It was all tha gingseng in the ColdFX that had me believing that appointed candidates are the way to get the nod. The reality is that I am a democrat, I beleive in the full participation of people in the political process.Although I will not outright dismiss the extra special appointment of a Candidate, I like to see a real contest at the riding level.
Whilst the federal riding president of VIN, I pulled together a very eclectic group of Liberals from every area within this riding. Ideally a person in every Poll with the target of an election day always the driving force. It is the Human Factor that skews everything in Theory, and putting together a organization takes time, years in fact. For the better part of 3 years, we had monthly meetings alternatively between Campbell River, Comox Valley, Port Hardy and even one in Gold River driving through a snow storm to get there. This was in the lead up to the 2003 leadership and the 2004 election which followed shortly thereafter. The building of the organization started to gel when we had our Twin MP Andy Scott (Fredericton N.B.) into the riding one hot July week.
Three very strong potential Candidates went on a recruitment membership drive. This was no easy task at that time because the 5 membership forms at a time were the rule ( ludicrous) a constant bone of contention for all three and one that was never lifted during the entire process. In spite of that the riding saw membership grow to 1140 which was a major feat given the BS we had to put up with and I attribute to the anticipation of Paul Martin Leading the Liberal Party of Canada.Because of the growth in our riding the LPCBC Campaign set our Nomination into motion immediately upon the lifting of the Green Light committee. It was the one and only window of opportunity to get a Liberal Elected on VIN.
We scheduled the nomination meeting in the Comox Valley and had polling places in Campbell River, Port Hardy and Gold River so it was up to each Candidate to GOTV.My thoughts on this was that each of them would show their organizational abilities and we just might be able to hobble together a 1 person 1 poll for E Day.
We were so well organized we did it all in our own riding without intrusion from the LPCBC Campaign altough there was a flying swat team that came to see and hear us on the day of, they didn't stay around long but they did show up.
A candidate was nominated 4 months before the writ an Ideal situation.
Not really, the Candidate decided he did not need the Liberals to guide him, he had his own parallel organization and laid down his plan with no consultation because damn it he had a campaign organizer who was going to show us how to get elected.A campaign organizer who beleived in deficit spending.They blew off the liberal association but blamed the associtaion when it all started to fall apart..
How many riding assocations go through this same sort of thing? There are all kinds of stories like this one, and sadly this organization fell apart. Here we are 3 years later and no one knows what kind of deal was set between the 2004 Candidate and his recruited Candidate in 2006 ( neither of them even live in the Riding anymore), not even in British Columbia.
What's even sadder was the Guy from Northern Ontario who became the Riding President in 2005 attending the Federal Council Meetings but never calling a meeting in the riding. Once again he was going to show us how to get the job done, because damn it in Northern Ontario they can elect a Liberal MP.He talked the talk but never walked the west coast walk.The LPCBC was contacted by other executive members and all the pleas for help fell on deaf ears.Here we are in March 2007 with another federal Election looming, a VINFLA AGM set in 2 days time, no potential candidates, we have a new leader in the person of Stephane Dion, will his Environment Platform work here, it should but it won't.
A harsh as this may sound, this may just be one of 308 ridings that should have a name on the ballot because without an organization or any fundraising, it just is not fair to ask anyone............. seriously.