this blog has moved to a new address:

Please update your RSS, bookmarks, and links to

Thursday, September 03, 2009

in four months time...

Earlier this week, I drank coffee with Alberta Liberal Party President Tony Sansotta while discussing politics and the state of Alberta's official opposition party (and my former employer).

Sansotta was cagey enough not to reveal much about direction he's trying to take the Liberals and he was was insistent (but not necessarily convincing) that big changes are starting to happen within the Liberal Party. When I pried for specific examples, I was continually told that I would have to wait four months to see what the changes are. Coyness aside, Sansotta did provide a couple of bits of information to this blogger:

- The Liberals long-awaited Renewal Committee report, an initiative led by former Edmonton-McClung MLA Mo Elsalhy, was submitted to the Liberal Party executive committee but will not be made public. Sansotta ensured me that elements of it will be included in recommendations to delegates at their March 2010 policy conference (but delegates may not be informed which recommendations were taken from the renewal report). Although I understand why any political party would want to keep this sort of report private, it appears slightly insincere to solicit public/membership input and then to keep the recommendations secret from the same party membership (creating little room for an accountability mechanism).

- On September 26, the Liberal Party Board of Directors will be discussing plans for candidate nominations and if incumbency protections should be allowed for the nine incumbent MLAs.

- So far, eight submissions have been received in the Liberal logo redesign contest. The submissions will be judged by a panel whose membership includes VP Communications Jody MacPherson, the co-VP Fundraising, a member-at-large, and a representative from an anonymous PR firm.

- Calgary-based communications consultant Corey Hogan has been tapped to become the Liberals Executive Director, a position that has been vacant since long-time ED Kieran Leblanc resigned in 2008. Hogan's served as campaign manager for Dave Taylor's 2008 leadership bid and more recently as a candidate for the Liberal nod in Calgary-Glenmore. I wish Hogan good luck, because he has one heck of a job ahead of him.


Lorne said...

It was my understanding that Kieran did not resign but was moved aside because of budget problems. Can anyone bring any clarification to this?

Gauntlet said...

That's probably the most important thing that's happened in the ALP since the election.

Here's my question... do you think this renewal report is going to be kept absolutely secret because it disagrees with Swann on some of the reform options that he's taken off the table, like a name change?

And how long can this thing really remain secret.

Manuel said...

I would hope that no one loses sleep over any of this. The Alberta Liberal Party will be defunct and bankrupt before the 4 months is up.

Anonymous said...

One could assume the reason the ALP appointed Hogan Executive Director was to keep the Liberal vote between Taylorites and Swannies intact in the by-election.

They would not want a civil war to break out in the campaign.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the ALP remains firmly affixed to the bottom of the barrel. On the bright side, they must actually have enough money to pay the guy. Sure, we can wish him well, but he won't have a lot of credibility. Thankfully for the new guy the bar is phenomenally low and I doubt anyone around there is savvy enough to notice someone tripping over it.

As for whether the old ED was moved out for budget or other reasons, surely one reason must have been what appeared to any serious, objective observer as a poorly conceived and poorly executed campaign? There's probably lots of blame to go around on that, including the former Leader, but you only get a couple kicks at the can.

The renewal report should be made public. In fact, the President made a mistake in insisting that it won't be made public! Any moron knows that you have to at least release a cleaned up, vetted version of something after publicly trumpeting a renewal effort, complete with committee membership and website where public input and discussion was solicitied. Maybe Hogan's first order of business should be telling the ALP leadership they're clueless.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I've found the musical version of the Taylor/Swann enigma:

Anonymous said...

Corey is a great choice for the new ED.

Firstly, he understanding that this is a political party, and not a club. Its purpose is to win seats in the legislative assembly, not anything else. I expect we will begin to focus on this.

Secondly, he understand the need to update processes, etc. Look for a webbased system of issues/talking points to assist candidates. Look for a better system of tracking voters, etc. Its time we use these things to focus on the party's goal.

Thirdly, I don't think there is any problems between Swann and Taylor supporters. If people joined the party just to support Taylor, they may be gone now. But that's about it. We understand we have to move ahead.

Lastly, Good Luck Corey.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that, Corey :)

Anonymous said...

The ALP is not a club? Are you frikken kidding me? It is a very, very exclusive club. This is why it's impossible for them to attract new, and dare I say, talented people. As if we didn't have thousands of reasons already, the refusal to publish the very public and touted Renewal report, just confirms the ALP is a sad joke. They deserve only distain and obscelesence.

Anonymous said...

The only bigger joke than the ALP is the WAP.

Anonymous said...

Ah, we need to get the ALP's crappy, incoherent talking points on the web - that'll make all the difference! Oh no, wait, Anon 12:34 also notes that Hogan will remember to focus on winning seats...not that other thing they've been focused on.... Huh? The point and the challenge is that nobody there has figured out what that requires and how to do it.

If the ALP were really anything other than a club, Corey Hogan would not be ED. He may end up doing just fine - who knows - but let's be serious ALPers.