While boasting about gaining around 15,000 new unpaid members for their party, the Alberta Liberals meanwhile only settle with 3,500 paying members for the party, compared to about 25K for the Wildrosers and 150K for the governing Alberta Tories.
So even if you have nearly 20K memberships taken out in your party, what the hell good is it if over 3/4 of them don't pay any dues?
I get the idea behind free memberships and open voting rights - it's democratic, and Liberals like to show off our democratic side. And it's also a great promotional device, because if you offer free membership, someone is more likely to take one out than if they have to pay $10. It's an easy hook.
But then you have to follow that up, if you know what I mean. You have to set a limit. I'd say 20,000 free members is about enough for the Alberta Liberals. You need to then see if you can get that 20,000 on board as due-paying members to pump up those coffers so you can, you know, get more than 13 nominated candidates.
Anymore than that, and without any major follow-up, and you're just setting yourself up for failure.