Saturday, May 2, 2009

BC or Bust: Commission Biennials

So I think Liberals woke up yesterday morning, myself included, after getting settled in at the hotel, registered, and saying my hello/what's new's with Liberal friends, and realized that this
convention there are actually a lot of workshops and panels being offered, meaning, there's a bit of work, at least house cleaning to do.

The morning for me started off by seeing the YLC commission biennial and hearing the speeches of mainly the two YLC presidential candidates. I'll hopefully post some video later. The room was packed, the most packed room of all the commission biennials. So the youth, while yes only representing about 12% or so of the delegates, are some
of the most dedicated members of all members in the party, so I do not
begrudge them from them seeking 25% within a weighted-riding OMOV system, which is less than the 33% they get in current convention type events.
Especially considering this very same youth amendment passed last convention, to tell them they couldn't present it again is like
telling someone or a party to give up on a bill that passed 2nd or 3rd reading but died on the order paper.

I then walked into the Senior's commission - I did a quick count and I think there was about 35 people in there. Maybe they forgot about
the meeting and had a "senior's moment" because there are a lot of the
65+ crowd here, I just don't know where they were at that time. Maybe they're a little bit proud and consider themselves to be of "regular membership". The joke I hear about them is that they're a "skeletal
commission" - pun intended I don't know, that's up for you to decide. I believe in commissions and their purpose, but it's sad to see them not utilized to their full potential, especially when their numbers are there.

I was then off to the Women's Commission biennial. I didn't expect much conflict or negativity from that one - there were some common sense proposals on the floor and a panel scheduled, but I was in for a big surprise. There was some new updates to the NWLC commission on the floor, and I didn't think they were going to cause debate or controversy, but indeed they did. So much so, that that part of the proceedings went 1.5 hours over time, much to the dislike of the next workshop attendees. And even still, we were not able to discuss the meat and potatoes of the biennial as it took so long to discuss the appetizer.

I was quite disappointed in the attitude of some of the attendees, very clique-like among of those who were against the amendments on the table. After debate to one of the NWLC constitutional amendments was finished, and the vote was being conducted, these individuals stared down those voting in favour of it, and yelled out "Shame! Shame on all of you! You're taking away representation of the provinces!?" (in reality, we were proposing to keep the provincial women's commission presidents, and add additional regional representatives with 6 task based positions (VP Policy, VP Org, etc) - every province would have still have strong rep at the table via their provincial women's commission ).

The proposal didn't have 2/3 support (it had 65% - so close!), so it failed, and I guess in support of it failing, these women who voted it down left the room. So now the NWLC will remain with an exec of the national President, all the provincial commission Presidents, and 6 additional regional representatives (one from each designated region).

The NWLC is very effective as a commission and very supportive of women candidates and promoting women in politics, but for some of these ladies, time to get our act together, treat each other with a bit of respectful boundaries. Am I supposed to feel "shameful" for having an opinion and voting on it? Thanks for making me feel like my
voice mattered or that I was intelligent enough to grasp the issues like you clearly were.

There is a lot of events/workshops taking place, and for a convention that is seen as "only 2 days" perhaps we could have had 3 to space things out a bit more and to give us the opportunity to attend everything and not feel so rushed.

One thing I would like to attend but may not have the time, is attending the much hyped Liberalist (voter software) info session.
This is the new technology program that will be used across the party, across the country via ridings from the party. Some people are
hopeful, some people are doubtful. I'd just like to see for myself, even though it will be a demo and can't make a realistic impression -to judge for myself - to see if there is perhaps the magic there that we are hoping for. We all know we need better comms if we want to compete with the CPC.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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