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Regina Leader Post, Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Letter to the Editor
Losing touch with base?

by Sean McConnachie

The Liberal Party of Canada has, in recent months, been acting with a peculiar temperament.

The Liberal Party has always been a strong advocate of democracy and the benefits that it can bestow on society. It has done this historically, both at home and in other countries, assisting the establishment of UN-sanctioned elections in places like the Congo. Nevertheless, this democratic sentiment in the big red machine seems to be dwindling like a candle in a snowstorm.

With the personal selection of Joan Beatty by Stèphane Dion in the riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, the Liberal party has further diminished its legitimacy on the issue of democracy. This has seemed to have become commonplace in this party as this adds to an extended list of infringements on the principles of safeguarding and improving democracy in Canada.

The Liberal Party has taken away the power of its own general membership in an attempt to model the party to the liking of the leader, not the people of the party. In his attempts to improve his image as a strong and knowledgeable leader, Dion has only fostered more dissent and disenfranchisement amongst the very people who elected him: the common Liberal Party members.

From stagnating Senate reform to subverting grassroots democracy, the Liberal Party is so hell bent on changing its own image that it is willing to destroy one of the party's founding and most fundamental principles: grassroots democracy. And it seems that every high-profile Liberal is willing to help the degradation along. Our own Ralph Goodale, someone who was elected as a Liberal candidate in his beginnings, was there in La Ronge to tell the Liberal membership in the riding that its votes don't matter.

Does the contemporary Liberal Party really care about its own people? I'm not so sure any more.

Sean McConnachie


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