Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Art of War

Posted this over at Warren's blog earlier... in response to his post on Alf Apps resigning.
While the party did well in the area of fundraising, and building online tools (there was a turn-around in these areas - we started to learn how to do it right), the presentation of the leader, party cohesion, and election strategy were a gong show.
When you "win" a job in a corporate setting, or in any setting, you always take the best of your rival's efforts and utilize them. You welcome your rivals into the fold (not set them on rear benches), and MOST IMPORTANTLY you identify (you actually should know this during the contest) your rivals' best strategists and figure out how best to use them in your own organization! After all, many political hacks tend to be looking for what's in it for them. They generally tie themselves to one bandwagon in the hopes of being the "king-maker" or "lynchpin" in the organization. Well... if they fail in one area, they may be quite receptive to an offer from the organization that just beat them.
Have these folks never read Sun Tzu? "The Art of War" should be MANDATORY reading for all political staffers. There should also be a sub-section/addendum on realizing who the REAL enemy is, and WHEN to stop rattling mouths.
As a life-long Liberal (started out at the age of 5, actually, but close enough) I blame all the partisans for what happened on May 2nd. After a leadership contest your loyalty should be - irrevocably - behind the elected leader. Period. In Sun Tzu's time, they used to execute those who wavered in the support of the leader. Sure we've all supported various leaders through the leadership campaigns. Some of us were wrong. Many of us right.
We'll rebuild the party, for sure, but we will be dumping some folks who don't want to ascribe to the "party first=Canada first" objective. There is no room here for "me first".
Yes, Apps should likely resign (and hopefully a few others with him - we need a general re-org there anyways). Even if they feel they built a solid framework for organization and fund-raising, the leadership needs to take responsibility for what happened. We need to remember what side we're on.
We will take the party back... And indeed the brewing "Young Turks Uprising" will put some folks back on the right track. Let's just keep focused on the task at hand. Our party does benefit from having a very large, coast-to-coast organization, and a pretty solid fund-raising base (which still needs growth).
The old PCs died for many reasons, but communication was a huge one. They died before the real burst of the internet/social media age. The Liberal Party today is THE MOST CONNECTED online political party in Canada. We will survive due to the social media. We will thrive due to this new milieu... one where we already have a head start. The old PCs also died because they were swallowed up by, and pretty much reinvented as the current Conservative Party. There was no merger... Just a "re-naming". WE, on the other hand, will be re-inventing ourselves.
Grit for life!
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