Have times changed? You bet they have. Warren is now entrenched in winning an election for the next Prime Minister of Canada, Michael Ignatieff. The Martinites are gone. The Dionistas vanquished. The resurrection of the grassroots is on it's way. Hell, we even have a Commission about Change. And, a Commission about Renewal. One Member One Vote is on its way to becoming reality.
But is "change" really occurring my friends? Or is it more of the same old, same old. "We'll tell you what grassroots means. Don't tell us" so to speak. I sit here in Vancouver excited about the prospects of new beginnings. Excited that maybe Michael will remember that promise he made to us 14 mere mortals at that little Indian restaurant in Hamilton in February of 2006 and be a force behind repairing the broken internal machinations of the Liberal Party of Canada.
But, for a convention termed a convention about nothing we get more bad news today. I hinted that this was going to be problem before I left for Vancouver. I even suggested to those close to the incoming president that it would be a destructive and divisive decision by the president-acclaimed. Apparently to no avail.
No detraction of the endorsement was made. Instead, the president-acclaimed complicated the matter more by suggesting he will campaign side by side for his VP - Francophone person of choice. I don't recall Doug Ferguson, Senator Poulin or Michael Eizenga weighing in publicly for an internal party election, but, I could be wrong.
Anyway, at a time when we are asking Liberals past, present and future to join us in our new-found RENEWAL, the senior officers and leaders in the OLO ought to perhaps stay clear of these types of old-style antics that many of us have been opposing for years and years.
Talking about internal renewal and acting as though it were true are two different things my friends. But, what do I know?
Without further ado, I give you the press release.
For immediate release
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Fabrice Rivault announces his withdrawal from the race for the Vice-Presidency (French) in the interest of the Liberal Party of Canada
OTTAWA – It is with regret that Fabrice Rivault, candidate for the Vice-Presidency (French) of the Liberal Party of Canada, recently learned that the only candidate for the Presidency of the party, Mr. Alfred Apps, chose to publicly support his opponent and to campaign vigorously at her side during the Biennial Convention to be held in Vancouver later this week (See:http://www.brigittegarceau.ca/reactions_en.html).
According to Mr. Rivault, “It is distressing that our future President chose to take side publically in this particular democratic competition, while he abstained from doing so in the other races. It is certain that if I had known that I would have to measure myself against the candidate for the Presidency of the Party, it is not for the position of Vice-President I would have run for.” Indeed, after an innovative and grassroots-based campaign, and with an equivalent number of delegate members registered on his Facebook group as Mr. Apps, Mr. Rivault held a significant lead over his competitor, one that could not have been easily overcome over the next few days.
According to the Constitution of the Liberal Party of Canada, however, the role of the English and French Vice-Presidents is to assist the President in fulfilling his or her obligations. “The paralysis that would have resulted with Mr. Apps being unable to collaborate with one of his Vice-Presidents is a situation we certainly would prefer to avoid. In this perspective, it is thus my duty to place the greater interests of the Party ahead of my own aspirations, as beneficial as they would have been for the future of our organization,” declared Mr. Rivault.
It is thus with great regret that Fabrice Rivault announced his withdrawal from the race for Vice-President (French) of the Liberal Party of Canada. “I know that the delegates at the Convention will be disappointed that we have deprived them of the excitement of a democratic competition. We are nonetheless at a turning point in our Party’s history where we must underline our unity and not our divisions. As such, I would like to thank the hundreds of delegates who gave me their support and I am hopeful they will understand that this difficult choice I have to make is the best for the future of our Party.” declared Mr. Rivault.
“They can at least take comfort in knowing that we will be keeping an eye on Mr. Apps,” concluded Fabrice Rivault. “If he fails to accomplish what Liberal members expect of him, it should be very clear to him today who will be questioning his Presidency at the next Biennial Convention.”