Those were the wrap-up words from Toronto Star reporter Susan Delacourt from the Winnipeg Liberal convention to Global reporter Tom Clark whose weekly show was originating in Vancouver at the Conservative convention. Delacourt had told viewers that Justin had arrived from the G-7 in Japan during the convention and seemed to be everywhere dominating his convention for his party. It had even surprised us that more than 65 delegates had dared to publicly vote against Trudeau’s new Liberal Party constitution.
Justin seems to have no idea of the seeds of defeat he is sowing with this controversial constitution. If he had looked around more often, he would have seen the mistake he was making. Those young party delegates with the money to come from across Canada, dominated the convention and were hardly representative of the Liberal Party as a whole.
The party has always recognized the need to refresh itself and to encourage young people to participate in the party activities. To do that you want to have a party that provides challenges in organization, communications, policy, leadership development, campaign planning and management, Instead, this new party of Justin Trudeau is a top-down party structure that takes away these opportunities. It is to be a cult centred on the party leader.
Frankly, the concept is appalling.
Liberalism is an ideal based on the gaining of greater rights and opportunities for the individual in society. Canadians have an expectation of civil freedom and Canada is considered to be a relatively free society but it still has a long way to go to achieve the freedoms possible in an open and democratic society. We can only create this society by having democratic and open political parties. Allowing the Liberal Party to become a cult of personality is taking the party backwards and contradicting its hopes and objectives.
But the worst thing progressive liberals can do is to walk away. The party desperately needs the academics, the greybeards, the apparatchiks, the party workers, the believers in what the party should be to hold on.
The one thing we can do though is to call Trudeau’s bluff that he does not need our membership money. Since he says he does not need it, we should withhold it. This greybeard for one is cancelling the monthly stipend he gives willingly to the party. The Justin Trudeau Party does not need my money.
Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry
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