Before the convention starts....
A couple of signs that the Liberal convention is a little less (or more) than a love-in:
1. First, the newly released report by Carolyn Bennett's change commission, found here:
Bennett, a physician, former cabinet minister and long-time champion of more democracy in the Liberal party, has overseen a report that demands big improvements in the way the party is run -- including a call for the party to have a lot more input into election-campaign platforms. Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have been very good at this... Conventions have been seen as places for partisans to let off ideological steam while cooler heads get on with the business of governing and building election platforms, often at odds with party wishes.
2. And then there's this development today, in which a candidate for the national executive, Fabrice Rivault, is pulling out of the race, pleading that about-to-be-acclaimed party president, Alf Apps, is showing favouritism in the contest.
In his press release of today, Rivault says:
"It is distressing that our future President chose to take side publically in this particular democratic competition, while he abstained from doing so in the other races."
Rivault says he couldn't run for a position that would have required he and Apps to work together supportively.Apps does indeed appear at this website -- http://www.brigittegarceau.ca/reactions_en.html -- with an endorsement for Brigitte Garceau, in the post Rivault had sought.
"The paralysis that would have resulted with Mr. Apps being unable to collaborate with one of his Vice-Presidents is a situation we certainly would prefer to avoid. In this perspective, it is thus my duty to place the greater interests of the Party ahead of my own aspirations, as beneficial as they would have been for the future of our organization."
The press release ends with a warning: "...we will be keeping an eye on Mr. Apps ....If he fails to accomplish what Liberal members expect of him, it should be very clear to him today who will be questioning his Presidency at the next Biennial Convention."