Friday, March 03, 2006

The Least Democratic Organization In Democracy

Example one of "what's wrong with the Liberal Party" and why there are still a lot of bitter Liberals out there from 2003:
You people are selling Reg Alcock short. He has the team and the talent to
deliver Manitoba and the country for Belinda. It sounds like some sour grapes
from people that don't like how good Reg and his staff are.

Reg and his team kicked everyone's ass in 2002/2003 and he still owns the
party. Membership rules are still the same as they were last time, meaning
Alcock controls every form that leaves the Broadway Office. You Kennedy people
are screwed. Belinda and Reg are going to win.

I could probably support a candidate whose opinion I didn't agree with on health care, or education, or foreign aid. However, there is no way I would ever back a candidate unless they supported an open and clean leadership race. I think if we have a fair fight, most Liberals will accept the result and agree to be loyal to the winner, whoever he or (heaven forbid) she turns out to be.

If we see a repeat of the 2003 lock down on membership forms, campus clubs with the Cincinnati Reds as members, and AGMs where the rulebook was thrown out the window, we'll just have a new generation of bitter Liberals, trying to undermine the next leader at every opportunity.

UPDATE: TDH and A BCer in Toronto have some good stuff on the UBC campus club elections.

UPDATE: On a more positive note, I hear that the national executive is working on having an on-line membership form available for purchase shortly. With different rules in different provinces, it'll be tricky to set up, but I think this would be a big step in the right direction.


  • CG,
    Agree with you, but how do we change things?

    The leadership convention is not going to be one person, one vote but delegates again. If the November date is chosen for the convention, it favours the old process run by the same people without real party renewal.

    It is unfortunate that the party really has no way to ensure that things will be done differently this time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 PM  

  • In further evidence of the "business as usual" repeats of 2003. TDH Strategies has mentioned a remarkably undemocratic development out in BC. seems the YLCBC president is trying to disenfranchise half the members of a club so he can maintain his machiavellian hold on power.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:35 PM  

  • It's really up to the National Executive and the provincial executives in every province.

    The National Executive can make sure the timeline and rules favour a wide open, fair race.

    The provincial executives can make sure the membership rules are on the up and up.

    The one thing going for this race is that it will be a 3-5 ballot convention. You can't piss off other Liberals if you need their support on the final ballot.

    It also helps being in opposition and knowing that the next election can't be taken for granted.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:35 PM  

  • For the record, I'm going to assume your "she (heaven forbid)" comment refers specifically to Stronach and not *all* of the women running in the race or the concept of women running in the race...

    By Blogger Denise B, at 6:42 PM  

  • Any candidate, insecure enough in his or her own abilities, who tries the Martin takeover strategy to ensure an election win will not be Prime Minister...ever. I think the majority of caucus and the national executive know this and will ensure a fair race.

    I still prefer the OMOV way to elect party leaders. Nothing is more empowering for everyday members.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:42 PM  

  • Denise;

    Yeah, that was directed at Belinda...although I was sure someone would comment on it.

    I supported Copps in the last leadership race. I have no problem with a female leader - only this female leader (and, to be fair, I have just as many issues with Volpe as with Stronach).

    I'd love to see Christy Clark, or Jane Stewart, or Carolyn Bennett or Ruby Dhalla jump into the race.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:52 PM  

  • CG, Jane Stewart, really?

    Don't you think she's an easy target?

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 7:26 PM  

  • Belinda does not have the sense of honour to benefit from your good advice Mr. Grit.

    Honest, leave her and Brison 'til the next time. There are many fine Liberals out there.

    By Blogger David M. McClory, at 7:38 PM  

  • I can't agree with you more. When I saw that coment I almost felt sick because here have someone (most likely very close to Reg, cause no one is that nice to Reg unless they work for him!) who is totally clueless about what has happened in our party the last two years! You would think losing an election and seeing your chosen God figure in Paul Martin go down in flames would create some kind of second thoughts about how NOT TO run a leadership campaign.

    But clearly a few Martin/Alcock holdovers in Manitoba have not learned a thing and think they have a god given right to control the Liberal Party in this province.

    It is going to be up to the members of the party to ensure that Alcock and staff can not get awauy with what they did last time. Call Sharon Appleyard and urge her to make a motion at the next exec meeting that opens up membership rules, allowing people more than 5 forms at a time and taking away the block forms held by the Alcock friendly Riding association presdients. Also Manitoba has like 15 campus clubs, when in reality only the Brandon and UofW are active and exist (even UofM has no "real" club right now) Make sure that only legitmate young liberal clubs exist!

    We can take back our party but we have to make sure that we are prepared to stand up to the current powers that be!

    By Anonymous Manitoba Liberal, at 8:18 PM  

  • Can someone give me an arguement as to why the Liberal does not go with a one member on vote system?

    It would really ease a ton of the problems in the party. No more worry about "instant Liberals" taking over riding association, no need for paper campus clubs, no need for eleborate membership rules and so on.

    Why on earth are sticking to an 75 year old delegated convention system?

    And on topic.

    Every party is going to have twats like that person, people who want to play backroom games and only care about themselves and not the party as a whole, but hopefully enough Liberals are out in the world who will stand for something other than that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:44 PM  

  • This may not be what is needed, but if there is enough grass roots dissent against the corruption of the Liberal party, would it be practical to dump the old and start a new?

    By Blogger Pete, at 8:56 PM  

  • All I can hope is that we have a whole slew of candidates to choose from, representing all points of view within the party. The last time I joined up to support Manley, only that dude to resign from the race, leaving Copps and Martin to fight a no-contest.

    By Anonymous Mezba, at 9:30 PM  

  • Belind-duh = whore
    Is it any surprise Regal Cock supports Belind-duh?

    Liberal Party = lowlife pornographers


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:31 PM  

  • Manitoba Liberal,

    Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.

    There are so many Liberals in Manitoba who have walked away completely from participating the in the party because of this utter disregard for..wait for choice and democratic choice.

    Let's get this straight. We are not herds of cattle in Winnipeg. Whatever "god" there was in Alock was an apparition.

    I have never seen a politican sell his soul so much to get a payoff and now with the Stronach camp, well, let's say bad old habits die hard...

    Alcock was desperately short of volunteers in his own riding the last campaign..hmm..wonder why. And, after losing, he freely admitted to the press that he had spent ONLY ONE day campaigning in the riding (recall this was an extended campaign)because he hoped to elect more Liberals in Manitoba to "ease his load" as senior Minister for MB.

    Other than changing the rules, some of these characters need to literally be deflated of arrogance.

    By Blogger Winnipeg Red, at 9:36 PM  

  • Has any kind of anouncement been made that confirms Alcock is going to be leading Belinda's campaign? I've read nothing, saw nothing of the sort to confirm this.

    I would think Don Newman or someone would have picked this up already. If Wells can write about Legault going to Belinda, than having a heavyweight organizer like Alcock should garner some ink somewhere.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:40 PM  

  • Alcock is not even an MP anymore. He's not going to be the force he was once was.

    Who are Simard and Neville and Keeper going to support? Or what about Axworthy, he has way more respect than Alcock has amongest Liberals. Or Carstairs? What is she going to do?

    Alcock is not the be all and end all of Manitoba politics, despite what he might think himself.

    Has Belinda also hired all his ex-staff too? Or are they free agents that don't have to do Reg's biding anymore? I would think that some of them have more sense than to work for Belinda?

    To all my fellow Liberals in Manitoba, when is the next executive meeting? I have not been really active for several years, but would be willing to place some calls to members to get them to tell the exectutive that we expect a fair process this time around.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:49 PM  

  • Why is Reg paying Nakina and Pat to post on message boards telling people how great he is?

    Did his election loss hurt his self esteem that much? Has he been reduced to such a shell of his former self that he needs online defenders?

    Poor Reg.

    If you are that hurting for something to do I'm sure that Kevin Lameraux could use you as his little junior assistant.

    But after the way Reg screwed up the elections of 2004 and 2006 I'm not even sure if he is competant enough to be in same room as a political mastermind like Gerrard or Lameraux.

    Whichever Alcock lacky is reading this and reporting back to his royal highness tell him "Hi!"

    By Anonymous Old School Liberal, at 10:19 PM  

  • Why does Old School Liberal think Reg is paying anybody to post?

    He's computer literate. At least that's what he told everybody in Ottawa.

    Hi Reg!

    /Mary Rosh

    By Blogger CfSR, at 10:40 PM  

  • It's nice to see the Liberal Party in Manitoba in such a strong state of unity!

    With such team work I'm sure that when it's time for another election that we can work together and make sure we lose Liberal strongholds like St. B and South Centre to go along with all the other ridings we have lost the past few elections.

    Let's go team!

    It makes me so proud to be a member and volunteer in an organization that works so hard to tear itself apart.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:50 PM  

  • Last Anon,

    You missed the point.

    I'm sure we are all very proud Liberals. In fact, I care enough that I want to see real change.

    Sometimes, your have to look inward and clean house to build up again to go forward in a more productive and united way. Torn apart is the result of what HAD being going on. Unfortunately, there were key people who manipulated people and processes to get what they wanted and forgot that we are Liberal team, not Team Martin. I hope that polarization and disrepect for individual members never comes around again.

    I'm all for building anew. And, total kudos to Ray Simard and Anita Neville for winning their ridings.

    By Blogger Winnipeg Red, at 11:28 PM  

  • Reg's unfortunate habit of having his unswerving minions bayonette the wounded after every battle that made Reg few friends and many enemies in Manitoba.
    The margin of difference in Winnipeg South was made up by card carrying Liberals 9and some recently expired ones) that knew Reg all too well. they voted against him.

    By Blogger Don, at 10:27 AM  

  • Anonoymous 6:44
    The reason that we have to stick with the one member one vote format is that it is mandated by the constitution.
    It will stay mandated by the constitution until it can be changed at convention. that will be a tough fight as many old liners and power brokers will fight agianst dropping the delegate system.
    The old liners because it makes good TV and they are unable to think outside of the box on other ways to make a leadership tv freindly.
    The power brokers because it leads into controling the ridings and clubs which means if you win over the riding president you can controll the delegate nomination. OMOV is just too democratic, fair and makes to much sense. Plus god forbid the technology never works you know there are always problems and that makes the party look incompetent.
    One advantage that the CPC had was when they recreated their party they were able to institute new things without having to fight to get rid of the old ones.
    Delegate systems made sense in the old days, even up to 15 years ago, now you have to question them. The problem is only the really committed people make it to the Sunday AM constitutional stuff after drinking on Sat, and these are the imbedded powers, if the youth put off drinking and came on a sunday morning and put some serious muscle into changing the constitution maybe some change could occur.
    Delegate conventions do make for good TV but I bet if we thought outside the box we could come up with ways to compensate.

    On a side note does anyone, anyone at all actually know a real Liberal who thinks Belinda is a credible idea. I have not met anyone who would support her and on top of that thinks she would have anything at all to add.
    I wish we had a couple really credable woman to run because I think Canadians are ready for a woman PM but there is no one in our party ready for prime time. Ruby Dhalla might be a good candidate but she is too young and unproven to make the leap to top job.

    By Anonymous Happeningfish, at 11:54 AM  

  • RE last post
    Should start off the reason we have to stick with the delegate system (not omov)

    By Anonymous Happeningfish, at 11:56 AM  


    Alcock confirmed to be with Belinda!

    Alcock organizing for 'Team Belinda'

    Sat Mar 4 2006

    By Paul Samyn

    OTTAWA -- Ex-Liberal cabinet minister Reg Alcock has climbed aboard Belinda Stronach's bandwagon in hopes she will run for the Liberal leadership.
    The former Manitoba Liberal heavyweight said he is urging the Ontario MP to enter the race for the party's top job as federal leader.

    "I am organizing for 'Team Belinda,'" Alcock said in an interview. "I like her and I will support her. I will help her put it together."

    Alcock, the Treasury Board president in the previous Liberal government who lost his Winnipeg South seat in a stunning upset by Tory MP Rod Bruinooge, was a key organizer in Paul Martin's successful 2003 leadership run.

    Although the Newmarket-Aurora MP has yet to declare she will run for the leadership, Alcock's endorsement of the Magna heiress is a clear sign her entry into the race may be a mere formality. "I like Belinda a lot and I have said to her, 'If you want to run, I'll give you some advice,'" Alcock said.

    Alcock stressed he is volunteering his time and is not being paid for his advice by Stronach or Magna.

    "I am in the delightful and fulfilling role of éminence grise -- dispensing sage advice for free."

    Stronach has had leadership aspirations since she was a Conservative, running for that party's top job, which was won by Stephen Harper, in 2004.

    Stronach was one of the bigger political stories of last year when she suddenly left the Tories to cross the floor to the Liberals, landing a cabinet post and saving Martin's government on a key budget vote last May.

    Alcock's backing of Stronach comes just a week after Nova Scotia Liberal MP Scott Brison was sizing up his leadership chances at a gathering in Alcock's riding.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:59 AM  

  • "I am in the delightful and fulfilling role of √©minence grise -- dispensing sage advice for free."

    "Sage Advice"


    Reg is such a blowhard. After losing his seat to a nobody Tory, I would hope he might have lost some arrogance...but I guess not.

    By Anonymous Manitoba Liberal, at 12:01 PM  

  • I'd just like to point out how Belinda's own team calls it "Team Belinda". Hopefully this will mark the end of people who complain that it's sexist for bloggers and pundits to call her "Belinda" instead of "Stronach".

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:23 PM  

  • CG: Actually, Belinda was quite ok with the first-name thing since at least back when she was running for the Tory leadership. That campaign was branded as ""... I remember because I even managed to score a free "" toque from the Tiny Tories on campus who apparently got sent boxes of them. The ironic style points were there in spades (I thought of it as a political equivalent to a trucker hat), and I was convinced it would be a valuable collectible someday. Sadly it vanished from my posession at some point, and now I must bake economic pies bare-headed.

    By Anonymous Tom, at 3:13 PM  

  • It would be nice if the Free Press did some actual research and calling around besides talking to Alcock.

    While Alcock may not be getting paid by Belinda or Magna, it is quite clear and well known in Manitoba Liberal circles for several days now that quite a few of Alcock's old staff from his Minister's office and contituency office are now recieving or will shortly be recieving checks to work for "volunteer" Reg.

    With a giant pension and large MP slush fund left over it's safe to say that Alcock is not hurting for cash, but when he is getting his ex-staff pay cheques from Belinda it's hard to honestly say that he is offering nothing more than "sage advice"

    Also with Rod Zimmer on board, I'm not going out on much of limb when I say that his personal fundraising is not to staff his non-existant work as a Senator....

    By the end of the spring I expect that Reg will have at least 10 paid staff working with him to sew up all of Manitoba's delegate positions.

    At least one of those staff members will probably have to read blogs like this and report back to his royal highness about the people that must be "crushed" in the party because they oppose him and his bully tactics.

    P.S Thanks to Calgary Grit for providing a fourm for info like this to get out. God knows the mainstream media is letting all these dirty backroom games go unnoticed.

    By Anonymous Old School Liberal, at 3:21 PM  

  • On a more important issue, who names their kid "Coco"?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 PM  

  • Coco is from Lesoto I think. Or it might just be his Frat nickname?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:55 PM  

  • Ms. Stronach (and lots of other female politicians) have adopted the first-name tradition of female politicians. I don't think badly of her for making a practical political decision in that regard even though I disagree with it in principle.

    But for the record, I think the first-name business is bad for the seriousness of women in politics in a real way; obviously it pales next to the overt sexism of the "blonde bombshell" media drivel, and the ultra-gendered hate figure the Tories have created in their own imaginations.

    But it eats away ever so slightly at all at the seriousness of other female candidates who have to decide for themselves if they should adopt 'cutesy' or 'maternal' or other cliched female political personas.

    Part of it is unquestionably that it is a fairly unique name in Canadian politics - one could imagine a "Team Gerard." But we can't lose sight of how much more prevelant diminutive address and stupid media commentary on appearance and dress are for female politicians - witness Angela Merkel's defeat being attributed to frumpiness and last minute dogfighting in place of, say, "bad policy" by so many.

    Politics is one of the arenas where feminism is still most valid - the story about the worldwide representation of women in parliaments - 16% - highlighted this fact reasonably this week.

    By Anonymous Jason Townsend, at 4:24 PM  

  • Jason,

    It's great to see this issue is being raised.

    I tend to agree. Double standards are still prevalent. I would also add that LPC does not have much or enough laurels to sit on for bringing more women into the process and to elected office. There are already enough barriers to women from entering politics (none have the bank account of Ms. Stronach) and I would like to see this party be the one that takes it seriously. Some of our female Liberal MP's have worked hard for change and some of them have been ignored or admonished for speaking out on what they've seen and experienced.

    Stronach deserves respect like all the other candidates. It is her choice how she wants to "brand" herself and appeal to members.

    By Blogger Paula, at 6:10 PM  

  • I agree. It's a double bind too, because it happens anyway and in a way it's the smarter political move to turn it into an asset.

    By Anonymous Jason Townsend, at 1:57 AM  

  • Before you people keep talking about reg's staff-why don't you find out who they are supporting? I am friends with a couple of his ex workers, and they aren't working for Belinda.

    You bitter liberals in Manitoba that think you know all-stop complaining and orgaanize in MB if you don't like it. Reg's staff worked hard on the last leadership, that is why they won. If the likes of you people just complain, you won't get anywhere.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:01 AM  

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