Dancing about architecture


The Liberal party executive has released its “Roadmap to Renewal” and party president Alf Apps has penned an accompanying treatise on “Building a Modern Liberal Party“—87 pages in all of agonizing and pondering and hoping.

The Star and Globe review some of the highlights, including the fun fact that “Liberals estimate that approximately 80 of their 308 riding associations across the country are now dormant.”

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Dancing about architecture

  1. The “Building a Modern Liberal Party” treatise is a fascinating read.  The part where other parties are discussed practically defines the term “siege mentality”.

    LPC insiders seem to genuinely believe that they’ve been waylaid by evil geniuses.

    • Wrt seige mentality…..they ARE under attack.

        • I am clearly not going to agree with much analysis within Building a Modern Liberal Party but sections 2.1 and 2.2, where Libs discuss Cons and NDP, is close to paranoia. 

          Section 2 is entitled Understanding Our New Reality – instead of doing a serious study of why NDP and Cons are prospering, Libs launch attack on other parties. I hope Libs do better SWOT analysis that they keep private because this document is still very partisan.

          Whenever I read writing that uses lots of scare quotes and accuses others of being out of touch with reality, I think of Will Wilkinson article. 

          Democracy In America ~ Politics Of Authenticity:

          Our broadly political commitments reverberate even in our judgments about the metaphysics of the self. The authentic self is the ideologically-validated self. This may help explain the widespread tendency to see those with whom we fundamentally disagree as victims of “false consciousness”. We cannot help but suspect that they are in the grip of some kind of illusion, while we are clear-eyed and at home in the world as it is. Our ideological opposites are not only at war with truth, but alienated from their true selves.


  2. “Liberals estimate that approximately 80 of their 308 riding associations across the country are now dormant”

    As opposed to a large number of Conservative riding associations, where you can substitute “dormant” with “pointless”. Rob Anders, anyone?

    • Hey those ridings are great for shifting money in and out of to avoid rules for fair elections, then copping to small fine and chuckling at the 35% of Canadians who fell for it. 

  3. The “dormant riding associations” thing is a sign of serious trouble.  The old Progressive Conservative Party had that same issue post-1993.  It means that you have lost people, money and party infrastructure.  I note that when presented with this issue, the two posters immediately above choose to essentially brush this problem aside and instead do what Liberals prefer to do:  dump on Conservatives.

    • Well, the Cons never showed up for any public town halls in my riding the past few elections so I think they’re fair game. Where’s the transparency? Where’s the accountability? Why do Cons hide from anyone not vetted to be a Con? What are they hiding? I’d pretty well say that the Cons have been dormant in my riding since Mulroney.

      • I have no doubt that there are all kinds of things that you can rightly criticize the Conservative party for.  However, the immediate topic of this thread was renewal of the Liberal party.  I think you essentially proved my point for me — i.e., that too many Liberals would rather take a dump on the CPC than do the hard slogging and legwork that are required in order to rebuild the LPC.  So thanks for so aptly illustrating my point for me.

  4. The riding associations aren’t gone,  they’re just inactive at the moment.  The people and the accounts are still around….but there’s no election coming up, and everyone is waiting on this ‘renewal’ so there’s little else to do but wait.

    • There’s a substantive and important difference between a riding association that’s not in “election ready/active” mode and a riding assocation that’s dormant.  A dormant riding association has virtually no members, or if you actually go through its list of “members”, it turns out they’re no longer actually members of the party, they’ve moved, they’ve died, they’ve even in many cases joined other parties.  This is exactly what happened with many federal PC riding associations in the 1990s.  The fact that a Liberal would make note of this shows that this isn’t just partisan, anti-LPC smoke blowing.

      • ‘Dormant’ just means inactive.

        I’m in touch with 3 ‘dormant’ riding associations….they’re all still around, and they’re ready to go whenever HQ gets it’s rear-in-gear.  They’ve even picked up members, and routinely send out newsletters.

        So cease ringing the cathedral bells.

        • Emily, you’re in Heartland Ontario.  That’s not where the stink of death really is (at least not yet).  I’m sure you’re quite correct that the riding associations you’re familiar with are in reasonably good shape.  It’s quite a different story in that multi-thousand kilometer stretch from Greater Vancouver to Windsor, where the LPC has something like a total of 2 MPs.  Go visit a federal LPC riding association in the Okanagan or Wild Rose or Battlefords, if you can find them.  That’s where the stench of death is.  And the longer the LPC goes getting pummelled election after election, the worse the problem will get.  People will only volunteer, canvass, raise money etc. for so long for an utterly hopeless cause.

          It’s a classic vicious circle phenomenon — the longer you go losing and being irrelevant, the more difficult it becomes to turn things around.  It’s especially acute when you cease to be official opposition, and when you don’t have some significant third party support, as the NDP and BQ always had (organized labour/CLC in the NDP’s case, the PQ in the BQ’s case).

          Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not writing the LPC’s obit. In fact, I hope they turn things around.  I’m just saying, from personal experience, that these are matters of serious concern.

          • Well, I was in politics for years, and have political friends across the country.  I know some riding associations are dead…some were, even during the elections LOL…but there are Con and NDP ridings that are the same.

            Sometimes they only have a name on the ballot just to say they have a candidate….which is how we got a lot of surprised Dippers in Quebec.

            Libs have been down and out before, and come back so it’s entirely possible they’ll do it again. It’s a cinch Cons won’t remain in there forever, and people are still leery about the NDP. This may well have been a fluke or a protest.

            PCs were pretty hopeless with only 2 members, and yet they’re still around….in govt in fact. After years of being in the wilderness, and poor leadership.

            The docs today are interesting…and if they do even half of this it’ll be a major improvement. Last election they had great policies, but were all fighting internally….and it showed. They need new people and a firm hand on the organization side. I am sooo sick of seeing the same old faces..

            Otherwise, we make a whole new arrangement, and life goes on.

  5. More, please. Our pulp and paper industry needs the help.

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