Adult supervision required

Liberal gadfly Jonathan Ross has recently reported at length concerning a bout of...er....creative electioneering at the University of British Columbia's Young Liberal campus club. Senior party members are none too pleased with the resulting mess. And, this morning, the party's British Columbia president Jamie Elmhirst took a mop to the matter. In an email sent to Young Liberals, Mr. Elmhirst notified them "Recent events at the University of British Columbia student club have reminded us of the need to work diligently to meet the test of this scrutiny, and to be entirely consistent in the administration and validation of memberships, lists, and bylaws. Unfortunately, this did not appear to be the case in this instance, and steps need to be taken to ensure that the integrity of the YLCBC and it's campus club network is not under question in the future."

As a result, "Effective March 10, 2006 LPCBC Headquarters will be responsible for the administration of all Young Liberal Club membership lists. These lists will be maintained in accordance with the Constitution of the Young Liberals of Canada BC and the Campus Club constitution." The following is a complete copy of that email.

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All Members of the YLCBC,

Re: New Young Liberal Club Membership process

As the Liberal Party of Canada prepares to select a new leader, it is important that all processes of the party be fair, open and transparent. Liberal Party membership rules have received close scrutiny during past leadership contests and this time will not be any different.

Recent events at the University of British Columbia student club have reminded us of the need to work diligently to meet the test of this scrutiny, and to be entirely consistent in the administration and validation of memberships, lists, and bylaws. Unfortunately, this did not appear to be the case in this instance, and steps need to be taken to ensure that the integrity of the YLCBC and it's campus club network is not under question in the future.

Effective March 10, 2006 LPCBC Headquarters will be responsible for the administration of all Young Liberal Club membership lists. These lists will be maintained in accordance with the Constitution of the Young Liberals of Canada BC and the Campus Club constitution.

Over the next couple of weeks, Kim Haakstad and Robin Whitney from Party HQ will be working with all club Presidents and Membership chairs to develop a current club membership list and establish a process for the exchange of information.

The standard Young Liberal Club membership forms or Club specific forms approved by the YLCBC Executive will be accepted. No person will have the voting privileges of a club member until their form has been received by the party office in a manner detailed below.

Via mail:

Individual members or Club membership chairs can mail the forms to the party office. Complete forms will be considered valid as of the postmarked date. A small supply of postage paid envelopes can be made available to membership chairs to help defer mailing costs.

In person:

Individual members or Club membership chairs can drop membership forms off at the party office Monday to Friday between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm. The forms will then be date stamped and the membership considered valid as of the date received at the party office.

In the case of clubs that have membership fees, forms and fees must be received at the same time to be considered valid.

Membership lists will be available to club membership chairs and presidents as provided for in their constitutions. In the lead up to an AGM the membership list will also be given to contestants for office.

On a personal note, I find the situation at UBC a disappointment; both the manner in which the meeting was called and the playing out of this issue in various blogs and in the media is an embarrassment to our party and to the Young Liberals of BC. I do not consider anyone involved to have entirely clean hands.

A new AGM at UBC will occur. That meeting will be supervised by the officials from the LPC (BC). If positions are contested, the person who earned the most votes will win. Hopefully we will cease to see the playing out of personal rivalries on blogs and in the media in a way that is embarrassing to far more people than just those directly involved.

The Liberal Party of Canada (BC) is resolved that any and all party processes in lead up to a future Leadership Convention are conducted with integrity and will take whatever steps are deemed necessary to ensure exactly that.

Any questions can be directed to Party Headquarters at 604-664-3777 or via e-mail at info@lpcbc.com. Thank you for your continued dedication to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Sincerely,

Jamie Elmhirst

President, Liberal Party of Canada BC

45 Comments

This is just the tip of the iceberg, the YLCBC is a mess and if Ross plans to start digging into the sketchy campus clubs that were set up in the late 90's and 00's the true scale of the problem is going to become clear.

What went on between Braden and CoCo was business as usual with the only difference being Braeden didn't slink back to the wilderness like he was supposed to.

There are stories here, and probably lots of disgruntled former members who have been pushed out ready to tell them. I eagerly await reading them.

Sketchy campus clubs are not a B.C only thing. Here in Manitoba we have near a dozen. These clubs have no active members, have not had a meeting since the last delegate selection, but they will soon be full of activity as Reg Alcock gets them going so they can elect Belinda delegates for him.'

It's time that Richard Diamond as Presdient of Young Liberals of Canada is pressured to make sure that only legitmate campus clubs exist.

We must make ideas, not money the principal criterion for selecting the next leader. With this in mind, the executive of the Ottawa West-Nepean Liberal Association passed the following resolution last night.

"Considering the critical need of the Liberal Party of Canada to democratize the race for leader of the Party, and the need to be seen as a democratic party;

"Recognizing that the financial rules of the leadership campaign must encourage legitimate candidates to enter the leadership race and must not discourage any legitimate candidates;

"Believing that the leadership campaign spending limits must ensure a balanced, fair and democratic campaign for all candidates,

"Hereby suggest the following limits:

"Candidate entry fee of $25K;

"Campaign fundraising levy of 10%; and

"Campaign spending limit of $2 million"

We're calling on other Liberal associations to join us in calling for these reasonable limits.

yeah handing over campus autonomy to a biased office, makes so much sense

A letter from jamie is very encouraging. But its like asking the people who built the fast ferries to come back and tell us how to build new ones. Isn't it a bit ironic that jamie and co. are the ones who perfected the art of "manipulation" and are now the ones pretending to come to the rescue.

I think it is good to see that Jamie and co. have cleaned up their acts. Never too late to come clean. Good work, Jamie. Let's see how fair and even-handed the process is over the coming weeks and months.

The LPC-BC had the reputation as the most biased provincial association in the last leadership. Now, with the tightest rules on proof of membership payment in the country, it may just be becoming a model for the rest of them.

Paul Martin corrupted a whole generation of Liberals with his slimeball leadership tactics. That's his legacy.

To be fair to Paul Martin, his leadership tactics were no different from Jean Chretien's. People just have short memories.

The party has an opportunity to turn a new leaf and hopefully it will. But folks are going to have to park their old Chretien and Martin identities at the door in order to do so.

So Jamie sent a letter with strict orders to maintain the itegrity of the party. Wow, will miracles never cease. For an encore I expect him to go public very soon and profess his dislike of stacked meetings, instant members and other unsavory tactics that were used when he was wearing his paul martin hat.

Kim you should give credit where credit is due. It takes true leadership to know which direction the winds are now blowing. It takes even greater leadership to remake yourself as a champion of the downtrodden and disenfranchised.

What else would you expect. You didn't think that Liberals in power got to be the scum they turned out to be without years of training, now did you?

Horny Toad

Of course it makes sense to tighten membership rules once you are in control!!! do not mistake Mr. Elmhirst's sudden taste for democracy anything other than a protectionist measure. As for memebership forms being riding specific, that's just stupid, a liberal is a liberal first and foremost.

I wonder what Caley thinks of this... or maybe he's following his orders from party brass to keep out of blogs...

Does this mean that the tactics of men like Bob Virk and Dave Basi are no longer welcome in the Liberal Party? Pity, ... I guess that means that Herb Dhaliwal will be able to unseat Ujjal Dosanjh and get his old job back, eh?

It's sad really. Caley gets f***ed over. Why? Because Caley was hoarding memberships and didn't submit them in time. Why? Because Caley held on to them because he wanted to f*** someone over.

What goes around, comes around.

Rumor has it that Reg Alcock is trying to manipulate campus club's into supporting Belinda Stronach.

Hey Budd, Herb suffered the same fate he inflicted upon the person he overthrew in the richmond riding he first attempted to get elected in. live by the sword die by the sword. then again, isn't that how chretien unseated john turner?

Let's not jump on Caley here. He's trying to help honest Young Liberals reclaim the YLCBC. More power to him. Lefoka's antics are detrimental to the party as a whole, simply to save himself and the inner circle.

We need to cleanse ourselves of this poor example of leadership and democracy.

Honest young liberals, eh? So hoarding membership forms in an attempt to f*** people over is really upstanding? Give me a break. Were you born yesterday?

Alcock and his ex-staffer YLC Prez Richy Diamond will no doubt use every method at their disposal to manipulate campus club rules to fit their leadership agenda's.

The silence of the Young Liberals on this matter speaks volumes.

Hey Coko, here's some advice for you:

If indeed you are spending your time figuring out ways to manipulate the YL membership list in pursuit of some goal,whatever it is, why not spend that energy instead on studying hard and building some skills for a real career somewhere?

You know, the type of job that doesn't rely on political connections or the ability to deliver massive busloads of delegates to leadership conventions?

Because, here's some news for you -- SOMETIMES LIBERALS LOSE ELECTIONS -- and when that happens, all those smirky young liberals who thought they were the cats pajamas when they worked in the PMO,the MRO and other offices with acronyms are out of a job.

Take a hard look at the generation before you who grew up in the party during the Chretien/Martin years. You know, those real activist hotshots that worked in various ministers' offices or for the big cheese himself. Mostly doing various "consulting" work now, ie. lobbying, or trying to get into that business now that the gravy train is over. But you see, there is only so much need for people of their "unique" skills and there is a flood of them on the market right now.

So take my advice, young man. The best thing you could do for yourself is to put aside these young liberal turf wars. They may mean something to you now, but years from now they will not - and you may wish you'd spend more time in the books preparing yourself for a career where "who you know in the PMO" matters not a whit.

Anyone who knows Braeden Caley is more then well aware that he is a young person of great integrity. Braeden has never been one to approve of takeovers, or to shy away from sharing his opinion. The only thing Braeden has ever been guilty of is holding onto his principles and beliefs regardless of the political costs to his own self. I commend Braeden for speaking up and bringing attention to the shortcomings of our own party. In the world of party politics, it takes a lot of courage to stand up for the principles of fairness and transparency. Braeden, your idealism has always been something to admire and you should be proud that you have encouraged many youth to overcome the fears they have about vocalizing their concerns. That in itself is quite the accomplishment. Keep it up!

R. Sandhu ... is that stuff you're shoveling available in local garden shops? It sounds like the purest bs in a long time.

R.S.,

I am happy to see you and others defending the guy you support, AGAIN.

Please stop airing your dirty laundry in public. All you Young Liberals need to GROW UP. The real world is not fair or friendly and the strong prosper and the whiners lose. Stop whining and focus on something constructive like how Canada will be saved from Steven Harper. Isn't he your real enemy?!

As a Liberal, I'd rather have Stephen Harper for a while than Paul Martin. It's time the Liberals get a real leader like we had from 1990 to 2003.

I'm an old Liberal - came to your site via Inkless Wells. It is refreshing to hear young people with a passion for politics and the courage to address some of the serious problems at the core of the Liberal party. With your help, the Liberals may have a chance to show Harper the real meaning of integrity.

Seriously!?- Harper is better than Paul Martin- just guessing here but I don't think you are a Liberal.

It is one thing to say that the libs could benefit from some time in oppos, lots of Libs agree with that. But if you think Harper is better than Martin- you are not a Liberal.

I am beleive history will judge Martin well. Remember most of what he was tarred with was a result of Mr. 1990 to 2003. Sponsorship happened when big Jean was PM not Paul.

If Martin was a a Liberal and not just an oppurtunist that would take any position on any day that his "braintrust" told him would make him more popular than I might agree.

Martin was a outright diaster as leader and history won't bother to judge Martin because he is going to be nothing more than a foot note in history. Nothing more than another brief renter at 24 Susex Drive. Martin will be as well known to school children in 15 years as Charles Tupper is today. In order to be judged by history you actually need to do something, not lose a majority, spend 15 months doing nothing, promise 50 billion dollars in one week and than lose your government all together.

Only stupiod Martin kool-aid drinkers can honestly think Martin is worth remembering. We need to bury him along with the memory of John Turner and other losers of the past.

It's good to see hard working and idealistic Young Liberals like Braeden Caley standing up for themselves. I have no doubt he will continue to do so. If people continue to try to screw him over we will continue to back him up.

If by screwing Braeden over you mean not handing him the Presidency on a silver platter, getting mad that he is whining on blogs all the time and using the constitution as it is written - then, well you have don't have the stomach for real politics.

Don't you just love how the federal young liberals always seem to air their dirty laundry in publiceyeonline forums...

As a former campus club president, I applaud Breaden Caley for bringing these issues forward.

Some people think that what he did was wrong. I don't. At times, you have to cease being an optimistic, naive 'nice guy', and stand up and fight for what you believe in to maintain the values most of us cherish.

Braeden, you have my full support in your endeavour. I'd love to sit on a plane en route to a convention and see fewer drunken frat boys who don't know left from right, and more true young liberals who shape the future and become strong leaders in our communities.

True young liberals? You really can't see this contradiction? Since when have instant members been true members of any political party? I applaud real party members who want to say how the future of their organisation will unfold, not a bunch of rent-a-member.

I think we need to separate the person from the politics a little. Braedan IS a very dedicated "true" young liberal. Even Coco can't doubt that- he nominated him for young liberal of the year! And furthermore, a good chunk of the memberships he handed in were renewals of existing club members. All I want to know is what has happened since then to change Coco's mind? I agree that we young liberals need to stop bickering with each other, but that has to start with our president. This is not meant as an insult to Coco, but rather a request to remember what we are all supposed to be in this organization for.

I know Coco, and despite the beating he has taken on many websites recently, I know him to be a person with many positive attributes, and a lot to give this organization if he could just stop finding conflict where there needn't be any. Enough is enough. Let's move on, start rebuilding, and not tear ourselves apart anymore.

UBC Young Liberals should admit that they were corrupted and used by Paul Martin in the latter's quest to become leader of the Liberal Party; they should then ensure that no one can ever do that again. They can start by turfing Coco Lefoka: he is destroying the organization.

Braeden Caley has been a very active and dedicated young liberal for several years now, educating others and voicing his opinions and beliefs in an extremely honorable manner. I agree with "Take it from me". When did vocalizing your concerns and doing the right thing become a crime here in Canada?

Delia - The UBC Club supported Paul Martin from the beginning. All of the problems started with Allan Rock tried to do a hostile takeover, and everything decended a tit-for-tat thing. It is important for people to really understand history so that it does not repeat itself. Perhaps the best thing is that this leadership is so wide-open that no-one can take the "take no prisoners" approach because they need second, third, and fourth ballot support.

"They can start by turfing Coco Lefoka: he is destroying the organization."

Same is true for Jamie himself.

"And furthermore, a good chunk of the memberships he handed in were renewals of existing club members."


The plot thickens! These are recycled rent-a-members? Who did Caley ask for the campaign contact list that the rent-a-members were signed up for in the first place? Copps organizers? Maybe Mahoney? Who's organisation is behind this?

Jenn, give up the conspiracy theories. What I meant by saying that Braedan's sign ups are for a large part existing club members, is simply that - they are active club members, some even on the executive that were being excluded from voting because of how the president called the AGM.

UBC Young Liberals have been a joke for a long time. It seems they still are.

It's kind of entertaining reading about all this Liberal infighting and intrigue. From the columns he's written, I would think that Braeden Caley is a lightweight, but in the condition in which the Liberal Party finds itself today, he's a major player!

And then there's the party establishment men, Coco Lefoka and Jamie Elmhirst, and they're pretty silly too.

It looks like the next few years will be a big opportunity for the Tories and the NDP to avenge themselves for the period 1993 to 2004.

Budd - don't be so hard on Braeden. He is just out of diapers.

Stronach for leader. That has a deliciousness I can't even begin to describe.

On first meeting her a friend -- one not easily wowed by celebrity, star power or any other factors -- reported back the two facts he found most significant about the meeting.

1) She was very fit
2) She had long slender fingers

I suppose this qualifies her for Liberal Party leadership.

Dryden or Ignatief by my count. I'd vote for Ignatief if I could, but I don't live in Etobicoke (and feel genuinely sorry for those that do.)

But Federal Watch, if you think Stronach for Leader has a nice ring to it, remember that the smart money is all on Bob Rae! Yes, Bob Rae, former NDP Premier of Ontario, no doubt ably assisted by Ujjal Dosanjh, former NDP Premier of BC.

You know, as you read through some of the posts about Braeden and Coco and the like, there's a certain innocent, sophomoric air about them, as if they came from a 1950s TV show.

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