Saturday, February 16, 2008

Getting Back to our OYL ROOTS

I have been active in attending OYL events for the past 2 years, and I’ve decided it’s time for a change.

After much deliberation I feel that the OYL Roots team is far superior a choice to lead the Young Liberals into the next election. They have the platform, people, and the power to really make a difference in the next year. All the members of their team are dedicated volunteers that have given so much of their time and effort to the OYL and the Liberal party itself.

This group gets the OYL back to their roots, and that doesn't make them an extension of the provincial party as it seemed the OYL has done in the past year. They strike me as a team, they have worked together and their policy doesn't come from the mind of just one person. That is their best asset, their collective experience and know how makes them look like a Lexus compared to the Chevy Cavalier of their opponent.

The Roots are the progressives. They have tried to face an obstinate president. They got Summer Fling in North Bay, and they were responsible for progressive young Liberal policies. The OYL Roots will take us back to the days of a functioning team executive, and they will turn the OYL around.

The OYL Roots also represents a strong voice for women in politics. As a white male, I am really happy to see more young women running for the executive. I am especially happy to see that Mary-Rose Brown, and Joanna Murrell are running for 2 very important executive roles. Gender parity should be a priority of the Liberal party, and the OYL should be the beacon which the Senior Party looks to for direction in closing the gender gap and eliminating the so-called glass ceiling.

OYL Roots is by far the most experienced I’ve seen, with members I have had many dealings with in the past. I was fortunate enough to enter politics with Joanna Murrell on the campaign trail for Dan McTeague in the 2006 Federal Election. Since then she has been a tireless worker for the party. Her endless devotion and work ethic even amazed me during the 2007 provincial election, as well during Gerard Kennedy’s leadership bid. She will make a great Provincial Vice President and ensure a culture of inclusiveness in the provincial wing of the OYL.

Justin Tetreault is another member the executive I have grown to know in the past year. Justin brings a passion for Liberalism to a new level, and his organization of the Northern Region was amazing. Justin has a passion for grassroots democracy and the passion of which he has spoken about this group has directly influenced my own choices.

As a policy person, I could not think of anyone better than Chris Drew to be the Policy chief for the next year. Chris has the passion for policy, as well as the oratory skill to communicate the direction of policy for the OYL in the future. I’ve known Chris since the leadership race, and I have found him to be a consummate professional, as well as an extremely polished public speaker. I feel that Chris will use his management skills to revolutionize and enhance the Policy of the Young Liberals for the next year and return them to their Grassroots activism.

As someone who lives in Central Region, I think it is apt that Jonathan Pinto is running for the Central Regional coordinator, Jonathan runs the biggest club in the Central Region in Peterborough, and he has turned them into a powerhouse in the region, in policy as well as big turnouts at OYL events. Jonathan has the organizational skills to run this region, and he is well known and liked amongst his peers.

It is time for the Youth wing to become independent. My biggest complaint in the past has been that the OYL executive was full of insiders who work at Queens Park, and the Premier has made a great decision in prohibiting executives from working at the park. To me this eliminates any conflict of interest, and puts the OYL firmly in the hands of the OYL, as opposed to being the Premiers Office errand boy. In the past, I was tired of seeing the same Queens Park people organize OYL events and run them like they were some sort of exclusive Politburo. This independence will foster a culture of openness rather than elitism which it has reeked off in the past.

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