Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sancho, the realist, tells his master,

"I sometimes think that all you tell me of knighthood, kingdoms, empires and islands is all windy blather and lies"

So we see a flurry of announcements (and appointments) on the organizational side of the Party over the weekend related to themes that likely resonate with most active (and inactive) Liberals: renewal, change and preparedness.

On the face of it, these are smart and early moves by Interim Leader (IL), Michael Ignatieff in indicating to a Party frankly conflicted by the opportunities afforded by new and fresh (not-Dion) leadership and concerns over how we got here and perpetuation of the "same old, same old", that he's listened, and taken swift actions.

Unfortunately it seems to some (certainly this writer) that while ILMI has learned from the experience of the last leader who simply couldn't get the Party's act together on anything (2.5 National Directors, botched by-elections, election unreadiness, lackadaisical and indecisive candidate recutiment and no proposed reforms), he has also taken pages out of several books from the past: go with who you know, go with the flow, go with the status quo.

While I still can't totally wrap my mind around the need for both a renewal and a change process, and I do think that the National Campaign co-chairs are a group of respected, skilled adults, the make-up of the Renewal Committee leaves me scratching my head. I guess if you want to make sure that everyone knows that you are firmly in control you're going to make sure that the reforms people are craving are nonetheless not too risky and ultimately made in your own image.

For the most part the individuals named to the Renewal Committee share the common ground of either supporting ILMI in one or other of his leadership bids (so one assumes too support for the process that brought him victory) and/or are long-standing associates of the institutional party. To the extent that these people have status in the party it is because they have participated in the development of current processes (written, but also largely unwritten) and have benefitted from them: they are products of the status quo. Just like ILMI (PMPM too) was unchallenged, it is very likely that the "responsibility to protect" will ensure that the current command and control nature of the party remains so as well.

So the carrot of reform has been dangled in front us and knighthood, kingdoms and empires await those of us who clamber aboard the horse in its never-ending (and futile?) pursuit.

1 comment:

  1. I just love this blog. You should join, don't ya think?