Friday, November 17, 2006

One Member, One Vote, Many Questions

I’ll be voting in favour of the Red Ribbon Report but I’m still on the fence about the vote on a new leadership system. The choice will be between the current delegated convention and the Tory system of a weighted one member one vote where every riding gets 100 points. To me, this is far better than a “pure” one member, one vote because it forces leadership candidates to venture beyond Toronto to find support. One great thing about this race is the number of Liberal events which have happened in Alberta and, in particular, rural Alberta. Crowfoot probably hasn’t seen a Liberal MP venture there since Jack Horner sat in the house, but it saw a handful of them this summer. Lethbridge got eight or nine candidates onto local TV to help raise awareness of the party.

Clearly, weighted one member, one vote (or, NAMBLA) would be more democratic than the current system. However, the cost would be the loss of the excitement associated with leadership conventions (“Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul!”). While many see WOMOV as a cure all panacea, it’s also important to remember that WOMOV wouldn’t end the practice of instant Liberals or bulk buying of memberships – if anything it increases them since it’s rarely the instant Liberals who actually go to these conventions as delegates.

On the flip side, the cost to attend a convention is incredibly high so we’re implicitly giving the largest say to those with money under the current system. And the bizarre quota systems at riding levels and club delegates are incredibly complicated, leading to some odd results when you examine the DEMs closely.

Since there won’t be a pro or anti one member one vote hospitality suite to sway me, I think I’m going to simply see how the convention plays out before making my decision. If the leadership convention itself seems to be benefiting the party, I think I’ll vote for the status quo under the assumption that some fine tuning will occur to the current procedure. Besides, I’m working under the assumption that we’re electing a leader for the next decade so there will be plenty of opportunities to alter the system over that time.

10 Comments:

  • Good luck.

    I'm not going to get involved with the convention because this leadership campaign has been very disappointing.

    That said, I would like to hear from you in Montreal.

    Jim

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:18 AM  

  • Props for the NAMBLA comment

    is CGrit jon Stewart?

    Looking forward to seeing you next week dude

    By Blogger Antonio, at 9:19 AM  

  • As a tory, the instant membership has bothered me regardless of the method used to elect the leader. I think the process diminishes the work and commitment to those who diligently renew their membership each year and participate in party functions between elections and leadership races.

    My proposal for the Provincial (Ontario) Tories and for the Federal Tories is that the deadline for membership should be Dec 31 of the year previous.

    That way, if you want to make sure you are eligible to vote, you make sure your card is up to date.

    There could obviously be some leeway for members who hadn't renewed yet, but these instant tories/liberals just mess up the membership list and require hours and hours of work to determine if they are actually going to participate after their candidate is not victorious.

    Membership should have some privilege.

    Q

    By Blogger Q, at 9:27 AM  

  • Wow NAMBLA is the wrong acronym to pick Calgary It has another very controversial meaning and you don't want that spam on your computer.

    By Blogger s.b., at 11:04 AM  

  • Also these votes are happening right at the beginning of the convention Calgary, so there won'ty being any seeing howthings are going. In fact most delegates won't even be there when this vote is cast. This motion was split from the rest of the proposed constitution beczause the young Libs felt it reduced their influence. Unfortunately there will probably be more youth than non youth given the timing and that will probably effect the result. Hopefully delegates realize that this system like any other will not be perfect the first time it is trioed and is a work in progress. The key is to make sure we are moving in the right direction, which would be the 21st century and not the 19th.

    By Blogger s.b., at 11:14 AM  

  • 1M1V is the devil's method of leadership. What's the specifics of the weighted version?

    By Blogger The Hack, at 2:51 PM  

  • You're on the fence?

    A couple of points. First, the choice is not between the current delegated convention system, it's between the WOMOV and the new 20-delegate-per-riding system, which would double the opportunities for youth representation, but do little else.

    WOMOV is better than OMOV for exactly the reasons CG mentions.

    The downsides that you mention are the loss of excitement, and the fact that it doesn't fix other problems it wasn't designed to fix. The upsides are that it is more democratic because it eliminates the huge cost in attending, and it eliminates the bizarre and unpredictable system we have now.

    I have personal experience with both of those problems. I had to fundraise off my blog to be able to attend. And the number of delegates elected in my riding was determined by a random selection, or by the order in which two names appeared alphabetically, I'm not sure which. Had the selection between two tied candidates gone the other way, one more delegate would have been elected.

    So I think the things it is trying to fix are important.

    How, exactly, democracy, equality, and predictability are potentially less important than excitement is not clear to me. No, that's not true. I find it impossible to fathom. Conventions will still be there, they just won't have leadership votes in them. So I hope that you're going to be looking for some way that having a leadership vote at a convention has more advantages for the party than the proposed more-democratic way of doing it.

    If you have any suggestion as to what those advantage might be, I'd appreciate the opportunity to refute them in advance. 'Cause the WOMOV cause could use your help.

    But the fact that you are on the fence about this is illustrative of an important point. People with power are terribly unlikely to voluntarily give it away, even when there is every good reason to do so, and no good reason not to.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 3:49 PM  

  • New post regarding the "global warming" issue. I hope your pop over and give me some thoughts and potential rebutal CG.

    Thxs,

    Bill

    By Blogger WC Macdonell, at 3:57 PM  

  • Guntlet you are incorrect. The 20 delegate system is being proposed for conventions that are not for leadership. Future leadership races are being proposed as one member one vote. It is not either or but both.

    By Blogger s.b., at 5:17 PM  

  • The only reason OMOV for leadership was seperated by the Red Ribbon Commission is because youth had concerns and wanted it voted on seperately. Interestingly enough it says that after the adoption of this constitution this convention is the first convention to be under this constitution. I read it quickly 78 pages and I'm no lawyer or constitutional expert, but that's not possible, given that this convention will not be OMOV or have 20 delegates per riding. That's just a small point but I wonder about the legality of any decision for leader made with two systems in place.

    By Blogger s.b., at 5:22 PM  

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