Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A LEAP OF FAITH: LIBERALISM IN NL

Who is going to decide the outcome of the current provincial Liberal Leadership Race?

Liberals of course.

Members and  supporter class members will elect the new leader with a phone/internet vote.

Why is there two classes of provincial liberals ?(in fact there are four, if you factor in that federal liberals have no standing on the provincial contest and need to become provincial members to choose a new new provincial leader)

What is the difference between a Provincial Liberal Member and a Supporter? When it comes to this leadership, nothing. Both have an equal vote if you sign up via the party's easy two step process.  Did I mention it was free?

It used to be that only ex-official members of the party, district association executive members,  a set number delegates from each electoral district and commission would decide the new leader at a convention. There were very few independents and the game was to win the district delegates and get them to the convention.

The candidates would assist the delegates with transportation, accommodation and offer some hospitality  to ensure that as many of his or her supporters made it to the convention.

Delegates would vote and vote with the candidates with the least amount of dropping off successive ballots until one survived. That candidate through momentum, horse trading and often brute force on the convention floor won the day and became the leader of the party.

That process, that many falsely claim destroyed the Liberal Party at the 2000 convention at the Glacier in Mount Pearl is no more.  It is been replaced by a brand new process for selecting a leader. No more delegates, no more ex-officio's.

Direct democracy at it's finest.

The result, No more manipulation, if there ever was any!

Anyone who wants to sign-up to become a voter in this process is welcome to do so. You decide if you want to be a Member or a Supporter, nothing on that sign-up page explains what the difference is. All you have to do is submit an application by the cut-off date, tell them your e-mail & snail mail address, your date of birth, your provincial electoral district and agree to " Support the Aims & Objectives of the NL Liberals"

Which leads to the pressing question, what is a Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal?

What are it's  aims and objectives in a province, where MHA's & MP's often cross the floor to join opposing parties, for personal gain not conviction.


In a province, where funders and supporters like to jump on the bandwagon for personal gain, not conviction.

How do the Liberals  differ from the Progressive Conservatives?

How?

Really, help me out!

Is there a great philosophical difference between Liberals and Progressive Conservatives in this province or is it all about passing the baton from one group of elite insiders to the next?

Liberal or not, you can determine the outcome of this process by simply subscribing to become a member or a supporter. Hold your nose, bridge the great chasm of ideology, take a leap of faith and make a difference.

The process was not the issue in 2000,  the ego's of the winners and the sooky losers destroyed the party. Vengeance delivered by the winners team set on retribution, not reconciliation, tore the Liberal Party apart. We best not forget reality.

So, as I embark on becoming engaged in this process, I take a leap of faith that this will be a transparent, fair process where individual candidates have the same equal access to the party lists and mechanisms.  That there will be policy debates and discussions and the best person wins because they convinced the most people to join the party and support them in recreating the Liberal Party to reflect their aims and objectives.

You will determine what a Liberal in Newfoundland and Labrador is.

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