Leadership for Change

Yesterday, Steve V blogged about why he’s running as a delegate for Gerard Kennedy in the OLP leadership race, and the point he circled back to was that, for better or worse, Gerard is more genuinely committed to changing the way politics is done in this country than any politician you will ever meet. Kennedy was talking about renewal long before it became an empty buzzword, and he has walked the walk by engaging and empowering grassroots Liberals and constituents throughout his entire political career.

So it should come as no surprise that he has released a substantive party renewal document today. It’s a meaty list of proposals, but here are a few of the reforms that I’m most excited to see:

1. Have the party leader meet with every riding association at least once a year.

2. Increased communication between the party leader and riding presidents, including a “hotline” that will respond to all messages within 24 hours.

3. Creation of an advisory council that will draw on the talents of past MPPs and candidates.

4. Support for one member one vote leadership races in the future (possibly using the federal “supporter” system).

5. Development of targeted youth intern, mentorship, and candidate development programs.

6. An open Wiki for discussion on policies being considered for the party platform.

7. Giving youth a real voice and real responsibility, by allowing them to develop and pass one policy each year that will be included in the platform, without reference to the senior party.

8. A concrete 107 riding strategy.

9. Less rigid party discipline, with free MPP votes on everything outside of budget and platform items.

10. Open nominations in all ridings (under normal circumstances).

I should point out that these are not earth shattering proposals. Indeed, most of the ideas in the Change Document are things Liberals have been talking about at “renewal” roundtables for years – many were taken directly from suggestions made by over 750 Liberal members who took a Kennedy campaign feedback survey on this topic back in November.

The difference, as I see it, is that Kennedy has made a career of advocating for a more open political process, so you know this will be a top priority of his – not just a hollow document that will gather dust in a binder after the leadership race.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in 2013 OLP Leadership Race, Boring internal Liberal Party matters, Ontario Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

You are not authorized to see this part
Please, insert a valid App ID, otherwise your plugin won't work correctly.

9 Responses to Leadership for Change

  1. Pingback: I Wouldn’t Support Gerard Kennedy If You Threatened To Club Me With A Dead Walrus | The Wellington Street Post

  2. Pingback: I Wouldn’t Support Gerard Kennedy If You Threatened To Club Me With A Dead Walrus | Liblogs

  3. Pingback: I Wouldn’t Support Gerard Kennedy For Ontario Liberal Leader If You Threatened To Club Me With A Dead Walrus | The Wellington Street Post

  4. Pingback: I Wouldn’t Support Gerard Kennedy For Ontario Liberal Leader If You Threatened To Club Me With A Dead Walrus | Liblogs

  5. Pingback: I Wouldn’t Support Gerard Kennedy For Ontario Liberal Leader If You Threatened To Club Me With A Dead Walrus | Liblogs

  6. Jason Holborn

    I briefly “meet” Gerard Kennedy once, at my door. There was a knock; I opened, and there in his schoolboy hair & grin was GK himself. I had just wrestled with an election decision and decided on another team, and I was sort of caught in an awkward moment, and he could tell. He grinned cheerfully & moved on; I’ve always wished it could have gone longer. I hated to waste his time, having decided otherwise. Through CalgaryGrit I’ve certainly become an appreciative admirer of his; I think he could be a fine Premier. Thanks for this rundown list of bullets.

  7. Marc from soccer

    This stuff is great politics but lets be honest, he’s going to have to focus on building a winnable election team/narrative the minute he wins if he stands a chance at not being opposition leader, so this stuff will only be a priority if it has broader vote-winning potential (which most of it doesn’t.)

    1. Have the party leader meet with every riding association at least once a year. —Will get dropped, or compressed into multiple ridings at one meeting…

    2. Increased communication between the party leader and riding presidents, including a “hotline” that will respond to all messages within 24 hours. —Will get dropped…

    3. Creation of an advisory council that will draw on the talents of past MPPs and candidates. —Likely to go ahead…

    4. Support for one member one vote leadership races in the future (possibly using the federal “supporter” system). —Likely to go ahead…

    5. Development of targeted youth intern, mentorship, and candidate development programs. —A very very very good idea. A revamp of the summer hiring/internship program would serve the party well. Going from party volunteer (or not) to candidate overnight is a difficult transition, and is one that often takes a few elections. Candidate development is a long-term process and the first party that get this and acts on it meaningfully will have a head start for years to come…

    6. An open Wiki for discussion on policies being considered for the party platform. —Absolutely meaningless…

    7. Giving youth a real voice and real responsibility, by allowing them to develop and pass one policy each year that will be included in the platform, without reference to the senior party. —Cute internal politics but ultimately meaningless. “OK team, don’t forget the kiddie policy…!” As a former involved youth all I can say from my perspective is that real responsibility and real voice come when you treat youth like adults, not when you treat them like “youth”, but that’s just my experience…

    8. A concrete 107 riding strategy. —Great, but even the NDP says they do this. I’m sure Kennedy knows that the next election, and ones thereafter, won’t be done by winning a grand swath of ridings but by scrapping it out NDP-style in the most competitive ones, this isn’t going to happen in any meaningful way…

    9. Less rigid party discipline, with free MPP votes on everything outside of budget and platform items. —Will get dropped…

    10. Open nominations in all ridings (under normal circumstances). —Likely to happen until the party gets a whacko in a no-name riding, and then will get changed…

    • CalgaryGrit

      Yeah, there are minority government realities so I’m sure a lot of this would get pushed back to the summer.

      But I think a lot of it would happen, if only because this is the sort of stuff GK has been all about for his entire political career. True, most of it won’t affect things outside the party, but it’s important for political parties to engage their membership – it leads to more donations and volunteers during elections.

      • Marc from soccer

        Oh I don’t disagree, but there definitely is risk in these types of things, not only cynicism if they are not implemented, but also if they are ineffective or if they are implemented then abandoned for the sake of political expediency.

        But to be fair, the risk of negative feedback is definitely lower in the middle of the road party than the PCs/NDP. It’s not like the any of this will lead to policy proposals to nationalize RIM or privatize welfare. :)

Add a Comment

Plugin from the creators of Brindes Personalizados :: More at Plulz Wordpress Plugins