Monday, December 8, 2008

An Open Letter Regarding Our Party’s Leadership

We are in a time of great political flux, both outside the Liberal Party and in. It seems apparent that we all agree that something needs to be done and soon. The Constitution states currently states how the leadership must be chosen, via delegates and a convention, but we must all realize that we are in odd times and sometimes the rules can and should be bent to accommodate them.

We cannot trust that Mr. Harper will for once honour his word and try to work with the opposition parties for the betterment of Canada. So we must be ready for an election any time after Parliament resumes on January 27th. I feel we cannot go into the Parliament with an interim leader, because if an election is called, I don’t believe an interim leader will be able to garner the support that a permanent leader would. Voter’s want to know the direction in which the party is going, and if the leadership campaign is still ongoing, that questions won’t be answered, which might make some otherwise Liberal voters stay home, or worse yet, vote for another party.

That being said, we should not short-circuit the process too much because I feel there are valuable things to be learned along the way. The debates between candidates are important because give the opportunity for different viewpoints to be aired publically which gives the membership the chance to gain insight from different viewpoints and produce good starting points for discussions to better the party by the all the membership. Not only that, but it would invite interest from outside the party, possibly attracting new members.

This is why I support an open fast-tracked process in which all the candidates release full platforms as soon as possible and the party executive schedule debates in major cities across the country leading to an “One Member, One Vote” online/phone vote sometime in mid to late January.

In the end, whatever process is decided on, we cannot continue to be seen as a closed door party whose primary concern is fighting for the leadership. We need to come together and unite, and while the options we are faced with might not be palatable to us in one way or another, we have to do what is best for the party, and by extension the country, in a way that Mr. Harper seems incapable of, by coming together, cooperating and compromising in an open, inviting way.

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