Justin’s on the job: Let’s get to work.

That was no barnburner speech last Sunday. That was the real Justin Trudeau speaking. He was gracious. He was humble. And he appreciated the phenomenal level of support he received from across Canada. His point was well taken: now the real work begins.

Later this year, the new electoral districts will be proclaimed and the party will proceed to restructure itself to contest 338 seats across Canada in the next election. The most extensive change will be in Ontario with 16 new electoral districts. Those 16 new ridings will be among the most hotly contested in the election expected in October of 2015. They will also be among the most hotly contested by Liberals seeking the nominations to be the candidate.

Most of those electoral districts are going to need lots of help. We need a much stronger provincial and regional party organization to help get that job done. The federal party organization in Toronto has to start asserting itself and provide the support to assist every riding to do its job. In Ontario, we also need strong regional executives to share that workload and make sure no opportunities are lost. And it means an entirely different mindset than before as the riding organizations take responsibility for candidates, policy development, fund raising, supporter identification and local public education efforts.

It has been more than 20 years since local ridings have had the responsibilities they are now undertaking. Most executive members have no concept of how to get the work done. They not only need to know how it was done 30 years ago but they also need to understand new technologies and new opportunities that can make the job easier.

But we have to start with the basics. If you have no idea of how the ground game works in politics, every member of your riding executive and every key member of the electoral district has to go to school. You need to be out on the streets of your electoral district tomorrow, practicing effective door-knocking techniques, identifying and recruiting supporters, opening up avenues for fund-raising. Ready or not, we have to get to work.

Justin’s job today is in Ottawa. Your job is here in your riding. And after you have done canvassing for the day, you can start to think about the policy issues Justin and Liberal candidates need to articulate for us in the run up to that 2015 election. Where should the Liberal Party lead Canadians in the 21st Century? We know how bad the Harper government is but what can we do better? Platitudes are what you use when you have had no time to think. We have two years before we need to publish a policy book. With all that time to plan it, it should be a fantastic Liberal policy book.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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