As 2012 dawns with the promise of renewal the start of a new year offers us, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on what our beloved Party has to do to turn this promise into genuine change for the better.
Financial Management: We need to marry fiscal stewardship with democratic engagement.
Without per vote subsidies, members and supporters alone will drive the financial bus of the Liberal Party and we need to modernize the way we do business.
I have a track record that speaks to my passion for fiscal stewardship matched only by my passion for democratic engagement.
I have a plan that will help this party adjust to our new financial reality by providing a framework that will help us thrive financially by engaging members.
My track record:
I took over as executive director of an NGO when it went into receivership. I helped steer it back to being a vibrant, membership driven organisation that has enjoyed financial success ever since, by implementing a framework that allowed it to thrive in its work at the municipal, provincial, national and international levels.
In the Liberal Party I also have a proven track record as someone who can marry prudent financial management with membership engagement. As president of a federal Liberal riding association and an MP from that same riding, we engaged enough voters to win 3 times and we did it without accumulating even one cent of debt. In fact, we left money after each campaign to help kick start the next one.
It is all about the framework we develop:
If I am elected president, one thing I would like to do is provide a framework for sustainability and growth. I will be accountable to our members and ensure that the National Executive will operate with transparency in decision-making and actions undertaken in the name of the Party.
We must have mandated quarterly reviews of the books. Every cent the Liberal Party spends has to be justifiable: it should either be spent on successful member outreach or on generating successful fundraising. We must run a leaner financial ship.
We must also run a ship that is powered by the membership and that demands a new framework for membership engagement.
We must have a mandated set of rules governing response times so members know that we are listening because we actually are.
Also, in a membership driven organization we must spend money to make money so we must have a financial wing of this party that provides reliable and sustainable funding to membership outreach. This means that we must develop - and better fund - clear and emotionally engaging messaging, we must fund initiatives such as micro-targeting and we must use our members’ creativity to find new ways of turning support into long-term funding.
In short, we need a sustainable framework that prevents waste of funds and of our members’ engagement, while it promotes growth and connectivity with voters. With that framework we will have a vibrant, financially healthy membership driven Liberal Party of Canada.