Freed from the US prison system Conrad Black is challenging Harper, Canada, and Americans on their failed policies. Particularly around prison reform. A businessman with good arguing skills, the chops to take on a government or two, and with the skills to spread his knowledge, Conrad Black may very well be our Warren Buffet.
- Conrad Black: My prison education
- Conrad Black: Why they’re occupying Wall Street
- Conrad Black: My journey from Canadian to British Lord
- Conrad Black: Prisons should be repair shops, not garbage dumps
- Conrad Black: The case against being dumb on crime
For those who are unaware of Warren Buffet, he is an investor with more money than most countries, and he rose to fame quite quickly in political circles when he broached the topic of fair taxation. Particularly, he drew issue with his secretary being taxed at a far higher relative rate than he was.
Powerful, smart men who can take a stand on a fundamental issue with powerful, thoughtful ideas that can shake every person from every political persuasion from their slumber is something to be admired. You might disagree with him on his legal issues and him coming back to Canada, but he will bring a certain fight on a subject that needs some serious discussion.
Update: The Annual General Meeting and leadership review has been scheduled for June 16th. More information here.
I’ve been thinking.
I want to renew Raj’s contract–for leader of the Alberta Liberals.
He has a nose for politics, knows exactly what the party needs to build in terms of organization and skill sets, and he was key to the reason why the party did so well. Rather than an implosion, like what many polls suggested, we kept our incumbents. He’s competent, hardworking, and a capable retail politician. Something we haven’t had in a very long time.
In a campaign that turned to fear, Raj and the party was able to keep above most of it and keep going. We had the best platform, best candidates, and a whole bunch of new blood running the show. I myself was involved in my first campaign where I had some serious measure of influence and leadership. The whole Calgary-Klein campaign was put in place and lead by new people. I had a new candidate, new team, and new people. Our Get Out the Vote (GOTV) chair had never been involved in politics before and it was our candidate’s first run at public service. Campaigns across the province were in similar position. New people, dedicated people, and smart people got involved.
This is something admirable and it has earned both the respect of many people and I.
What it ultimately comes down to for me are two fundamental things:
(1) He kept his promise. At the leadership announcement last year he promised that he’d keep the party out of debt and not to undo the hard work and effort of eight years of paying down the MacBeth disaster, in more ways than one. He kept his promise.
(2) He knows what needs to be done. When a reduced caucus reduced revenues he took a hard look at what was needed in the caucus office and halved his team of staff. To lose some of the best and brightest the party has is tough. It’s tough for the party and tough for the liberal idea in Alberta. But it’s a temporary step. To build up constituencies across the province, the need to ask for money (a long forgotten skill in the Liberal party), and the need to build up the liberal network (in terms of size and skill), are all things on his radar. And it’s a job that MacBeth, Taft, and Swann had not done.
I feel confident in Raj Sherman and, with the coming leadership review, will vote for him.
Let me level with you, possible future leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. You’re starting to build up your team, looking for head people and chairs amongst the different provinces. One of the major decisions of your campaign will be how you will be handling your data. And you should put your data into Liberalist.
Data in a leadership campaign is huge. Who is supporting who, membership lists, people who are attending convention (or, at least the announcement), and the many, many supporters amongst the public that’ll be voting across the country for you need to be managed and sorted. This is hugely important. Data is king in modern campaigning and you need to have a handle on all of your data in order to make decisions and to get the maximum returns on your supporters.
And it’s important that you use Liberalist to store and use your data. First of all, it’s important because many commentators and myself will not take you seriously if you don’t use Liberalist for your data. If you’re going to become leader you need to commit your effort to have your core team — a team that’ll be helping you as leader — being competent in the database system of the Liberal party.
Also, the commitment to have that data, while in a separate silo during the election race, brought together into one large database after the election process, shows that you’re in it to build the party. Anything else shows that you’re only interested in building up your own power base and, if you lose, the other candidates be damned. You may be in this race to win but you cannot — cannot — cut and run after losing. That’s not what is needed or is wanted in a leader.
Liberalist is known by Liberals across Canada. Most of your volunteers, organizers, and future candidates already know it. For those who are about to be brought on as new blood will need to know it later on. This is a very practical training process for everyone involved, along with a process where Liberals across Canada can sharpen their already known abilities. This will build up the party.
When you win, possible Liberal leader, you’ll have access to other campaign’s supporters and data. If the other campaigns do their job right and get a firm understanding of their supporters and the key messages that activate them, you can also reach other and extend a bridge to them to build a more powerful and unified party. The cohesion of the party under your leadership could be better than the leadership contests of leadership processes years past.
In conclusion, every leadership campaign should use Liberalist. It will allow for a strategy of cohesion post-race, build up the ability of your supporters and the party in using Liberalist, and is already the main database system for the party so it’s familiar to many of your future supporters. So use it. Otherwise, you’re just not serious.