by Wendy Butler (President, Liberal Party of Canada in Alberta)
Montreal 2014 was in a word “Empowering”.
As president of the Liberal Party of Canada in Alberta (LPCA) I attended a dinner to say goodbye to some of the National Board members and I was struck by where the Liberal Party was only two years ago and where we find ourselves today.
Back then, the Board was inundated with polls and data analysis of the doom and gloom in which the entire Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) was in across the country – It was very bleak.
It is not an understatement to say that we were in survival mode, yet we, like you, continued to believe in our Party. This reality required severe funding decisions and organizational changes which were implemented to make the LPC a credible political organization. Able to meet the future needs of Canadians. For the LPCA, it was no different – we needed to change and we did.
Leaving the dinner and attending the Convention was proof that we took the right approach. The Montreal 2014 delegates had ‘Hope’ and were prepared for the ‘Hard Work’.
Montreal was both a policy convention and a convention to learn to organize our Electoral District Associations (EDAs) and community engagement with our neighbours in the political process. The policies that were passed puts the Liberal Party at the forefront of progressive Canadian politics. I hope you will get a chance to look at liberal.ca website to review the policies that many of you thought about, developed, and debated, to the point that Alberta’s priority policies were adopted by the National delegates in Montreal. Your grassroot initiatives will have a profound on our National Platform in 2015.
This leads me to the election in 2015 and how we need to organize ourselves and, in turn, create new outreach and engagement practices which will bring our ideas and platform to voters in our communities. These sessions were very informative and, at times, so filled with information that it was difficult to keep up with the notes and graphs, while still listening to the speakers. Thank goodness the LPC has put those sessions online, where anyone can see and hear the speakers for the first or second time. Please take a look and see what our 2015 election campaign is based upon and what the EDAs across Alberta, with the support of the LPCA, need to continue to implement. Yes its ‘Hope’, but it will be the ‘Hard Work’ which will put our EDAs where they need to be before the Writ is even dropped. We all need to start now to gather the data to identify our voters and those voters who could be persuaded to vote for us.
For this reason, I strongly suggest that all EDAs take responsibility to learn about and how to use Liberalist. There are online courses being offered on the liberaluniversity.liberal.ca . The LPCA staff will be able to travel throughout the province to help with Liberalist training once our Field Workers are hired for southern and northern Alberta. But, I urge you not to wait – visit the website and see what you can do beforehand. As well, if you want to get a better understanding of organizing in your communities, you may want to look through the New Organizing Institute’s website. There is a tremendous amount of information that can be used and adapted for your EDA and Alberta.
I would like to personally thank the Alberta delegates who attended Montreal because you made Alberta the third largest contingent at the convention. My fellow Liberals, we can make an incredible difference for our province and for our Canada. We are empowered by our policies, our strategy, our leader, and, if I can say, more importantly, by you. We are the LPCA and we have this opportunity, this time to bring Hope, through our Hard Work to make Albertans believe and become engaged and involved.
President, Liberal Party of Canada in Alberta.