What is your party?

Coming into the dog days of summer is a good time to reflect on what we want in our political party. Speaking from hard won experience, we know starting from scratch with a new type of party is not the best of ideas. People will step boldly into the future but you always have to note that other foot solidly planted in the past. My thinking at this stage is that we need to take over an existing party and change it.

Having been a liberal most of my life, that would be my starting point. Justin Trudeau has been tearing apart the federal party anyway. And the Wynne fiasco in Ontario has taken that party down to a rump in disarray. Both provincial and federal parties have nowhere to go but up.

Both liberal parties have been held back by bad leadership. Wynne expected party support without giving the party the credit for its efforts. Justin Trudeau cancelled the concept of membership in the party and then turned the former membership list into a sucker list to inundate with pleas for money. There used to be some pride in being a member of the liberal party. Not today.

This new party has to build a relationship between the elected and non-elected members of the party. It has to be a grass-roots party with its core and strength in the electoral districts. Membership must have meaning.

I believe that real liberals want a progressive party, a left of centre party. It has to be a party of the people. I think it should be a party that stops talking about the environment and does something about it. I hope it is a party that believes in the universality of higher education, medical care and prescription drugs and dental care—a society that puts the health of its people first.

We might want to change the name to demonstrate that it is a new party ready to face new challenges. That is up to the membership. Regional and provincial bodies need to be made up of electoral district executives.

The wife thinks this subject is dull. I agree. The problem is though that we have been skating around the subject for years while intent on scoring goals. We need to recognize that building anything starts with a foundation. The better the foundation, the higher and better you can build.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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