Wednesday, June 2, 2010

About Sam Lavoie "Leading Liberal Youth"

This is the Platform Sam Lavoie ran on when he was elected in a coin toss just one year ago.

I thought the premise behind the YLC was to recruit a new generation of Liberals and inspire, new, fresh ideas that represents future generations of Liberal Canadians. Speaking for all Liberal youth as he does, Mr. Lavoie did nobody in Liberaland any favours with his vociferous interview with Tabor.

Here's a thought Sam: Why don't you and your regional presidents go out there and concentrate on how to recruit new youth into our Liberal Party like you're supposed to be doing and leave the coalition stuff alone. Or, perhaps you can call up the the president of the youth Dippers and start a coalition at that level to show the big boys you mean business.

Sam also lead a youth movement at the National Convention that would have derailed the "One Member One Vote" motion. And as young BC Liberal President, Josh Hutchinson said to me in Windsor recently: "you should be killed" (in reference to my strong online fight against the Lavoie amendment to the motion). Now that's "LEADERSHIP"!

I'm not sure if Sam's coalition talk fits the bill for "uniting our party", but feel free to discuss. Below are Samuel's ideas for a platform and the youth amendment to the One Member One Vote that I fought to defeat.

Dear Friends,

It’s time for change within the Young Liberals. It’s time for fresh ideas, strong leadership, and solid cross-Canada unity, which will allow the Liberal Party to defeat Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. It’s time for us to change Canada.

Welcome to the online home of my Campaign for Young Liberal Change - a chance for you to get involved in shaping the direction of our youth commission, our party, our country and our future.

I am currently serving as YLC Vice President for Policy, and I have decided to run for President of the Young Liberals of Canada because I am convinced that our nation’s youth are not satisfied with the status quo. I envision our commission as the vehicle for the progress we seek as Canadians, and I believe that working together our Party is the best advocate for our ideas and our dreams.

We need leadership that shares those dreams and that idealism - leadership that has the courage to reinforce our convictions with meaningful action, enthusiasm and passion, while maintaining a commitment to unity within our party. This is what the role of young Liberals should be: to have the courage to reject the politics of division, and focus on a greater vision.
I believe that I can be this leader. My passion for this country knows no boundaries. I joined this party because I came to the conclusion that when it focuses on its core values, it represents one of the most important institutions in Canada. We’ve proven it in the past and it is now our duty to prove it once again. I think the role of the YLC is often underestimated. I believe in a YLC that is a dedicated youth lobby, a YLC that reaches outside of its traditional circles, a YLC that is independent enough to deliver on the ideas and innovation of its members, yet one that works with the party towards progress. In short, a YLC that matters.
In the last few months, our campaign has been blessed with a lot of support from BC to Newfoundland, in all provinces and territories. I want to thank everyone for their faith in me and their help at this critical time in our party’s history. What has brought together so many Young Liberals from different backgrounds and different regions is the fact that we are truly like-minded. We are like-minded in our passion for our country, like-minded in our unwavering commitment to this party and like-minded in our belief that the Young Liberals of Canada can and must spearhead the change that will bring about the new Liberal era. My supporters and I hope you will join us on this exciting journey towards Young Liberal Change.

Please use this group frequently and email your ideas, questions and suggestions directly to Sam at , and make Sam Lavoie's campaign your campaign too!

My Preamble to opposition of the youth amendment and the youth amendment in its entirety. Notice the seconder of the amendment.

On April 3rd, 2009, the YLC National Executive voted to make an amendment to the One Member One Vote Constitutional Amendment going forward this month in Vancouver at the Liberal Party Bienniel Convention.

This YLC amendment demands a quota of 25% of the riding votes be set aside for youth only. In other words, if there were say 10 youth members in your riding association of 300 members, those 10 youth will have 25% of the vote from the riding.

Many Liberals have expressed their concern over this amendment. One of those concerns is that if the youth are allowed a 25% quota, why isn't the women's commission, the seniors commission and the Aboriginal commissions. Where does it end?

There is already a long journey ahead for the supporters of One Member One Vote to obtain a 66% majority at the convention. Now we're going to complicate the matter more by sticking in an amendment that could be debated for hours on end.


Preamble: “One Member, One Vote” Constitutional Package


The Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) has historically recognized the under-representation of young people in the political process, which manifests itself in the establishment of the Young Liberals of Canada (YLC) Commission. The Young Liberals are the heart of the Party; its strength, its energy, and its manpower. Approximately, one third, or 33% of all delegate spots are reserved for youth delegates under the current leadership system of LPC.


At the upcoming 2009 Leadership and Biennial Convention in Vancouver, there is a constitutional amendment being presented by the National Executive of the Liberal Party to reform the leadership selection method. The proposed change is a one member one vote (OMOV) system. Under the new system, each riding would be allocated 100 points which would be distributed by percentage of the vote per leadership candidate (i.e. if Candidate X gets 50% of the votes in a riding, he will be allocated 50 points). As the amendment currently stands, there is no provision to account for the under-representation of youth in the Party. This proposal is problematic for both the Young Liberals organization and the Liberal Party as a whole.

While some may argue that this defeats the whole purpose of OMOV, we argue that OMOV defeats the purpose of having YLC to preserve and protect the youth voice in LPC—a voice that continues to be heard, respected, and fights for what matters most to young, progressive Liberals. We owe this to all Young Liberals of the past, present, and future. Young Liberals of yesterday and today have worked and fought hard for our commission and the presence we have in LPC and we owe nothing less to those of tomorrow so that they may have a home in the Party, just as we have had for years and years.


The YLC is proposing an amendment to the amendment to allot a minimum of 25 points to youth voters in each federal riding in order to maintain our representation in LPC. This amendment would translate to having separate youth ballot boxes at a leadership vote in every riding, and the votes would be tallied separately and given a minimum of 25/100 points in that riding. However, if the percentage of youth exceeds 25%, the larger number will be counted.

Proposed LPC amendment:

(a) Delete section 56 and replace it with the following:

(1) The Leadership Vote is a direct vote of all members of the Party who have a right to vote on the Leadership Vote weighted equally for each electoral district in Canada and counted in accordance with this Section.

(2) Every member of the Party who ordinarily lives in Canada has the right to vote on the Leadership Vote, if that member has –

(a) been a member of the Party for the 41 days immediately preceding the day of the Leadership Vote;

(b) paid the registration fee (if any) for the Leadership Vote established by the National Executive;

(c) complied with the registration procedures established by the National Executive or by the Leadership Vote Committee.

(3) At least 27 days before the day of the Leadership Vote, the National Executive must publish on the public website of the Party the registration procedures for the Leadership Vote.

(4) Each member of the Party who has a right to vote on the Leadership Vote may vote by a preferential ballot on which the voter indicates their preference for leadership contestants. A ballot is not spoiled because the voter has not indicated a preference for all leadership contestants.

(5) The ballots must be counted, under the direction of the Chief Electoral Officer appointed under Subsection 56(6), in accordance with the following procedure (that is illustrated in Appendix B):

(a) Each electoral district is allocated 100 points.

(b) On the first count:

(i) for each electoral district, the first preference votes recorded in favour of leadership contestants on the ballots cast by the members of the Party who live in that electoral district are counted and then the 100 points allocated to the electoral district are allocated to each leadership contestant on the basis of the ratio the number of the first preference votes received by that leadership contestant bears to the total number of votes counted;

(ii) the total number of points allocated to each leadership contestant from all electoral districts in Canada are added to produce a total for the “national count”.

(c) On the second count, the leadership contestant who received the least points on the first national count is eliminated and that leadership contestant’s first count ballots are distributed in each electoral district among the remaining leadership contestants according to the second preferences indicated and counted according to the procedure set out in Subparagraph 56(a)(i) as if they were first preference votes.

(d) On each subsequent count, the leadership contestant who received the least votes in the preceding count is eliminated, and that leadership contestant’s ballots are distributed among the remaining leadership contestants according to the next preferences indicated.

(e) The first leadership contestant to receive more than 50% of the points allocated on any national count is selected as the Leader.

(6) The Leadership Vote Committee and the National Executive must jointly appoint a Chief Electoral Officer who will be responsible to make all arrangements necessary for the conduct of the balloting on the Leadership Vote and adjudicate all disputes over accreditation and the right to vote on the Leadership Vote.

(7) The Chief Electoral Officer appointed under Subsection 56(6) must act independently of the National Executive and each of the leadership contestants.

Proposed YLC amendment to the LPC amendment

Under section 56(5)(a) of the proposed LPC amendment, add the following:

(i) No less than 25 of the 100 points shall be allocated to members aged 25 or less.

Motion – YLC National Executive Meeting, April 3rd, 2009.

Be it resolved that the YLC National executive adopt the proposed amendment as outlined above to be presented to the Constitutional Plenary at the 2009 Leadership and Biennial Convention of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Moved by: Scott Pickup, Legal and Constitutional Affairs Representative

Seconded by: Samuel Lavoie, VP Policy

Passed: Unanimously


Quixotique said...

I know where you are coming from Jim, but I kind of see it differently.

It's true that Lavoie campaigned against the OMOV, but we did have a huge debate about it and his position did not prevail. That's democracy in action. Propose, discuss, debate, decide.

At the same time, Lavoie was actively challenged by a worthy opponent for the post of YLC President in a very vigorous campaign with lots of discussion and debate. Lavoie won in a squeaker, but that too is democracy in action.

You may not agree with his position now, and you are likely joined by many others, but you cannot argue that he does not have a legitimate right to express it.

Let's have debate about the ideas, not the people behind them.

James Curran said...

Actually Q, this is not a debate. Young Sam is now "a senior party official". And the party has issued it's official talking points on the matter already. as seen here:

All this shit talk about coalitions only makes Canadians see further how we, as a party, are not ready to govern all on our own. Void of any policy or platform, that's what happens. And that, my friend is why we are at 25% in the polls.

Brent said...

The problem as I see it is that the LPC doesn't have the numbers to form a government, much less a majority government, so "campaigning to form a Liberal government" is an excercise in futility and everyone knows it. It just reinforces the idea that the LPC somehow feels entitlted to govern and doesn't want to share government seats with any other party. At best, it's a childish attitude. In order to replace Harper, Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton are either going to have to start acting like adults or find adults to replace them.

Patrick Ross said...

I can see plenty of reason for many Liberals to be concerned about Mr Lavoie.

Guaranteeing 25% of the leadership vote weight to youths doesn't guarantee that quality political decisions will be made any more than guaranteeing that 50% of candidates shall be women guarantees that quality female candidates would be produced in such ridings.