Rae has touched on several things dear to my heart: a radical revamping of the organization of the party, with power devolved to the ridings, fund raising opened up to many parts of the party, a suggestion to open up our leadership choices to all Canadians, not just those who have signed up as party members.
Here is part of the Globe & Mail report of Rae's speech:
Mr. Rae's speech is to be followed shortly by a discussion paper issued by the Liberal national executive, presenting some of the best ideas for rebuilding the party gleaned from months of grassroots consultations.The paper is expected to include proposals for adopting a sort of U.S.-style primary system, wherein anyone who registers as a party supporter gets to vote in leadership and nomination contests.
Mr. Rae indicated his own support for allowing “all Canadians who have signalled some broad support for our party” – not just militant, card-carrying Liberals – to be able to choose future leaders and candidates.
“If we speak for a movement, we need to build a movement,” he said. “Other parties have chosen a more restrictive route. We have a chance to take a more exciting approach.”
Mr. Rae also called for simplification of the party's lengthy, complicated constitution, which he said “seems to be based on a culture where mistrust is big so everything has to be written down.”
And he said the party's dire financial straits requires simplification of its complicated structure – with riding associations, provincial and territorial associations (PTAs), various commissions and national headquarters all competing for donations – as well.
“I don't want a war over the future of PTAs and commissions but I do want a recognition of the current financial reality and financial challenge,” he said. “We have to become leaner and the turf wars have to stop. Every section of the party, from bottom to top ... has to work together. Period.”
Some of these concepts are revolutionary for a party that has really been a charade of a party for decades.
Let's hope for a vigorous, open and detailed discussion of the Paper when it is released.Viva la revolution!