How soon we forget our roots. Outgoing Liberal Party President Alf Apps is asking the grass roots of the Liberal Party to approve a $2.5 million call centre in Ottawa. Liberals will get to vote on this foolishness at their biennial conference in mid January. It shows just how far from a reformer, Alf has travelled since the 1980s.
When we first met back then, Alf was the angry young man, tackling the ‘non-elected’ managers of Liberal politics. His notoriety assured, he slipped into the same conservative mould as what he was complaining about. Alf became ‘they.’
Alf now wants the Liberals to have Conservative Party style phone banks. He wants to be just like them. He wants a centrally controlled party to make the decisions, commit the funds and run the country. And he is asking the people, whom he does not trust to do the job, to approve his plan. He is like a dictator saying vote for me or else!
The party gathering should tell Alf to ‘stuff it.’
What Alf does not seem to understand is that the Liberal Party has—or can create—a call centre in every electoral district across Canada. It has had them before and they work better than the call centres working currently trying to get the Liberals a million bucks for Christmas. Liberals respond best when it is someone they know who is calling and is identified with that area of the country.
Does Alf want a call centre that, when it has nothing better to do, makes spurious calls to a riding telling people their MP is resigning? Does he think that is worthwhile?
Alf is concerned that the Conservatives have raised almost three times as much as the Liberals in the past year. The one thing for sure is that Alf seems to have skipped his classes on basic marketing. (Sorry, Alf is a lawyer. They usually know nothing about marketing.) The Conservatives had something to sell.
The Liberals are selling nothing but a big red tent that anybody who does not want to be identified as right or left can get under. They have to get rid of the tent, move clearly to the left and stand for something. That is what this biennial conference has to achieve. At least the people Alf complained about in the 1980s were achievers!
Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry
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