Friday, June 10, 2011

CPC Convention - No to youth wing :)

Another issue that never seems to go away is the creation of a party youth wing.

Back in the Reform Party days, there were mumblings about creating one, as they had a national youth director, so why not an excecutive and organization?

The party being basically a grassroots organization, had a distaste for top-down style governance.  Those of us who were heavily involved in Reform campus clubs, especially out West, were vehemently against this concept.  Why?  Simply because we were already organized at various universities and colleges.  While we appreciated the support and advice of the national youth director (a.k.a. Kory Tenycke), we also got lots of support from the local constituency associations, especially in Edmonton-Strathcona.  And the MPs were very supportive, never turning us down to come and speak at our special events and meetings.

But another point against a youth wing, and this, to me, is the #1 reason.  Now, some may say, "Hey, it's good to have youth involved in politics."  Sure!  But consider, if you will, what is deemed as "youth" at the party level.  If you're 29, guess what, you're a youth!  Ah, don't you feel young again?

We always felt that having any wings merely subjecated those groups into their own little sandbox.  If you wanted to be heard and wanted to change policy, you simply got involved at the riding level, heck start a movement within the party, propose policy, go to convention and get it voted on and passed.  If you're under 30 and wanted to get involved in the party, well, get involved!  Run for a position, or heck, even MP.

I think these youth wings are a way for the main party to push aside the youth, not have them get more involved.  Not having a youth wing, a women's wing, a chicken wing, or what have you, actually is more equal, and what is the actual reality of our current democracy.

I remember at the 2002 Canadian Alliance convention in Edmonton, where my friend, Jamie Tronnes, who was president of the campus club, continued our legacy club's policy of "No Youth Wing" and campaigned hard against one, handing out flyers, speaking against it, and giving it her all.  In fact, 6 years before that, we elder statemen, enshrined into our Reform Club constitution that we were against a youth wing.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that same structure and core belief remains in the U of A Conservative Club constitution to this day.

And I'm very glad at this convention, to see that it got defeated once again.


Anonymous said...

I agree.No to youth wings or any other type of wings.People can organize, get involved,and debate issues.I just dont see a real need for "youth" wings as it pertains to political movements.

What was i doing at 20 years old?I was chasing skirts ,drinking booze ,partying and generally being irresponsible.So yeah no to youth wings, LOL!

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. The last thing we conservatives need is to shunt the "youth" off into another room. We are one team. They belong in the huddle.