The proposed constitution is filled with Flawed Logic. Which begs the question, why is the party leadership so determined to achieve its passage? The leadership must know that all these people who will not pay $10 to become a Liberal member are not going to suddenly find money to donate to the party. Of course it seems those behind this omnibus document believe that the “Registered Liberals” of Canada will be no match for the persuasive powers of the media arm of the big red machine. There is also an opinion within the party as published in its “Building a Modern Liberal Party”
Let’s consider the Flawed Logic of just how many people will really care to become “Registered Liberals”. The party has often spoken of the 300,000 supporters who came to the party when the doors were opened to them. One important fact which is often omitted from the discussion however is where these supporters came from. The first ranks of the Supporter class came from expired Liberals. That’s right, tens of thousands of people who no longer cared about being a member of the Liberal party, were suddenly drafted into our ranks as Supporters and in some flawed logic it was believed that they were going to suddenly find their way home to the party. But did they?
During this entire discussion of the proposed Constitution, there has been no discussion of the Flawed Logic on the issue of free memberships. How many supporters converted to paid memberships? How many supporters became donors, which, after all is an important question? In one of the most successful EDA’s in the country, as far as fundraising goes, less then 10% of the Supporters were donors in 2015.
Another of the most popular arguments in favour of the proposed constitution, is the cost of processing a membership. The supporters claim it costs $11.00 for each membership, since we are only charging $10.00 per member we lose $1.00 per member. The Flawed Logic here is that this will not improve under the proposed constitution, in fact it will become worse. The party memberships today are all electronic, long gone are the days of sending out letters in the mail. Therefore, the major cost of managing a membership is based on the costs of managing and maintaining the database of members. This will not change under the proposed document. The party will still have to maintain a list of Registered Liberals. Their registrations will still expire and they will have to be encouraged to renew. So now instead of losing $1.00 for each member the party will lose $11.00 for each member of the expanded Registered Liberals, Anna Gainey, on the National Town Hall phone call estimated the number as high as 7 million, that could put the potential cost as high as $70,000,000 per year with not even a partial recovery.
The most Flawed Logic of all has been the suggestion that the party leadership consulted with the membership through surveys prior to the release of the proposed constitution. Less than 10% of the party membership received a survey to begin with, among that number a significantly smaller number returned the survey. Of those who did receive it the majority could see that there was nothing balanced in the survey, it was created with the purpose of achieving a single result. A long time Liberal member, who happens to have spent his entire professional career with one of Canada’s leading public opinion polling firms was heard to say, “if one of my interns had ever brought me a survey that looked like that, they would have been fired on the spot.”