While our 250,000 members are the base upon which the Conservative Party stands it is the 338 Electoral District Association (EDA) Boards where the real work happens. These up to 30 person Boards are responsible for finding candidates, volunteers, money and running campaigns so that we can elect Conservative Members of Parliament. They must also perform routine administrative functions to comply with Elections Canada and Party policy.
Our strongest Boards tend to be where there are many Conservative voters and Conservative MPs. For them a replenishing supply of Board members, volunteers and donations is easy. In areas where the Conservative Party rarely wins there may be zombie Boards with one or two people bravely keeping them alive. The remaining Boards, usually in swing ridings, tend to be somewhere in between. The size and strength of the boards varies depending on the candidate, the nomination process fallout and Board executive competence.
Regional Organizer and Party Staff Support
Responsibility for supporting our 42 BC Conservative Boards falls on one paid Party Regional Organizer (RO) together with staff from Ottawa including membership, information technology, communications, etc. We need to maximize the efficiency of the RO by providing excellent training materials and organization management tools (eg. group scheduling software). This one time investment would increase the productivity of our ROs across the country.
Better Training for Board Executive Members
Currently there is a booklet explaining how our Boards work and not much else. There should be print and video training materials for all board positions. In addition there should be regular zoom training with new board members from across Canada. There should also be regular collation and dissemination of Best Practices materials.
Enhanced EDA Support
There should be an EDA Board Hub with a range of materials and tools. For example training materials and FAQs for all board positions. Board members should be able to ask questions of Party staff. There should be the ability to share best practices with other EDAs so everyone does not have to reinvent the wheel. It could also be used for storing minutes and financial statements so a permanent record exists.
Option for EDA Websites to be Centralized
Most EDAs would be better served having their webpage on the central CPC website. Events could be handled by cpcevents.ca. Every EDA does not need its own domain name for sites that are rarely visited. This would be optional so that local Boards would have the final say.
Replace Current Two Information Systems with One Integrated System
Currently we have two computer systems (CIMS and Medallion) with weak integration and unfriendly user interfaces. These should be combined into one user friendly integrated system. For example the BC Liberal Party has this at a fraction of the cost and training required to use.
Former Presidents Council
Another asset that the Conservative Party could make use of is the experience and knowledge of former Presidents. These could be made available as a resource to Boards and would relieve some of the pressure on the Regional Organizer.