Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meet Ron Hartling

After hearing from Alexandra Mendes and Sheila Copps last week, my tour of LPC Presidential candidates lands on Ron Hartling today.

Who is Ron Hartling?

Ron is the former riding president in Kingston and the Islands, one of the few bright spots for the Liberals on May 2nd.

Outside of politics, he's a former diplomat and business owner/entrepreneur.

1. Why did you join the Liberal Party?

After I left the foreign service and was free of its constraints of non-partisanship, I considered which party best reflected my top political concerns, including climate change, environmental degradation and social justice. That narrowed my choice to the Liberal and Green parties. I decided that the Liberal Party offered more scope to make a positive difference.

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

I’ll be a full-time, hands-on, proactive president urgently leading the deep cultural and organizational changes our Party needs for survival.

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

We should leverage the wealth of policy expertise in the Liberal grassroots. Our party has innumerable former public servants, academics and other experts who would jump at meaningful opportunities to contribute. I would recruit them into a virtual Liberal Research Bureau to support policy development by Caucus, commissions and riding associations.

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

Improving our fundraising techniques, while absolutely necessary, will only take us so far. To truly compete with the Conservative money machine, we must give our members, donors and other supporter far more value than we have in the past. That means developing relationships all current and prospective donor based on a real understanding of the issues which most concern them and a demonstrated willingness to listen to what they say and act on what we hear. No more lip service.

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

Encourage every riding association to identify and actively champion the federal-related issues that impinge on Liberal values and have traction in their respective communities. Doing so over a two-year period was not only key to building winning conditions in Kingston and the Islands but also reinforced our members’ pride in being Liberal and provided the meaningful volunteer opportunities necessary to engage them between elections and encourage others to join.

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

Resolve our long-festering governance problems, especially those related to nomination contests and leadership succession, prior to choosing our next Leader. The problems and my proposed solutions are set out in my strategic plan for rebuilding, which is posted on my website.

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