Sunday, January 15, 2012

Liberal President Priorities

On Saturday a respectable 1744 Liberal members voted on the most important change to the Liberal Party in years, perhaps ever, opening up the party to non-members and completely revolutionizing how Canadian political parties operate. Today Sunday more than 2500 will have cast a ballot for party president, an office that has less significance in Canadian politics than a pro-choice Conservative backbencher.

Why the disproportionate amount of Liberal interest in party president and so little in substantive and fundamental change to the Liberal Party itself? Simple, the 800 or more difference of delegates who voted for President didn't care about the Party.

Of course the vote for President hasn't been tallied yet and I could be wrong, but I bet I'm not. Besides the constant anecdotal reports from the Convention about long lines for delegates to cast a ballot for President, the fact remains that this Convention is in Ontario and the two prominent candidates call that province home with many supporters that wouldn't have to drive far. These supporters would easily be given delegate status, the Party has filled many delegate spots from ridings that didn't send a full contingent.

So after weeks of campaigning about putting the party first, today one of the five candidates for Liberal President will win, ironically for signing up members who put the party last.

UPDATE: Though no hard numbers have been released, a candidate who lost stated on Liberal Live that 97% of all the 3276 delegates voted in the election of the Party Executive. 97% voted for an office that doesn't mean much and only 54.5% voted on constitutional amendments that dramatically changed our party, changed  how Canadians view our party and perhaps changed how other parties operate.

Liberals have a lot to be proud of this week, but having almost half of the delegates only there to vote for President and to ignore the party is not one of them.


Jack the Stripper said...

I have the same view point, but it's probably a transition time and the real values will only be seen few years down the road. This "opening" may work much better for the destruction of the Party than a gathering of values.

A Eliz. said...

Perhaps Bob Rae is trying, (with Apps) to get rid of the party themselves! said...

I don't think the intent was to hurt the party, but the consequences of party officials only caring about being elected is clear, it's superficial and not substantive.

The Party can take pride in 3276 delegates attending but there were in reality only 1800 real delegates. We have to recognize that if we hope to improve it.