Moving on from the Convention

To my fellow federal Liberals, especially those of you who served as delegates to our recently-completed Biennial Convention, thank you for your overwhelming expression of support. When I chose more than a year ago to stand for National President, I was under no illusions as to the chances of a non-establishment candidate like myself operating on a shoestring budget supplemented by modest donations from individual, like-minded members. One of our many governance deficiencies which I was determined to address is the lack of any spending limits or transparency on campaigns for national officer positions. That leaves us wide open to large corporate and similar donors having an inappropriate influence in our affairs. Given that and facing an archaic first-past-the-post voting system despite our having moved to preferential ballots in all of our other internal elections, it may appear quixotic to have even tried to mount a national campaign. I did so because the Party had become relatively closed to ideas and concerns coming up from the grassroots, an unfortunate habit that had a lot to do with our decade-long decline. I saw the presidency as the one elected position with the scope to make a difference, and a campaign for that position as the best available vehicle for getting new ideas in play.

In that objective at least, the campaign succeeded far beyond my expectations. Thanks to the efforts of a small team of extremely dedicated volunteers, we got our ideas out and those we picked up from Liberals across the country to the extent that, by the time of the Convention, they had been very broadly accepted, even to the extent of being incorporated into the platforms of my opponents. While necessary, ideas are only the first step in innovation, which I define as the adoption by a community of new and more effective practices. We as a Party are still a long way from that, and I worry that we may be too slow.

I will be out of touch for the remainder of this month on a much-needed, technology-free vacation but will start using this website once stripped of the campaign-related content as a blog for regular posts on how we turn ideas into action. If you sign up for email updates (“Keep me updated” on the home page) then you’ll automatically be notified whenever there’s something new. I would value you contributing not just your reactions to my thoughts but also your own.

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