Tuesday, January 17

Update and 'Report on Federal Liberal Convention 2011'

In response to readers that question why such a big hiatus in communication since the election I submit the following – shortly after the Federal Election I was asked to co-chair the Alberta Liberal Leadership which kept me very busy over the summer. Also, unfortunately in June I was diagnosed with a major health issue that had to be dealt with and I was under treatment until late in the year. However; I have recuperated and was able to attend the exciting Federal Liberal Convention held in Ottawa this past weekend and the following is a report on the Convention:

Since the last election several including Peter C. Newman, Craig Oliver kept pushing that Liberals were dead. However, a couple of people tell me that Peter’s book despite raising the question that Liberals are dead is kind to us. So much for such contentions; the National Convention this past week-end in Ottawa proved that we are very much alive. I was elated to see the upsurge not only young people attending but also the number of those that admitted that they had returned to the fold. Needless to say I am very happy that I was able to be part of such a dynamic week-end.

It was interesting to observe the newspaper reports that still tried to make the weekend sound controversial whether their reason is to try sell newspapers or what. All the predictions were off. They still tried to have us believe the “old boys/girls” network was active as ever. However, the outcome of the weekend demonstrated otherwise since the young people had their way electing young new President, Mike Crawley, former President of the Ontario Liberals. As we expected Bob Rae performed super electrifying everyone with his campaign-style speeches over the weekend.

There were apparently more Liberals at the convention than at Conservative and ND conventions combined and of course their reps attended and were welcomed. Olivia Chow was representing the NDP. Allan MacEachan former Cabinet-minister from Trudeau years was honored on Thursday evening for his many years of service and four former Prime Ministers attended the opening and Lethbridge was well represented. On Sunday a couple of us had lunch with our beloved Senator, Joyce Fairbairn. Unfortunately as it usually is in winter Ottawa was well below freezing and bitterly cold.

A lot of work was achieved and the majority of the resolutions were passed receiving the two-third majority required modernizing and bringing party policy in line with Canadian thinking and the party got its with to move ahead with arrangements for a call-center to help connect with members and increase funding to help us counter the increase in Conservative propaganda and attack adds that have destroyed and defined us in recent years. The major resolution put forward by the youth that would allow Canadians elect our own Head-of State did not receive adequate support and similarly one on US style Primaries due to discomfort with the wording.

One of the highlights was a spell-binding presentation by Don Tapscott, Best Selling Author and adjunct professor Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto on ‘Rethinking Government and Democracy for the age of Network Intelligence. He encouraged us to seize the opportunity before us akin to other major junctures in history i.e. Industrial Revolution needing a new way of looking at how we do things. We also had a presentation from a couple of experts from the US Democratic National Campaign team discussing how social media helped Mr. Obama outwit the Republicans to win the Primaries and the Presidency.

The whole w/e was most stimulating and invigorating with new ideas and challenges and I for one expect great things but we must all do continue our part. It still boils down to lots of hard work and personal contact with the electorate to win and keep winning. The biggest change and challenge will be to engage not only the many members that do little but also engage the broader category of supporters. Please share your ideas since we want to hear your ideas. Contact me or any member of the party and share your ideas.

Michael Cormican, Past Candidate