Many have written about the exclusion of Liberal Parliamentarians and Senators (although I'm sure David Smith will be in attendance) at the Canada150 Conference. It may or may not be a bad idea to keep them home (read Dan McTeague into that one). I don't know for sure. But, having said all that, each of those elected MPs should at least have some onus put on them to attend their local gathering of Liberals to the conference...or, at the very least, help organize a local gathering.
But, I digress...
Since the coronation of the new "next Trudeau" - Let's call him Michael - the Liberal Party has engaged the grassroots, which I like to refer to as the true core of the party in a series of bold initiatives. There was the immediate call for a "Change Commission". Along side that came the "Renewal Commission". Hand in hand with these two grassroots-engaging commissions came the very bold and innovative "En Famille", a site designed to stimulate internal Liberal ideas and minimize public discrepancies. Bearing in mind that we just had "The Red Ribbon Task Force" 18 months prior to these new initiatives.
The real icing on the cake though was the coronation - er, Biennial convention - in Vancouver. A POLICY CONVENTION!!! That is to say that we Liberals assembled to put forward OUR OWN BOLD IDEAS in a format that had to be accepted or rejected by the voting members and grassroots Liberals in attendance. These BOLD ideas came from all points across this great country of ours. Coast to coast to coast. Many of them were passed in resolutions. Many were rejected. But, all of them were heard and debated.
That's right. Liberals were hearing other Liberals.
To my point? We have great thinkers right here in the Liberal party, but our party leadership has chosen to ignore them. As for the MPs? I would think that Ken Dryden's knowledge of universal daycare might be a BOLD idea. Stephane Dion and David McGuinty's knowledge of the environment and Kyoto might contribute to a BOLD idea. And, whatever happened to Kelowna for Godsake? I would think that a John McCallum might have an idea or two about fiscal responsibility along with the likes of former finance minister Ralph Goodale.
Come to think of it McCallum, may know a thing or to about defense and foreign policy as well. Perhaps teaming him up with a Bob Rae and a Ujjal Dosanjh could have brought out some BOLD foreign policy ideas.
Anywho, here's my bold idea. Let's listen to what our own members of our party are saying for a change. You know, the members that spend countless hundreds of hours forming policy at the local levels to bring them to the provincial levels to bring them to a national convention to have them passed then ignored. You know? Those member?
Say what you want about Paul Martin Jr. or Stephane Dion, but when they became leaders of this Liberal Party, they both had ideas and an idea where their platform was going. Martin with the three K's - Kelowna, Kids and Kyoto. Dion with his three pillars, social justice, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability (clearly a man ahead of his time). Michael? I have his little red book from September, 2006 still. Perhaps he'd like to read it.
What do I know.
ONTARIO! Ours to Recover