Grassroots or pesky weeds?
Ask 2,500 Liberals what's wrong with the Liberal party, what's behind its decline, and you'll likely get 2,500 answers. One persistent theme, though, is that the party, when in power, grew too distant from its grassroots, especially in terms of policy.
So among the fixes proposed at this weekend's convention is a guarantee that policy proposals from the rank and file will end up in the party's election platforms.
26. Inclusion of priority policy resolutions in Party Platform
Proposed amendment: That the LPC amend its Constitution to provide that a minimum of three (3) Priority Resolutions of the most recent Convention be included in the next Election Platform of the LPC.
Is this going to help the Liberals do better in the next election? Well, let's see what other federal parties do with their policy resolutions.
Fortunately, we have two recent examples -- Conservatives and New Democrats held conventions in June and presumably, since they've both done well with the electorate lately, we should be able to see how they value the policy contributions of their grassroots membership.
So let's head over to the Conservative party website and search for policy.(See image left). There is indeed a link for "Policy," but the only material there is the election platform and the Government's recent budget. Late last week, I asked the Conservative Party's communications people where I could find the policy resolutions passed at the last convention and so far, no answer. Perhaps they are still looking.
Update: Through the magic of Twitter, one correspondent has directed me to this link: http://www.conservative.ca/media/2011-CPC-Policy-E.pdf
Okay then, let's check with the New Democratic Party. Where are their policy resolutions from last June's convention? Here's the NDP website, with lots of notice about the upcoming leadership convention and past caucus activity.
There are a couple of possible conclusions you can draw here. First, of course, is that the Liberals are trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist for other parties -- that Conservatives and New Democrats aren't all that fussed about getting grassroots policy into the central policy platform. Or, that it's simply assumed that they're one and the same -- in a way that hasn't been true for the Liberals.
So, is there anyone out there who knows the answers to this? What do the Conservatives and New Democrats do with policy resolutions from their convention?