Meet Mike Crawley
Who is Mike Crawley?
Mike is the former President of the Ontario wing of the Liberal Party, so Ontario Liberals are quite familiar with him. Others are most likely to know him through his op-ed in the Star this summer on the long-term decline of the Liberal Party.
1. Why did you join the Liberal Party?
I was always interested in politics from a young age. I loved that the Liberal Party always had the courage to push bold ideas, stand up for our rights and fight for a bigger, better Canada. I joined the Liberal Party in 1985, not long after a stinging defeat. I was quite young and simply looked up the Liberal Party of Canada in the phone book and got a membership form mailed to me. Becoming a member was a huge deal for me. Particularly given where the Party was at then, I really believed I could make a difference and be part of a big renewal.
2. In 20 words or less, describe the type of party president you would be.
I will be an agent of change creating a more outward looking, innovative and bold Party.
3. Name one thing the Liberal Party should do to make the policy process more meaningful.
I would revamp our internal policy process to create a dynamic policy process that is going all the time and not tied to conventions. Policy proposals could originate at any time from riding associations, youth clubs or new ad hoc policy groups with a minimum of 25 members. The ad hoc policy groups would form around a particular concept and have 12 months to generate a policy proposal. Ideally they would have geographically and demographically diverse membership including some with subject matter expertise. All those working on policy resolution would have access to a group of volunteer policy advisers with expertise in various policy areas and caucus critics. Policy resolutions could be put forward for discussion online once prepared and the proponents can trigger a member vote whenever the resolution is ready (online or by automated phone system). The policy resolutions that attract most attention would be presented, discussed and debated at all our conventions and regional gatherings but all voting would take place online/by phone. All ‘live’ resolutions would be available online until a vote had concluded after which the resolutions will be ranked by the number of votes and the % of positive votes. Top ranked policy proposals would be presented to caucus. The Leader would need to inform the Party’s National Board in writing why any policy that received a threshold level of support (both % and actual votes relative to Party membership) is not included in the platform. Background materials would be made available online to assist members.
I would also reach about beyond the Party to create a forum for those with big public policy ideas to present them to us. A call would go out to academics, NGOs, think tanks, entrepreneurs, non-profits and anyone that share our core values and have a solid idea that that there is no better vehicle to advance your idea than the Liberal Party.
4. Name one thing the Liberal Party should do to improve its fundraising.
We need to understand that fundraising is a product of real and meaningful engagement. It’s not a tactic in and of itself. As such, the party has to develop a culture of constant engagement with members and Canadians alike. The contact management and fundraising database should be merged into one. As we develop stronger, deeper relationships with Liberals and supporters, they will want to donate. There are no corporate donors anymore and the federal subsidy will soon be gone. Our only path to secure the resources we need is by constant, meaningful engagement.
5. Name one thing the Liberal Party should do to engage members.
The Party website should regularly seek members’ point of view on issues, teleconference calls should solicit their views prior to new sessions of the House and members should be given a channel to submit question proposals for Question Period. This is just one example.
6. List one other key change the LPC needs to make.
I would reach about beyond the Party to create a forum for those with big public policy ideas to present them to us. A call would go out to academics, NGOs, think tanks, entrepreneurs, non-profits and anyone that share our core values and have a solid idea that that there is no better vehicle to advance your idea than the Liberal Party.
I would bring cohesion and accountability to the Party by getting all parts of the Party behind a single ‘campaign between the campaigns’ for the next three years. Based on input from across the Party, this plan will have clear targets and objective. The plan’s implementation would be the main work of the Board of Directors.
All levels of the Party have to be more outward looking. Riding associations (EDAs) would have a mandate to engage with community organizations as would commissions. Tools would be provided to facilitate this.
New members should receive an electronic welcome kit with 5 things they can do to promote the Party and 5 things they can do to get involved with the Party.
An organizer training program needs to be established to create a force of new organizers that can be deployed to key ridings in the next election.
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