Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can't hurt to dream - Liberal 308

Scott jumped on this earlier and he's got a complete list of all the bloggers who've joined in.

Drew Adamick, candidate for Cariboo-Prince George, started the facebook group and individuals are encouraged to join. It requires a request to join. And we've been approving members all day. No point fighting trolls if you don't have to!

I see this as a long term strategy. As Scott mentioned, kind of like the Howard Dean 50 state campaign. Could we start with developing a small coterie of like-minded grassroots Liberals and then write a strategic plan, find one person in each riding who will agree to spearhead the strategy and recruit members to assist.

Part of the strategy could include having a "decision gatekeeper" for riding associations. What I mean by this is, a question that is posed for each resolution or decision made by a riding association which simply poses the question: "Is this good for the long term strategic involvement of the grassroots in the Liberal Party of Canada?" If that was the mindset just prior to finalizing decisions then a lot of stupidity would be avoided.

Next step: we could move to present the idea to the National Executive and have the Liberal 308 strategy endorsed by the convention in May. We'd have at least one foot soldier on the ground in each riding prepared to capitalize on the enthusiasm generated by acceptance.

Well, it can't hurt to dream, can it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dion, the politician

Yesterday's news conference was the best possible outcome for the Liberal Party of Canada, for Canadians and possibly for Stephane Dion and his family.

By announcing that he's staying on, Dion firmly put Rae, Ignatieff and Kennedy and their respective camps of supporters in their place by ending the media based leaks about whether McCallum or Goodale would be the interim leader. Having done this, Dion also told the party that he knew who had undermined his campaign - we Liberals did it to him or rather Rae, Ignatieff and Kennedy supporters did. The campaign was completely underfunded because some Liberals didn't give - choosing to wait for the next election. There was no unity, only platitudes, even though Dion had worked to unite the caucus by giving them all a meaningful role immediately after the leadership. They chose not to do the work assigned to them by the leader for the good of the party and the country. They sat on their hands waiting for the next chance. To me, this illustrates their lack of character and integrity.

In that news conference, Dion acknowledged that he knows why he lost and this should be a wake-up call to the party. Dion knows that Liberals supporting different camps chose not to fund the party under his leadership. Sure it was the Conservative vitrolic ad campaign but it was our collectively chosen inability to stand up and fight on Dion's behalf with a counter-campaign funded by our enthusiasm for him and his ideas. We allowed the Conservatives to destroy our leader. We allowed the Conservatives to destroy the most valuable asset we had - a leader with ideas, integrity and passion.

I'm uncertain what tact Dion's campaign to prepare the party for the next leader will take but I am certain that Dion will commit himself to the job with more heart and soul than his competitors gave in this campaign. This alone should automatically disqualify any of them from running because their self-serving will soon make the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada a prize not worth seeking. Canadians are not fools, they will see through any power-seeking games that have no principle or platform to legitimize them.

A clean slate of new candidates is the only way forward, in my opinion. A new way of electing the leader would be an even better way forward but alas, the ex-officios ruined that when they chose to break from their smoozefests to attend one fifteen minute segment of the policy convention in Montreal to vote down the one member-one vote proposal. Sadly, we are led by unelected power mongers behind the scenes, the same ones Martin enslaved us with not only nationally but in every single riding across the nation and who have each now found a new home in a different camp to use the manipulative techniques they acquired working for Martin. Due to the rancid Electoral Readiness process, we have a new crop of ex-officios all beholding to one faction or another.

The Liberal Party of Canada as it stands now does not serve Canada, it serves its own various factions. The grassroots at the convention saw a brief glimmer of hope and we snatched it. But the warring ex-officios and power brokers have broken our dream. It seems, we didn't deserve a leader like Dion, a man with too much integrity for the Liberal Party of Canada. The Liberal brand could not tolerate a leader with ideas and integrity. The Canadian people wanted to vote Liberal and we prevented them from doing so. The Canadian people wanted to choose integrity and we hid it from them.

I secretly pander for a moment of Harper weakness in which he brings forth a crime bill under confidence vote which 70+% of the country could not abide and we are forced to beg Dion to lead us. We hardly deserve it but I hope he says yes.

PS. Just so any bias I might have in this mess is recognized. I chose to go to the convention for the experience. I wanted to participate in the renewal of the Liberal Party, I wanted to see the Red Ribbon stuff actually happen after a new leader was chosen.

In order to prepare myself for delegate election, I called more than 60 local members and tallied their results to decide who I would support. I then called all those members back to tell them that the majority said I should support Bob Rae with Stephane Dion in second place by every single member. Then I went to see the debate in London and Bob Rae was the strongest performer that night. I watched televised debates. In addition, our former MP called to find out who I would support and it turned out we were planning to be on the same team. A happy coincidence but I wouldn't have changed my mind under pressure at that point.

I was selected by the local membership as a delegate for Bob Rae and I moved to Stephane Dion on the fourth ballot in accordance with the wishes of members who had chosen me as a delegate. I did this with enthusiasm because Stephane Dion had won me over completely.

As for giving to the campaign. I gave more than I've ever given in any year but alas I couldn't reach the maximum because I live on a small salary. I can however say with confidence that I gave til it hurt.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dion's defining moment

Stephane Dion did one thing better than any other Liberal leader has in 30+ years. In the waning days of the campaign, I heard the words that define why I am a Liberal.

Dion said repeatedly, "Liberals understand how to make government work for the people, for the common good, for the public interest." Liberals can identify what the public interest is and they know how to make government benefit more Canadians.

I don't fault Chretien/Martin for the first few cuts. I know that there was a major financial mess to clean up after Mulroney so everything had to be trimmed to get the IMF back onside for a good credit rating for the country. This must have been difficult for those on the left of the party and I know I was discomfitted by the entire cutting processes that occurred from 1993 to 1997.

Once we were back in sound fiscal policy, I couldn't understand why we weren't creating the kinds of programs that Canadians needed. Possibly it was the lack of an effective opposition at the time with the right split, but I felt that the leaders of the party no longer felt the need to talk to or respond to the Canadian public.

Dion defined for me why I am a Liberal when he said, "we Liberals, we know how to make government work for the people. Stephen Harper doesn't believe in government and Jack Layton doesn't understand how." That is the defining line between conservatives and liberals and ndp. It's the only one that's important. One more week of talking about this and he'd have had the whole country in the palm of his hands.

Now is not the time to give up on Stephane Dion. An unscientific poll at our church today during the coffee break after the service indicates that Canadians love Dion.

Liberals here though did not like our local candidate so they stayed home.

Best description of the situation. "We didn't want to send Dion such a lousy candidate, he deserved better." So I guess this points to the party being partially responsible for the election result since we were rushed into a nomination process under some hulllaballoo called "election readiness", one of the most profoundly ignorant operations I've ever witnessed.

Dion deserved better and so do we.

Support Dion Petition & various Direct Actions

If the grassroots of the Liberal Party want to intervene in this swift moving current by backroom strategists and media hounding, then now is the time for all to act for the good of the party.

Want to show support for Stephane Dion to stay on as a leader. There are several options right at your finger tips.
  • Sign a petition here
  • Join a facebook group & discuss here
  • write a letter to Stephane Dion mail to: Stornoway, 541 Acacia Avenue, Ottawa (ON) K1M 0M5
  • send an email to
  • send a donation to pay off Dion's leadership debt. 
Make cheque payable to: 
Liberal Party of Canada - Stephane Dion  and mail to: LPC 81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400 Ottawa, ON K1P 6M8

Supporters at Stornoway - Noon Sunday

Jim Curran has started a minor revolution among grassroots Liberals. Many are headed to Ottawa to be at Stornoway for noon today, Sunday. They are "Storming Stornoway" to encourage Stephane Dion to stay.

A pick-up hockey game is the order of the day just for a little fun. Bring hockey sticks and be prepared to cheer Dion to stay on to lead the Liberal Party of Canada.

If you're too far away, as I am, send letters to and