I’ve had the pleasure of attending almost every #LPC Biennial and Leadership Convention since 1990, but the Liberal Party of Canada’s Montreal 2014 (#Lib14) Biennial Convention ranks right up there with the best. From the volunteers who put it all together, to the amazing guest speakers, to the tremendous visible growth of the new Liberal movement under the tutelage of Justin Trudeau and his fantastic team, the convention didn’t skip a beat in firing up the troops for the months and years ahead.
While these conventions have many, many great discussions, meetings, debates, and general ‘get-togethers’, we have (as in past years) compiled a list of what we felt were the Top 10 most interesting items, people, happenings and developments.
So… without much further ado… From our ‘home office’ in Climax Saskatchewan, here is our #Lib14 Top 12 List:
10) Best ‘Non-Event’– This HAD to be the Conservative Party’s promise to “create confusion and dissention” in the Liberal ranks. The policy creation process, and the convention itself charged up an invigourated, motivated movement, more ready than ever to do battle with the Harper Conservatives
9) Best Convention “To-Do” List – BC’s own Diamond Isinger compiled a list of the top parties, events, and ‘must attend’ sessions. Thanks Diamond!
8) Best On-Site Food – The Laurier Club’s daily lunches and dinners, were the best on-site food. Saturday’s beef brisket was certainly the highlight. Hey, when you’re starving, been standing for 4hrs straight, even lukewarm pasta is fine, but the Laurier Club definitely took a bit of extra effort to keep attendees fed and entertained (hockey games and live music).
7) Best Workshop – There wasn’t only one. Great stimulating workshops and plenary sessions were hosted by the likes of Chima Nkemdirim, Ryan Adam, Lt. General Andrew Leslie, Lawrence Summers, Katie Telford, Teddy Goff, Rana Sarkar, Bryan Whitaker, Subtej Nijjar, and many, many others.
6) Best T-shirt – Team BC had a great T, but Anna Gainey’s hockey inspired t-shirt captured that hearts of more than just Habs fans.
5) Best Quote – Justin Trudeau: “Anyone who puts Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau in Senate should be careful about choosing judgement as a campaign issue”, followed closely by (also Justin Trudeau): “Let them focus on me. We will focus on Canadians”.
4) Best Moment of the Convention – That moment just after the Leader’s speech when everyone in the crowd (including the Nation’s media) knew he had delivered a barn-burner of a speech, which set the stage for the next many months leading to Election2015. At that moment our next PM had defined the Prime Minister and his party, fired up the troops, and clearly identified the Liberal party as the only alternative to 4 more years of bad Conservative government.
3) Best Hospitality – As a ‘homer’, I have to say it was a tie between Sask’s hugely attended shindig on Saturday Night, and the BC Party on Thursday.
2) Best Celebration – The YLC’s (Young Liberals of Canada) power-party at the Corona Theatre/Nightclub had the energy and ‘longevity’ that only the YLC can bring. A close second was the Welcome party at Metropolis Nightclub (another beautiful old converted theatre).
1) Best speech – Without a doubt Justin Trudeau’s tour de force was the highlight of the convention. Canada’s next Prime Minister pointed out the values of the Liberal Party, dilineated the party from the Conservatives, but most importantly, extended a hand to Conservative ‘swing voters’. He artfully explained how, even if Conservatives did not agree with some Liberal positions, with the Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau Canadians will get a government built for the people – not one (like the Harper Conservatives) which is only built for a Leader. He welcomed any Conservatives who felt they were being “tossed under the bus”.
Overall, a great weekend, and a great start to Campaign 2015!