Friday, June 17, 2011

Liberal Extraordinary Convention tomorrow

The details surrounding the Liberal Extraordinary Convention are online. The event is going to be fully open to the public with a live audio stream along with a livechat as well. Peter Milliken is chairing the event, Bob Rae will be giving an initial interim leader report.

Along with the main constitutional amendment proposal that has been made by the party executive, there are five sub-amendments for Liberals to think about. I encourage everyone to spend time tonight and tomorrow in advance of the 3:00 p.m. convention reading the proposed amendment and the sub-amendments. The rules of the convention are also a necessary read, they're not too complex and will help with a smooth process on Saturday.

In terms of what I'm supporting, I favour a longer time frame for selection of a leader, a 2013 selection date. A principal reason for me is a desire to attract people to the leadership who may not presently be contemplating it. To attract younger candidates who may be committed to other endeavours in their lives but who have a spark of interest that might be cultivated. Those candidates might be people who are presently involved in the party but who haven't been on the leadership radar to date. But there may be others out there as well who are of the Liberal persuasion too and who might be considering a dive in. A shorter time frame can work against such individuals.

I also favour a longer time frame so that the party can work on instrumental things in the mean time. Get membership drives going, yes, you can do that independent of leadership. Leadership races may be good ways to do so, sure, and that will happen. But you want people who are in it for the long term, for the party independent of a loyalty to one person. Get field workers to help work that as well. Among other things to be done.

And really, when we look at all the proposals, the majority of them do point toward a 2013 leadership selection, except for the Jedras proposal, the second sub-amendment proposal on the list, which I would respectfully disagree with for the above reasons.

The main amendment under consideration tomorrow would set a leadership vote to occur between November 1, 2012 and February 28, 2013.

The PEI/Yukon proposal contains three sub-amendments. It would set a leadership vote to occur between November 1, 2012 and June 28th, 2013. This extended time frame is driven by a desire to push the January 2012 biennial convention back to end of June 2012. They also seek flexibility in terms of the location of the biennial.

The North Vancouver sub-amendment would set a leadership vote between March 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013.

I have been inclined to support the main amendment proposal to date. I am glad to see other options being presented for consideration, however, that would permit a leadership race even further into 2013 and look forward to the discussion about that. I hope it is fulsome and that there is a good hearing on it. I find it interesting that we see these two initiatives, both the PEI/Yukon and the North Vancouver sub-amendment leadership proposals having the end of June 2013 outer limit in common.

Peruse, think and choose, whatever your preferred option is. See (or hear) you tomorrow!