Sunday, April 03, 2016

A Wide-Open Liberal Party ( #LPC #WPG2016 #cdnpoli )

The big news is the public announcement of the proposed changes to the Liberal Party constitution (via National Newswatch):
The proposal, adopted Saturday by the party's national board during a three-hour meeting with the prime minister in Halifax, would do away entirely with the long-held principle that only dues-paying, card-carrying members are entitled to take part in party activities.
Reviewing this preliminary release, I am certainly in favour of some of the proposed changes and cautiously optimistic about the rest.

I've always long supported open conventions, especially when developing policy. I think more consensus brought about by talking with more people is a good thing. Having run and lost delegate selection meetings, it can be deflating when you want to participate.

I think the challenge will be in the open nominations part. I think it's going to have the unintended consequence of calling for more transparency in  the party's Green Light process. Not necessarily a bad thing.

That said - I'm not entirely sure $10 is an insurmountable barrier to openness. It represents a commitment to the ideals of the party. The Conservative Party, in contrast, raised their membership fee to $25 to prevent openness and restrict access to reforming the party.

I'm presuming delegates will be presented with the formal proposal prior to the convention and I'll review the details then.

4 comments:

Matthew Day said...

It`s a great idea. I don`t think you have thought it through though. For example, who needs a policy convention when you have a couple million members happy to argue policy online?

fan for life said...

Lots of members but no accountability? I will be interested to see your comments on the draft of the LPC constitution. By all accounts it removes the EDAs autonomy, centralizing the party's decision making. Maybe preparing for brand politics of the proportional representation paradigm. Or maybe just a money and power grab by the top/centre.

James Calder said...

@Matthew,

I suspect you're right and the policy process will move online. I would presume the final "vote" would move to a convention once the online process has prioritized a list. How those mechanics would work is anybody's guess.

James Calder said...

@Fan,

We'll have to see what changes come about. I'm not too worried about riding association autonomy; instead it could free up the individual members/supporters who are not on the riding executive to more actively participate in the party process.