Thursday, January 27, 2005

Big Tent

The Liberal Party of Canada in Alberta will be holding its annual convention this weekend and for the first time in years, there’s actually a legitimate policy discussion going on (The past few years has been devoted to instructional workshops such as “101 ways to take over a riding association” and “sucking up to get a job with Paul when he finally takes over the party”). The top priority resolutions will be jettisoned to the National Convention in March. Sure, the party will ignore them, but I imagine they’ll get a bit of media play, especially since there will be both same sex and missile defense resolutions up for debate.

I glanced through the 70+ resolutions that will be debated this weekend and came across a few interesting ones that will certainly lead to a lot of heated debate. Among the highlights:

-An anti-BMD resolution co-sponsored by several ridings and associations
-A pro-Kyoto resolution calling for a clear blueprint
-A resolution calling on the government to reject asymmetrical federalism
-A resolution urging marijuana legalization
-A pro-proportional representation resolution
-A resolution calling on the Liberal Party to urge its members to send more letters to the editor (I kid you not)
-A resolution demanding a Western PMO
-A resolution calling on Canada to annex the Turks and Caicos
-A pro-euthanasia resolution
-An anti-abortion resolution
-A pro-gay marriage resolution
-And anti-gay marriage resolution
-At least four resolutions that (indirectly) criticize Martin for the appointed candidates fiasco last year and calling for a variety of ways to prevent this in the future.

It will be very interesting to see what party members decide on, given the wide range of topics up for debate. Since both the Conservatives and Liberals are holding policy conventions in March, and we could have an election within a year, the policies voted on at the national conventions are certainly going to get a lot of scrutiny - more so than usual.


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