himself but there's no riding site. I volunteered in the election and attended the one local election event I heard about, but other than that, the two AGMs and the occasional dinner dance, I have not heard of one Liberal event in this riding in the three and a half years I've lived here.
The AGM was in a legion hall and about 75 people attended. About 15% were women. There was a smattering of young people, but the room was mostly populated by old men. We had a surprise guest speaker and he spoke slower than anyone I have ever heard. He gave us 17 reasons to support our local candidate, and as far as I could tell, all of them were achievements from ten years ago or before. Our local candidate spoke and said "Brian Mulroney" when he meant "Stephen Harper."
At the meeting we heard that we have very little cash and need to raise a lot fast in case there's an election. I'm usually a pretty solid supporter but I don't know, I'm feeling sort of uninterested right now. It feels like throwing good money after bad. Sure I don't want Harper to win a majority but, truth be told, I don't like my local Liberal candidate and I don't feel any connection to the riding association. I wasn't wild about our leader in the last election and I didn't agree with his main platform policy. Meanwhile, I'm not hearing anything inspirational from the national president or the new leader. I get a lot of emails but they all just ask me for money. I just sent them more money during the coalition debacle; it seems the more I send the more emails I get asking for more.
Before the commenters start with the usual litany of "Why are you in Liblogs?", let me add that 16,000 local Liberal supporters either stayed home on October 14 or voted Green. I am not the only disheartened Liberal in Kitchener-Waterloo. Here's an equation that the Liberal leadership should think about:
Energize the base and the money will come. I'm just sayin'. We have a problem here.
See also: Anatomy of a Defeat