Ontario Liberalism: Part 2.

In choosing a direction for Ontario liberals, we should look backwards only enough to ensure that the freedom of the individual is still the core concern. Conservatism, neoconservatism and neoliberalism give business too much power over the individual and socialism gives the collective too much power over the individual. Liberalism is based on the inherent power of one.

It means the power in the party needs to devolve to the individuals in the electoral district associations. It means there should be no interference from the party hierarchy or the party leader. (Advice yes, direction no.) It means no new policy direction can be taken by the leader without the support of the policy committee of the party. It means regular policy meetings by the party to discuss and agree on policy direction.

There has to be a small but necessary membership fee in the party to hold someone’s place in the party and the right to attend regional and national meetings. The person must also sign a testimonial that s/he believes in the basic tenets of liberalism.

It is recognized that the party’s legislative wing requires a level of discipline to carry out the party’s objectives. It should be the majority of the caucus that decides when an individual member is not cooperating in the party objectives. This can be appealed to the party executive in an open hearing if the individual member so desires.

The political parties in the provinces should be funded by the public on a voting ratio in the previous election for each electoral district. This public funding should be audited and reported to the public as a public trust. Funds used by persons seeking a party nomination must be subject to audit and reporting.

The only other comment on this subject is to the name of the party. It seems that provincial liberal parties vary across Canada. Some are more right-wing than others. Some are more progressive than others.

If we want a progressive and liberal party in Ontario, we could consider changing the name. We could call ourselves Social Democratic, Liberal Democrats or the Opportunity Party. Let’s argue about that later.


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