Monday, November 06, 2006

MY LACK OF APPRECIATION FOR DELEGATED CONVENTIONS

Liberal MP David McGuinty is advocating for his party to switch to a one-member-one-vote leadership selection process.

"In the 21st century, most people don't need an interlocutor or a representative to take their franchise to the floor of the convention, at a time when you can do your banking in less than 45 seconds online, people are regularly canvassed for their individual views, at a time when there's a stronger sense of individualism in society, when people can make up their own minds and want the opportunity to be directly engaged in the choice,"
I have to agree.

While a delegated convention provides a lot of excitement (for political hacks, at least) it is not particularly democratic.

Further, the new party financing laws, designed to level the political playing field, ironically make it more difficult for average people to attend the liberal convention, making the meeting even less democratic.
"It's very difficult for the average citizen to take $2,000 to $3,000 of after-tax dollars to come and participate in the democratic process. It's now becoming prohibitive for many average Canadians. This isn't right, that's why the one-member-one-vote system will help overcome this difficulty,"
On that note, this Wells post, reading off the The Star, indicates that a significant number of Dion delegates might not attend the convention.

This seems bizarre to me. Why would someone run as a delegate knowing one was unlikely to attend the convention? Isn't that the whole point? Secondly, why would members elect a delegate who would be unlikely to attend the convention, thereby totally negating their voice in the leadership selection? I don't know how the delegate selection process went, but if I were a voting member I would have made sure that the person I was electing actually had the means and intent to attend the convention.

Unless this situation is the result of some bizarre Liberal party machinations. For example: perhaps in a particular riding there weren't enough Iggy supporters to actually elect an Iggy delegate, so instead Iggy's supporters and others rallied behind a Dion delegate who they knew was unlikely to attend the convention instead of a rival Dion or Rae delegate who was much more likely to attend, thereby not gaining a supportive delegate but effectively eliminating a rival delegate. Is such a thing possible or am I purely speculating? I wouldn't put it past the Liberal Party.

Posted by Matthew @ 11:54 AM