Enn wrote:I can appreciate the frustration that communications between the EDAs and the national office can be, and should be, improved. An example of such frustration is that the preceding discussion used terms like "us" and "them".
What I wonder is whether the current alleged situation is due to:
a) a learning curve the party is going through to integrate itself from its roots to its top. After all, the party is relatively new, and certain processes may still need to be developed.
b) disdain by top management of grassroots concerns and party democracy
c) a conspiracy by the national party to ignore the grassroots and dictate policy as they choose
d) other <provide your opinion>
I doubt that the current perceptions are due to devious or un-democratic plans by the national party, rather than to growing pains. After all, the party's success has been its foundations, and will likely continue to be so.
My recommendation would be to improve communications across the party.
As previously stated, the party is relatively new, so that beyond constitutional and policy reform, there may be a myriad of logistics that need to be worked out by due process.
If EDAs feel they do not have sufficient voice at the national level, and if they care, it is their responsibility to make their voices heard.
At the same time, it is incumbent on the national party to seriously consider the opinions of the grassroots, in particular through the EDAs, and be proactive in respecting the party's democratic foundations.
Please forgive me if I lose it at some point and become extremely harsh in criticizing your ideas as expressed in your post. I am teetering between harsh versus diplomatic response because your gentle and apparent understanding tone towards the national office are either naively genuine or are pure unfettered BS meant to thwart some of the legitimate criticism of the backroom BS of the party that we have joined and have been lead to believe that we belong to.
"Poor communication" of a "new party"? No, there has been a war of values between the backroom PCs and the grassroots populists of the former Alliance during the foundation of the party. The Alliance was stronger in terms of numbers of MPS and members, but the old PC backroom mechanisms gained disproportionate weight in the policy of the Conservative party.
If you are truly new to this, then don't be offended when those of us who have been involved for quite some time rant about the underhanded, backroom abuse of democracy that many of us have witnessed first-hand within the party. On the other hand, if it becomes obvious that you are BSing about your naivete, then be prepared for sustained electronic napalm.
When hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars are involved in the running of the party, and when core principles are involved in the processes, you can be sure that such significant actions are not "mistakes", or mere "growing pains".
As you have mentioned, the success of the conservative movement has been the grassroots involvement, so when decisions are made in positions of power, they are well aware of what sort of an impact there will be. There has been a history of those within conservative politics acting too much like the very socialist dictators that we oppose in the liberal/Liberal camps. They, like the liberals they claim to oppose, believe that they are most capable of making the "right" decision and don't trust "common" members to collectively make the best decision through an open and transparent democracy.
Let me clarify, your motive is not the issue here, I only referred to it to explain why I have taken the time to 'splain why many of us react with passion to the situation described at the start of this thread. We also know that Connie is a woman of great principle and integrity so she would not express this without due cause for concern.
The issue here is whether Mr. Harper would be at the helm when the Conservative party either dies like Mulroney's term after one minority term, or if he will lead it to a majority like Mr. Diefenbaker did.
If those in power in the party cut the grassroots off from decision-making in the party, then they will be tightening a tourniquet around the neck of the party, as Mulroney did, and they will lead to yet another extended era of decline within the "Conservative" party and will see the birth of yet another populist party.
It is time for the people "at the top" of the party to not act like all-powerful idiots.
They need to recognize the depth of the term "grassroots": The roots of grass collect and deliver the water and nutrients necessary for the growth of the "lawn". If the tops of the grass grow too high, they are burned by the heat of the sun. If there is a period of drought, the tops of the grass burn off, but it is the grassroots that survive to rebuild the lawn.
The analogy may be simplistic, but the message to the current people in power in the Conservative party is that they better smarten up and encourage the direct and active involvement of the grassroots or the party will die.