Having been away from the scene for two years, I'm a little hesitant to weigh in, but my Victory Fund cheque still goes to an Alberta riding and making the party competitive in the West, especially Alberta, is still what I feel strongest about. For that very reason, I want to take a moment to endorse George Hodgson for LPCA President.
Geo has been involved in the Liberal scene for 25 years, and has fought the good fight through good times and bad times...and very bad times.
I was lucky enough to work closely with him during the 2006 leadership campaign and I can honestly say that I've never seen a harder worker. He'd plow through his call lists night after night, organize events, and spend hours driving to small towns in the middle of nowhere to meet the 2 or 3 locals brave enough to take out a Liberal membership. He's brought that same dedication to every role he's had on election campaigns, in his riding, and on the LPCA - the bottom line is this is a guy who will do the hard work and, in my opinion, doing the hard work is the only way to grow the party in Alberta.
So I haven't been at all surprised to hear about what he's accomplished over the past two years as LPCA President. He's been the anti-Flaherty, inheriting a deficit and turning it into a six figure surplus. He's set up Victory Plus to boost Alberta-focused fundraising efforts; he's fought for Alberta on the national stage; and moving forward, his efforts will be directed to growing the party membership, and assisting riding associations with fundraising and financial management.
But, hey, if you're in Lethbridge this weekend, don't take my word for it - go up to Geo and ask him about his plans for the LPCA. He's always willing to share his ideas, and to listen. A lot of Liberals get hung up on past squabbles and won't forgive and forget what happened at the 1992 riding AGM where they were railroaded for the treasurer position. Even in private and candid conversations, Geo has always shown a willingness to move beyond this and work with anyone willing to help grow the Liberal Party in Alberta.
That's one of the reasons he's been a great President and one of the reasons I hope he will remain the President moving forward.