Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Presidential visit to Toronto

Whilst Ros and I were, strictly, on holiday, we were able to find time for a little Party business whilst in Canada. A meeting had been arranged with Liberal Party of Canada President, Alfred Apps, and Senator Al Eggleton, the former Mayor of Toronto, over lunch, and I was intrigued to see what would happen.

The lunch (dim sum) was extremely good, and our hosts were keen to find out how things were going following the creation of the Coalition. The politics is a matter of public record, of course, so conversation focused on the nuts and bolts of party organisation, internal communication, party management (hmmm... that's an interesting concept...) and the like.

There are many similarities in the internal organisation of the two sister parties, and given the similar electoral and political systems between the two countries, that shouldn't come as much of a surprise. However, I was reminded that, as far as I can tell, we have seldom used our international links to inform our policy or organisational debates, which seems like an awful pity.

It is one of the reasons why I am thinking of standing for Federal office this year. Money is tight, politics has changed, and our Party machinery needs to draw upon all of the knowledge and wisdom that we can glean, regardless of its source.

1 comment:

Malcolm Baines said...

I have often thought the party has neglected building links with the Canadian Liberal Party. There is an entertaining story in Jeremy Thorpe's memoirs about him hijacking a state visit by Pierre Trudeau in order to re-establish contact in the 1970s.