16 January 2012

Rebirth for one, and for the other? #nlpoli #cdnpoli

The federal Liberal convention this weekend shows just exactly how out to lunch the overwrought media commentary about the devastated Liberal party has been. 

Around 3,000 delegates.  Some said there were more than that;  others said there were fewer.

Lots of interested and interesting discussion.

And a new president.

Keeping party membership is a good thing.  One of the reasons political parties in Newfoundland and Labrador are in an abysmal state is the absence of a working membership system in any of them. Basically a party without membership becomes easy prey for the backroom types who thrive on secrecy.  They can manipulate the whole thing, one way or another and they do.

Memberless parties also create a world in which voters have no particular attachment to the party and its principles.  Again, the parties in Newfoundland and Labrador are classic examples of this sort of thing.  Voters shift back and forth among the parties with ease largely because there is nothing to distinguish one from the other.

The elected types are no different.  They all – basically – support exactly the same sorts of things.  If it is popular, they will back it.  That’s one of the big reasons why the NDP and Liberals have been basically just red and orange chapters of the Danny Fan Club since 2006 or so.

They haven’t opposed anything, except for show.

They still don’t.

So while the federal Liberals are already well on the way to change, the provincial Liberals are, well, not.

Talk of their demise is anything but exaggerated.

- srbp -