Dr. Dawg

LibCon 2012: everything old is new again

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Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again

LibCon 2012 is now history. I provided a few accounts* as the spectacle unfolded, courtesy of iPolitics, who got me a press pass after the LPC decided this year to screen out bloggers with an $1100 admission fee.

Here is the final wrap-up I did for them:

This is the Liberal Party’s 8th “renewal” effort. The LPC previously renewed itself in 1985,1990, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009.

This weekend the delegates adopted no stirringly new policies. They talked about the future. They kept the past.

No more top-down leadership, they said, and reaffirmed the right of their leader to veto policies adopted at convention. Renew, they said, and put old-guard party stalwarts on their national executive. Delegates chose Martin Liberal Mike Crawley over Trudeau Liberal Sheila Copps as party president. “No daylight between Sheila Copps and me,” said Crawley in his victory speech, and I believe him.

An inventive structural change—allowing non-paying “supporters” to vote for Party leader—had the blood drained from it by the rejection of a regional primary system. The growing democratic deficit in Canada, surely one of the greatest challenges facing our country at the moment, was addressed by supporting a preferential ballot system. That was a cynical move that would, if implemented, merely get more Liberals elected. It was sold as a “stepping stone” to genuine electoral reform, when it is nothing of the kind.

No serious changes, no breaks with the past, little of substance, but some fancy new buzzwords-“evidence-based,” “resilient.”

And so yesterday is dressed up as tomorrow. Back to the future, then, with the Liberal Party of Canada.

* My posts at iPolitics may be found, in chronological order, here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on January 16, 2012 12:04 PM.

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