When the LMM team arrived in Winnipeg I think we honestly felt we were facing a significant uphill battle against the forces that the party had mounted against our position. Everywhere there were 1Party buttons and T-shirts. Tables with pull up banners were promoting the proposed Constitution. All of this campaign being financed with members donations. Although we weren’t allowed equal access to promote our position we did eventually establish a pop-up booth near the main conference rooms in order to share our position.
By Friday, more and more “No” buttons and “No Constitution without Consultation” buttons were showing up on delegates and many delegates were not wearing any button which in many ways showed their support for the no side.
At the Q&A on Friday evening the full room was looking for answers on many different issues and all 3 microphones had very long lines, so long that many people unfortunately did not get to ask their questions. The party seemed however to understand that there were serious concerns among a large percentage of the membership.
Previous to the Friday Q&A the party leadership had released a page with some minor amendments which can be seen here as 1st Proposed Amendments and amended Constitution. Although these amendments did provide some improvement the document was still falling seriously short of what the membership expected from the party.
On Friday evening the leadership group of LMM were still optimistic that we could find a solution that would not force us to defeat the proposed constitution. We did not relish the thought of putting our party under that spotlight, in spite of how the party had treated those of us who were opposing the constitutional amendment. An email had been sent to National President Anna Gainey and late Friday night, a meeting was set for early Saturday morning with two representatives from the LMM Leadership.
A couple hours after this meeting, an offer was made to Ted Hsu and Tom Addison from the Party Leadership. If these two individuals were willing to acknowledge that the party had listened to members concerns and made amendments to the proposed document and were therefore voting yes, the party was willing to offer these changes 2nd Proposed Amendments to the Proposed Constitution
Tom and Ted felt that the party was making sufficient movement, and some of the most serious concerns which affected EDA’s had been addressed. Perhaps most importantly, the Preamble to the Constitution, which defines what the party represents and what it means to be a Liberal in Canada was returned to the Constitution.
Since neither Tom or Ted had their speeches dictated to them beyond the requested acknowledgement and since both were still free to criticize both the party and the process which had been used to promote the proposed constitution, and since they were not required to speak on behalf of LMM and in fact were not prohibited from encouraging the other members to continue their opposition, Tom and Ted both decided to accept the offer from the Party Leadership.