The Ottawa Centre Liberal nomination has been set for Sept 9th, and to celebrate, I went out to a Scott Bradley meet and greet on Richmond Road.
I think the location of the event was telling. So often we as Liberals, and particularly in Ottawa Centre, look to Wellington Street as the centre of the universe. We think of Ottawa Centre as being entirely inside the Queensway, filled with other politicos with the same-mind set and background. We don't see Ottawa Centre as a riding of young families, immigrants, students, the GLBTQ community, small business owners, junior civil servants. We think that all it takes to win the riding is to build the biggest army, go to all the right community events, and tell how only a Liberal MP can get things done.
How we need to think is to be Richmond Street Liberals. To realize that it isn't just about having the biggest army, but to really engage with the community and develop solid community policies to give that army marching orders. It won't matter how big and how hard working a team we have (and we will have a strong Ottawa Centre team regardless who wins), if we are not engaged with the community, and running the kind of campaign that bring soft Liberal-NDP voters, non-partisan progressives who support Paul Dewar because they think he does a good job, centrists who have become disengaged from the party, and others who have supported us in Ottawa Centre in the past back to the party, our army will be knocking on plenty of doors, but plenty of Paul Dewar doors.
I will be supporting Scott Bradley for the nomination on the 9th because I believe he has the best handle on the type of Ottawa Centre that we need to focus on if we want to win this riding back. Scott Bradley is a Richmond Street Liberal, a man of the community and the grassroots, and we need a man like him in Ottawa Centre if we want a change.