Simply put, we are your politically-engaged neighbours here in the City of Kingston and the Frontenac Islands who belong to the local Liberal riding association.
Riding associations (officially referred to in the Canada Elections Act as electoral district associations) are the fundamental building blocks of Canadian political parties. If you are a member of the Liberal Party of Canada and your place of ordinary residence is within the electoral boundaries of Kingston and the Islands, then you are automatically a member of the Kingston and the Islands Federal Liberal Association.
Choosing to join a political party is an important form of public service, one that protects and preserves our democracy. It sets you apart, since only 16% of Canadians have ever chosen to belong to a political party at any point in their lives, and only between 1% and 2% currently hold such memberships.
A political party is, by definition, an organization of people sharing certain political values and objectives that aims to get candidates elected in order to further those objectives. The Liberal Party is a party whose vision is grounded in social justice and equality. We value and respect the wide variety of opinions and perspectives among our national membership but share the common objective of progressive, evidence-based public policies that benefit all Canadians.
Membership in the Liberal Party of Canada costs $10 per year and provides you with a say and an influence in the direction and leadership of the governing party in 24 of the 40 Parliaments since Confederation. As a member, you will have the right and the opportunity to:
- Seek the nomination to run as the Liberal candidate in any federal election in which a sitting Liberal MP is not standing for re-election;
- Vote for the candidate of your choice in any such nomination meeting;
- Stand for selection as a voting delegate to any Liberal convention, province-wide annual general meeting or policy rally; and vote for the delegates of your choice;
- Stand for election to our riding association Executive; and vote for those seeking an Executive position (see the list of positions and current incumbents);
- Propose policies for adoption by the Liberal Party, collaborate with your fellow members on the refinement of those proposals and vote on which will be forwarded to conventions and policy rallies;
- Debate current issues and possible solutions with your fellow Liberals from across Canada; and
- Participate in and be kept informed on upcoming events and activities.
Those rights and opportunities come with the expectation that you will do your part in advancing our shared objectives. We are all unpaid volunteers who donate our time and money to the Liberal cause because we believe that a Liberal-led government represents the best and more realistic hope for a fair, prosperous and sustainable future for ourselves, our families, our community and our nation. Our members vary widely in the constraints on their time, health and financial, as well as the competing interests and obligations among which they must divide their available time. Some are active all year round while others pitch in mainly during election campaigns.
Members contribute in various ways, including:
- Volunteering during election campaigns (available tasks include door-to-door canvassing, telephone canvassing, delivering elections signs, staffing the campaign office, driving voters to the polls, communications, election scrutineers, fundraising and organizing events);
- Volunteering between campaigns (most of the same roles, but on a less intense basis);
- Donating much-needed money to the riding association and the national campaign (the net cost to you of a standard $10 monthly donation is only $30 per year after the federal political contribution tax credit);
- Serving on the riding association Executive and on various teams and committees;
- Serving as the Liberal liaison with one of the many professional, cultural, ethnic or other communities in Kingston and the Islands;
- Identifying and recruiting Liberal voters from among your friends, neighbours, colleagues and family members, and cajoling each and every one of them to get out and vote in the next election (if each of our members recruited ten such people, that alone would ensure that our community stays Liberal in the next election).
We recognize that some members of our community are prohibited by the terms of their employment from taking out formal memberships in political parties. If you are in that position, you can still be Liberals in spirit, attend all our events and contribute in any or all of the above ways.