Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More Reasons Why Leadership Delay Is The Wrong Path

Over the past 10 years, we have all witnessed how Leadership campaigns suck the oxygen, energy and funds out of the Liberal Party faithful.

So now Alf Apps and the Party's National Board of Directors (and apparently every single last person connected to the Party according to Apps) want to turn what could be a Constitutionally required 5 month process into a one or two year saga.

It is now pretty much unanimously agreed that the Party has a mountainous amount of work to do if it is ever going to become a contender again.

Everyone talks about the need to rebuild. Who will be in charge of this rebuild? More importantly, when exactly will this start if we are focused on a leadership campaign for a year or two?

Once the leadership process starts, we will quickly see the Party divide up into a variety of factions and the issue of rebuilding will be pushed off to the sidelines, while the party brass try to endear themselves to this candidate or that candidate.

At the moment, It's kind of like squabbling over who is going to captain the stern of the Titanic while the bow is already submerged, instead of getting the life rafts into the water.

Almost more important than who will become the new Leader, is the issue of MONEY.

If the Leadership process becomes a protracted battle between 3, 4 or 5 candidates (or 11), each of these campaigns will suck precious potential revenue out of the membership and from new Liberals that could be put to better use in redeveloping riding associations, paying off 2011 campaign debts (could be a surplus though nationally), paying staff in Ottawa and in the provincial offices.

Just think . . . One or two years of Leadership Candidates criss-crossing the country, fundraising for themselves and not the Party.

President Alf has a track record of abandoning our Constitutional provisions, based on there being "emergencies". This isn't the kind of track record that should engender confidence. I guess that the issue of confidence is irrelevant to Alf and the National and Provincial leadership, for if it was, we would be seeing mass resignations following a defeat of "worse than Dion proportions"!


Craig Chamberlain said...

I agree that delaying the process is risky. I think it's reasonable to project a longer process will be divisive. And people WILL MOVE ON from the party if it is.

I have been saying that Liberals have to stop taking themselves so seriously. What I mean by that is stop looking for Mr. or Ms. Perfect Leader. Just choose someone. Anyone. Just pick someone who can speak the two official languages -- and this time, not an academic. Maybe not all that brainy even. A good manager that knows how to build a team. That's the state of things. What matters is that Liberals discover the discipline to unite around the person. The actual person is at this point is secondary, to the extent it won't matter if it's Jesus Christ himself if the party doesn't unite behind Him. The rebuilding will take time and Liberals need to have reasonable expectations about the time and work all of it will involve.

When I also say Liberals have to stop taking themselves so seriously, it is this destructive second-guessing of the leader and also the need for the candidates before and after someone is selected as leader to show that they are smarter than the either guys. We don't need a contest to see who can pee the farthest. Or if you want to base it on who actually can pee father then go for it -- base it on that. Save us the energy and the money for the real work, rebuilding. We need someone that people know and then it's up to the party to get on the program.

There is the expression -- "Get 'r done!". Liberals need to live by another -- "Got 'r did!"

James C Morton said...

I'm not sure a delay is so bad. But not a long delay and a delay to a fixed date so we can all plan. In terms of costs I suppose all candidate could agree (in the spirit of rebuilding) to limit expenses to say $25 k each (basically one national trip with a national town hall). My concern is that I don't have any idea what is happening and so I cannot properly decide what's the right thing to do. In that I totally agree with you.

Gabriel Dzsurdzsa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel Dzsurdzsa said...

I would personally agree with a maximum one year period of deliberation to choose the next permanent leader. Like a true centrist, I think one year is neither too long nor too short of a time to allow all liberal party members and their respective constituencies to make up their minds on leadership. On Mr. Chamberlain's point, I would say he's right about not waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect to show up. Us Liberals should elect someone competent and charismatic at least and get a move on with combating the conservatives and the NDP in the House. And if I find that there are no competent candidates, well then, I will nominate myself come June 18th.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I also think we need a leader in place asap, if there is any chance of mounting a comeback in 2015. Rookie leaders rarely win, especially those who have only been in the job for a year or two. We need a new leader asap, we can get to work.