Our Way Forward:
Many have cast doubt on the Liberal Party of Canada’s future. Even party members have spoken of ridiculous ideas like a “merger” with the left wing.
We’ve been likened to the old PC’s by our detractors in the media, and on the Hill. Having worked for the party (strictly voluntary – with some elected posts) across Western Canada, and having known (and had within my inner circle) members of the old PC party, I can clearly see there are no parallels.
The old PC’s lost a slough of members to an even MORE conservative movement (Reform). This certainly changed the age-old balance of Canadian politics – the constant swing from Liberal/Progressive to Progressive/Conservative. The old PC’s simply either formed part of the new Reform Movement (almost all Reformers had been PC supporters as recently as the 1988 election), or sat back until absorbed by their reunion/merger under the CPC flag.
The Liberal Party of Canada, on the other hand, is much different. I’ve seen this party change over the past 25 years of involvement (yes, I’m that “young”). What I see today, is an organization which is much more organized than in past times. We are not simply coasting along under a great leader and ownership of a “natural governing party” label.
We got a little spoiled being a “natural governing party”. We grew complacent. There were those among who viewed the party as a ‘cash-cow’ and a ‘job creation machine’ (for their friends and themselves). A lot of people volunteered just hoping they’d get the call to go to Ottawa, or work for the local MP. It was NOT the right mindset.
What I see today, is a more dedicated unit – working more as a team. I have NOT seen people walk away from the party (like we saw with the old PC’s). Rather, people have stepped up to ‘get a grip’ and rebuild. ‘Younger’ party stalwarts – people such as me – who have pretty much said “enough is enough”. The work has begun. We are growing the party, and with better talent, better ‘organic’ organization, and better tools.
Our work is not finished – NOR SHOULD IT EVER BE. This has to be an on-going process of self-evaluation and growth. As Liberals we should always embrace change.
Outsiders and critics may say “same old Liberals”, and certainly the party WILL maintain our ideological past, however the party is operating in a new way. It is a change for the better.
Let’s hope we keep progressing. The actual organization of the party appears to be stronger than I can recall seeing it since 1993.
Let’s keep working on this.
Senior Managing Partner at DigitalGrit.ca
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