Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Liberals Have Their Chance to Make it Right (sorry Centre)

I'm not ready to make nice
I'm not ready to back down
I'm still mad as hell and
I don't have time to go round and round and round
Courtesy of the Dixie Chicks

I've been asked to give the Liberals a chance and here it is;

However, as expressed in the Braid article, they need to get it correct this time. They need to talk to Albertans about issues Albertans want to talk about.

It can be done on Energy as we've seen recently with the Taylor release on a new direction for the Party. This was signed off by the Caucus.

Now we need to produce similar documents on Health Care, Education and Agriculture if we are to become relevant to ALbertans.



  1. Hey Donn.

    Swann's rush to appoint Roberts for the Glenmore by-election was the final straw for me.

    I think it showed poor judgement to run a candidate the voters had already said NO to three times previously.

    This decision, place in the context of several previous decisions, demonstrates a pattern of adolescent naivete that is too dangerous to ignore.

    Why bother putting money and/or time into a cause that is led by somebody who doesn't have the sense that God gave a goose?

    I have not renewed my membership this year. I do not plan to renew it until Swann changes his ways or a sensible new chief is leading the way.

    Brent Johner

  2. Hey Donn...don't say you quit the party and then say 'we' need to get better.

    Don't say communications is awful and then bash the party to the press!

    Do you even understand how communcation works? i.e. "The Leader can't get any good press and his communications team sucks" says former party member = you actively working to undermine communication efforts!

    The worst press that the party is getting is because of you complaining to the press and then you complain that the party isn't getting good press. Good grief!!

  3. The article said one MLA abstained from signing off on the policy. Do you know who that was?

    I'm interested to know your perspective on name change. I get the impression you're closest to Dave Taylor and Kent Hehr. We know Dave never advocated for name change but Kent did. It's still on Dave Swann's blog. Kent said, "I don't care if we call ourselves the Minnesota Vikings. As long as the policy is there, it's all that matters". Who is right? Your answer should take into account the clear fact that 'Liberal' has become a liability in this province.

    Could they not have gone with 'Alberta Centrists' or 'Centrist party of Alberta'? David Swann and other members of the party have been describing their policy as centrist far more often than using the term 'liberal'.

  4. First, I am more interested in the fact that the Party put out the Energy Policy they did. It is getting great play in all media around the Province. Shows what happens when you talk to Albertans about issues they want to discuss.

    Second, I advocate changing the brand, the new Energy Policy starts that process. Changing the name; quacks like a duck, etc...

    Liberals have become a liability in this Province, not 'Liberal'.

    Let's not just call the Party centrist, let's make the Party centrist!

    Let me know if I answered your issues.

  5. wtf,

    First, I do not complain to the press, they come to me and I find it shameful that I am the person they go to to discuss the ALP. However, they do not go to the Party because they have had nothing to say short of;

    1. Isn't it nice that there are more women entering politics after the election of Danielle Smith, and

    2. "It's been interesting," to watch Smith's coverage, says Swann. "Some of us are natural at putting our ideas into a short sound-byte, and some of us aren't."

    3. No matter the poll numbers, Swann and most Liberals insist Smith's arrival helps the Liberals.

    Until the Energy Policy that the Party recently released the Party was not talking to Albertans about things that Albertans want to discuss. That was brilliant, got great coverage and started a communication with Albertans. Also, got me to re-engage somewhat and as you will notice even my tone has changed.

    Now the Party needs to get Policy out on Health Care, Education , Agriculture, etc...

    Now direct your attention to getting the Party to construct new Policy and you will be back in the game.

    You will never be successful telling ole farts like me to shut-up.

  6. Brent Johner,

    I agreed until I sat down with Avalon after I was asked to manage the campaign.

    I was able to move her from the left to the centre and we were able to engage the voters, as witnessed by the close margin, 276 votes. Actually, had Ignatieff not mused about a fall election we could have sustained the victory. The voter was confused about the Liberal brand, lumped us all together and our vote slide back after 48 hours.

    So what did we learn from Glenmore?

    1. If we move our discussion with the voter to the center, we CAN be successful.

    2. The Party needs to change the brand, by that I mean start talking to Albertans about issues that matter to them such as the new Energy Policy.

    Nice to be engaged with you once again.

  7. Don I have to call you out on a few things.

    1) You are being "called" by the media because you create conflict. You're not the first, and certainly won't be the last naive person to be used by the media in this way. You give them an antagonist to the liberal protagonist. End of story on that issue.

    2) Have you ever heard the saying a house divided cannot stand? Well the same thing applies for communications in any field. No matter what kind of messaging the liberal caucus puts out there, if there's someone like you who claims to be a "liberal organizer" and "liberal insider" then all of a sudden that good initial messaging has gone down the drain. (this refers wholly back to my first point) If you are so interested in seeing this party succeed then why don't you stop publicly bashing them? I think there's an ulterior motive here, like attention grabbing possibly, or even retaliation for a grudge? Just a theory, no malice intended on my part.

    3) The Wildrose Alliance is helping the liberal party! How can you not see that? It's simple math Don. You take a large cross section of people who believe almost equally in 2 different ideals (Liberals, Conservatives). If there is a competing ideal introduced (Wildrose Alliance) to one of the halves (conservatives), that now cuts that half(conservatives) in 2....leaving the other un-contested original half (liberals) with a majority. I was always good at math in school :)

    4) Credibility is an important thing in the world of journalism Don. Trust me, as a former journalist I know this much is true. It only takes a couple of doubts to sour credibility in the journalistic world, and I think more people are going to cry foul to your comments in the media.

    5) Avalon Roberts did not lose the election, You lost it for her.

    Do I need to bring up the fact that a certain MLA and a certain campaign manager (that would be you Don Lovett) sent a video out to the media the day of the election, featuring that certain MLA cursing to high heaven (and I mean F-bombs and all) about another candidate.

    And you think it's fair to blame David Swann, Liberal communications and Avalon for her loss? She lost by 276 votes, and I think you can place that squarely on your shoulders.

    6) As Mr. Archer stated, David Swann and the Liberals have been saying for quite some time now that they are in the centre. But you know what happens when there's someone like a Don Lovett out there chirping about the Liberals being "irrelevant"? All that good stuff gets missed because it's not juicy enough! Golly hey? It's funny how that happens.

    As my divinely wise mother always tells me...Actions speak louder than words. Your words are a double edged sword as far as the liberals go, and the actions speak even louder by actively seeking widespread attention to unleash your venomous words.

    Cordially, but of a different mind than yours

    TM :)

  8. The reason the media go to Donn is because he likes to be controversial - no more, no less. No complex ideas or plans. Just tear 'em down. Easy fodder for media types. Maybe it's time to let the leaders lead and the helper - help.

  9. Anonymous,

    Comfortable out there without ever having to identify yourself?

    Shooting the messenger, always a great move, one step forward and two steps back.

    The reason the media come to me is very simple, I have something to say they want to discuss. Exactly what the Party needs to do, discuss something the media and by extension Albertans want to discuss.

    Blaming the media and blaming the voters will never amount to success. Try listening to the voter and engaging in a conversation important to them.

    Come out of the forest, we may find some common ground.

  10. Anonymous,

    Is this the same anonymous or another one, whatever…

    It must be comforting to be so RIGHT.

    I am being contacted by the media because I have something to say that is relevant to Albertans. They print what Albertans want to discuss. I have been calling on this Party to speak to issues important to Albertans and that finally began with the Energy Policy. Continue this with Health Care, Education, Agriculture, etc…Then you are engaged with Albertans.

    An irrelevant Party cannot exist ad infinitum. You must become relevant to Albertans in order to succeed as a political Party. You must create messages that appeal to the voters and then communicate those messages in a meaningful way.

    Convince me otherwise and I would be happy to support the message.

    For the record, I do not claim to be a ‘liberal organizer’ and ‘liberal insider’, that is the media interpretation of who I am.

    However, as Dizzy Dean once said “it ain’t breggin’ if you can do it”. Can you name another person who has won more campaigns in this Province than I have, including 3 successful campaigns against Rod Love?

    I am not interested in seeing this Party succeed for the sake of the good member. I want this Party to succeed because it is relevant to Albertans.

    It is infantile to believe that the Party will gain advantage simply because the Wildrose exists.

    Once again, you take the voter for granted and treat them as simpletons.

    The Party needs to earn the respect and confidence of Albertans and at the risk of spinning an old record, you need to speak to Albertans about issues that Albertans want to discuss.

    The Energy Policy was a very good beginning. Now follow with Health Care, Education, Agricluture, etc…

    Math in politics is for fools.

    Politics is messages, hard work and earning the respect and confidence of the voter. Do that and then you can use your math to count success.

    Let them cry, when the Party is relevant and there is no need for me to call them on matters that are important to Albertans.

    Always an easy way out, blame someone else for the Party being irrelevant to voters.

    Now you sink to the depths of idiocy to blame the likes of Kent Hehr for his actions in the face of the Wildrose candidate taking the election act to task. Do you believe that you can justify the actions of Paul Hinman by attacking one of the most honest and aggressive MLAs this Party has seen in a long time, shame on you for that?

    I can only come back to my Mantra, ‘say something to Albertans that they want to discuss and they will engage, the Energy Policy is the perfect example.

    I am not so sure your mother would be proud of you at this moment, but then what do I know?

    Liberally Yours