Friday, December 08, 2006

Why the Liberal Leadership Campaign Sucked, Part 3

My MP, Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener-Waterloo) supported Gerard Kennedy, and I felt that he supported him a bit too much.

The riding office has a list of the email addresses of local party members, and that list was used to promote Kennedy's candidacy. I received the following emails from the email address

-September 25: an email written by the riding secretary, which said "I have sent in my form 6 and have declared my support for Gerard Kennedy. I would like to take this opportunity to ask for your support at this time."
- October 4: an email asking for donations to help send the delegate for Kennedy to the leadership convention.
- October 11: an email that started with the sentence: "Come cheer on Gerard Kennedy as he participates in the final all-candidates debate of the Liberal Party of Canada Leadership campaign."

(Note: After I received the email asking for the support of the riding secretary to be a delegate for Kennedy, I wrote her and asked that she forward an email from me asking for support. She did this. It didn't help me, because I didn't know that my form 6s had been lost until after the delegate selection meeting. And it didn't help the other people trying to support other candidates, because they didn't know they could ask the riding office to email out their own plugs.)

In addition to the emails, Kitchener-Waterloo had a leadership debate on June 20, but for some reason Ignatieff, Dion and Rae backed out, leaving Kennedy as the highest-ranked candidate there. Was this a coincidence? It doesn't seem plausible that it just so happened that Telegdi's pick was the only contender to show up for the debate.

Does the Liberal Party really think that this is a fair way to conduct a leadership campaign, or that it's fair to members of a riding association who support other candidates? I do not.

And now an abject apology: the K-W riding secretary has been really nice to me, and I am truly sorry if I've embarrassed her in any way here. I am only publicizing this because I think we need to make some changes in the way we operate, and there's no way to argue my case without facts.



Manley Man said...

If you want to change the way things operate, run for your riding executive next time around.

Doesn't sound like anything untoward happend here - its just sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

I saw alot of dirty tricks during this leadership race: 90% of which coming from the Ignatieff camp. So please don't skew the facts. This is not even a big deal.

Yappa said...

One of the problems with alienating members in this fashion is that they are not going to feel comfortable being involved at the local level, much less running for riding executive. In addition, I have been told that in my riding the executive does not meet so there's not much reason to run for it.

This problem could be solved by new rules, but it might be better just to have guidelines that encourage people in positions of authority to represent all members, and not just those who support the same candidate, and to show some respect for other points of view.