Renewing Raj’s Contract
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.