Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Meet Alexandra Mendès

Last week, I provided my initial impressions on the field of LPC presidential candidates. Today, I begin posting posting the candidates' responses to a questionnaire I sent out to each of them. Up first- Alexandra Mendès.

Who is Alexandra Mendès?

Mendès won Brossard-LaPrairie after a recount in 2008 - a rare pickup for the Liberals on what was seen to be a disastrous election night (how naive we all were back then...). Predictably, she was swept aside by the orange wave this May.

Mendès is of Portuguese decent, describes herself as "a fierce federalist", and worked for an NGO before entering politics.

1. Why did you join the Liberal Party?

I officially joined the Liberal Party in October 2001 when I became riding assistant to the Hon. Jacques Saada. From the moment I could vote, I’ve always voted Liberal.

However, while working for an NGO heavily subsidised by the Quebec government (from 1987 to 2001), I was not allowed to be a member of any political party, federally or provincially. I did some very discreet volunteering through the years, but I’ve only been able to “come out of the closet” since 2001.

2. In 20 words or less, describe the type of party president you would be.

A team player/worker; consensus-oriented; frugal; technologically daring; accountable to MEMBERS; ready to change and ready to honour the Liberal tradition!

(22 words...)

3. Name one thing the Liberal Party should do to make the policy process more meaningful.

Ensure that policy proposals and/or resolutions adopted by Convention are given a true chance of being integrated into electoral platforms. Should they be deemed inappropriate by the National Executive and/or the Leadership, make it mandatory that a full explanation be given to members, BEFORE the platform is announced.

4. Name one thing the Liberal Party should do to improve its fundraising.

Collect proper data. Micro-targeting (knowing) our voters would certainly be a very useful and cost-effective manner of ensuring that we ask for support from those more likely to welcome our requests.

5. Name one thing the Liberal Party should do to engage members.

If there is one common thread to the comments I’ve heard from members since I started campaigning, it’s the generalised feeling that no one is paying attention to what they’re saying. One of the first things I’d like to do if I’m elected, is to review the many, many recommendations, reports and proposals our members have submitted to the Party in the past 5 years and prepare a summary of the elements therein that haven’t been addressed and/or otherwise resolved. It would be, for me, a good start to an action plan for the next 2 years.

6. List one other key change the LPC needs to make.

I believe very firmly that before we even begin to think about electoral platforms and leadership races and any other attempt at finding THE magical answer to our woes, we must urgently start the process of renewal by letting bygones be bygones.

No one, least of all Canadians, has benefited from the self-destroying culture of division, infighting and back-stabbing that has drained our energy and stifled our truly admirable spirit for the past ten years. We need the unity of purpose and discipline of discourse that will once again make us a Canadian movement!

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