Start with the first step.

I have been soundly chastised by some people around me by stating, for the record, that I don’t think that any of the current Liberal leaders have what it takes to win big outside of our traditional hunting grounds.

I have also had some gumption to suggest that the Fossilized Remains of the party need to go. If they don’t then we, the grassroots membership, should continue along as if they were.

My focus is, and will be until the coffers are full and the bills are paid, on building the membership and promoting the Victory Fund.

I worked in fundraising for many, many years, and if there is one thing that all fundraising professionals know is that people aren’t going to give money to a cause they don’t believe in and aren’t engaged in, apart from the passive dumping of pocket change or unwanted pennies into a bucket or box.

If we can’t give the people of this country a reason to belong to the party, they aren’t going to. If we can’t engage the public, or offer them some value for their time and money, political parties are going to become increasingly irrelevant and voter participation will continue to fall.

How do we do that?

More importantly, how do we do that without invoking the name of Obama?

Canada’s politics doesn’t have an Obama because our country, our people, lack drama or the need for dramatic shifts in an Obama type way. We’re a generally stable and pragmatic people. We don’t have the issues or the craziness that requires this type of call to arms. We’ve already tried to build “the movement” with the only issue we’ve got (the environment) but average voters don’t care about it. They don’t care about it because it’s still a hippy-dippy, peace, love, granola, feel good issue. With the current leadership, I don’t see that changing.

So what do we, as the Liberal Party of Canada, have to offer the people of Canada that they aren’t already getting from the CPoC, NDP, or BQ?

What’s our plan to engage the people who’ve voted for us in the past but haven’t committed to us?

What do we have a plan for that the others don’t?

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2 Comments

  1. Firstly, I’d like to adamantly disagree with the statement that “[average voters] don’t care about [the environment] because it’s still a hippy-dippy, peace, love, granola, feel good issue.” That’s quite an errant trivialization, and one, moreover, phrased in a disconcerting way in consideration of the fact that climate change is inarguably the most salient issue facing our generation. There’s widespread agreement that Mr. Dion’s inefficacy in presenting our environmental policy was a shortcoming detached from the general extent to which Canadians are concerned about the environment as an issue.

    That having been said, the number of Canadian youth who were excited by Obama’s vision and who strenuously opposed Harper’s re-election through online vote exchange initiatives, not to mention the commendable grassroots support for the Green Party – especially from young partisans – is demonstrative of the potential for our Youth Commission to invest in its members from the ground up.

    If we’ve learned anything from Barack Obama’s campaign, it’s that Canadian political parties have the potential to make issues matter in a manner distinct from the other parties by making politics about policy – about change – and to make that change accessible and exciting by involving riding associations in federal policy discussions, engaging youth in spreading awareness about these issues, and using the ties developed through the former to co-opt community organizations into Liberal initiatives.

  2. I think that you missed the point about my environment statements.

    The average voter, and I’m talking about the largest voting block Canada has got in the baby boomers, will not vote to save the environment at the expense of their pension funds and the economy. That’s plain truth. They say that it’s important as long as it doesn’t mean that they have to spend any money, change their lifestyle or do anything differently from the way they did 10 years ago. It feels good to do something about the environment as long as it doesn’t cost much more time and effort than changing a lightbulb or writing a cheque so that someone can plant a tree.

    Vote swapping didn’t work, the Green votes just got the Greens more money, and the youth of Canada didn’t show up to vote because Canadian politics isn’t as interesting as US politics. And it’s not as interesting as US politics because our policies aren’t as polarized or as life and death as the Americans.


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