Age, sex and the loss of democracy.

There was an argument started the other day when Babel-on-the-Bay took exception to the ridiculous and undemocratic voting system devised to choose delegates for the upcoming Ontario Liberal leadership convention. The system is seriously flawed. It presents a false portrait of the Ontario Liberal Party to the news media and through them to the voters of Ontario.

It is a travesty to show the party as one-third young people (25 years or less) and 50 per cent female. To attempt to force that perception for every electoral district in the province is a lie and a deception on the part of the party hierarchy.

There are far too many electoral districts in Ontario where the local provincial party consists of 10 to 12 people who meet every month or so to talk politics. Conservative, Liberal or NDP, they are all about the same. The fringe parties are just smaller numbers and can meet at the local Tim’s over coffee. And yes, the numbers are much higher for the party with the elected Member of the Legislature—everybody likes a winner.

But behind these small groups, there are another 20 to 100 party members and financial supporters. There are also 200 or more people they have on their computer lists who provide sign locations, support for fund raising activities and can become temporary party members for those occasions such as when there is an election of delegates. By choosing who to sign up, the core group can control the entire process.

It is even easier to control the process for internal party matters when there are large numbers of a single ethnic group living in an electoral district. In Toronto, some ridings could go from a few hundred members to many thousands, practically overnight. It is knowing the who and the why of these ethnic conclaves that can determine that riding’s results. This is why MPP Harinder Takhar, produced so many delegates from those ridings with large numbers of people from the Indian Sub-Continent. It is also why we should have warned Charles Sousa that his Portuguese community sign-ups are notorious for not showing up to vote.

And have you ever heard of a contest for anything where you have no idea, until you see a ballot, who you are running against? Have you ever heard of an election where people running to support a candidate are lumped in with another group at the last moment? Have you ever heard of an election for anything where the news media are given the figures before the people running to be elected are told anything?


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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