It was a lengthy read. If you would even bother to count the number of words in four pages of a broad-sheet newspaper, you would come up with about six thousand words. They were written by Althia Raj. This is the smart lady who ran the editor’s desk for Huffpost in Ottawa and Quebec City and does such a good job on the CBC National’s At Issue panel. She recently started working for the Toronto Star.
Raj claims to have interviewed 57 liberal party insiders with puffed-up egos to provide an insiders’ somewhat glossy version of the recent liberal campaign. And they were not just making ketchup. They spent a lot of their credibility with their supporters, to, in the end of it all, find themselves standing in place.
The liberal braggards could only call it a win if you measure from midway through the campaign. That was when the notoriously inaccurate pollsters told them the conservatives had moved into the popularity lead. The liberal arrogance was taking its toll.
As much as I admire the work national party director Azam Ishmael has done for liberal party organizations, both provincial and federal over the years, I would argue that the recent federal campaign failed us. It was an over-managed, elitist and self-destructive campaign. The call of the election was of no surprise to anybody. The outcome should not have surprised them either.
If anything, the campaign proved that the Ottawa management of the liberal party was completely out of touch with what was left of the party across the country. There was minimal effort wasted on ridings that the Ottawa elite did not see as winnable. They had little understanding of the local organizations and relied instead on polls that could be wide of the mark, when they were trying to dig into how people were going to vote in specific electoral districts.
In orphaned ridings, there was little consideration given to candidate selection and the subsequent campaign. The ground game came second to the supposedly scientific use of digital ads and there was little effort at ‘get out the vote’ where the liberal management did not think it mattered.
I’ll share a lesson learned the hard way, many years ago. You will never convince anybody of anything, if you do not start by listening.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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