Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Bad Session For the YLC

With elections for incoming positions just finished, the Young Liberals of Canada has to be licking its wounds tonight. The constitutional plenary went from bad to worse this afternoon. With the magic of CPAC, I was able to watch a lot of the plenary (while flipping between that and Crosby-Ovechkin) from here in Toronto. The first defeat for the YLC was, in my mind at least, expected. The YLC amendment to the Weighted One Member One Vote amendment failed and failed miserably. It may have been insult to injury to have Justin Trudeau be one of the speakers against on the convention floor. Perhaps, the real damage though, was done after the hall had half emptied. After Don Boudria et al. killed amendment 10 which would have limited the number of ex-officio delegates by removing ex-officio status from non-privy council former MP's, the convention moved on to amendment 11.

The debate on Amendment 11 was perhaps the most interesting of the afternoon. It shouldn't have been, but it was. In spite of the efforts of the current and former Policy Directors of the OYL, the hall seemed confused by the wording of the amendment. This led to an extraordinary few minutes where the constitutional experts provided the most unclarifying clarification in history. They lambasted the amendment as poorly worded at best and self-contradictory at worst. In both official languages they concluded by saying they didn't know what the Amendment meant and that it wasn't "ready for prime time". Former blogger Jason Cherniak quite correctly criticized the constitutional experts for seeming to do the opposite of their job by failing to provide an interpretation and thus advocating for the defeat of the amendment. The amendment failed miserably and the YLC was left being called "not ready for prime time" from the convention stage.

To finish off a terrible session, the YLC saw their amendment for a National Outreach Secretary (that's Amendment 12 in your programs) fail as well. I honestly can't remember what happened to the first YLC amendment (9) but three defeats plus the failed sub-amendment makes for one bad day. The last thing the YLC wants is to be seen as "not ready for prime time". I don't think I was the only young liberal cringing watching that today. The job for the incoming YLC executive got a little harder today.

1 comment:

Scott Tribe said...

I'm not sure why having Trudeau speak against it is viewed by you as adding insult to injury. He obviously felt it was a disincentive and counterproductive to have a quota, and because he's seen as a supporter of young Liberals, it was good to get him up there to emphasize to those folks and to others why he thought this wasn't a great measure.

Considering the estimated % totals for how badly the YLC amendment failed and how much the OMOV measure passed, its obvious a fair # of youth delegates felt the same way as him or were swayed by those arguments. (The fact the YLC presidency ended in a deadlock tie decided by coin flip between Sam Lavoie -pro YLC amendment/anti OMOV if it failed to pass - and John Lennard - pro OMOV and anti-YLC amendment- would also indicate that was the case).

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