All you need is $1000 and Liberal Green Light.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is telling us that the party now has open nominations. You really hate to be a killjoy but the party still has a long way to go to have truly open nominations. The process is about as open as a bank vault at midnight. Becoming a federal Liberal Party candidate today can only be described as expensive, intrusive, demanding, demeaning, and by no stretch of the imagination is it democratic.

And the fact that the Conservative Party is just as undemocratic does not excuse it.

The New Democratic Party would laugh at the Conservative and Liberal methods of choosing candidates but that party has its own problems finding candidates for all 338 electoral districts next year.

But the truth is folks, the current Green Light approval process to become a Liberal Party candidate is not just bad, it is vile. It is a poke in the eye to our democracy. It is a start on a downhill slide to totalitarianism. It is hard to believe there are any political science academics in this country that are not aghast at where this degree of control by the major political parties is leading us?

Liberal hopefuls start with the outrage of paying their party $1000 to consider their possible candidacy for a party nomination. This is not a repayable bond. The party keeps the money whether you win the candidate spot or not. A hundred or so dollars earnest money is one thing; a $1000 from your pocket that you need to spend on communications in a contest to become the riding candidate is simply not justified.

And we hear from potential candidates that the entire Liberal Green Light process is currently taking as much as two and three months. If Stephen Harper dropped the writ tomorrow there would be a lot of Liberal candidates caught with their skivvies around their ankles waiting for the Liberal Party proctologists to check out their bona fides.

And this is not even discussing the forms you have to fill out, the information you have to supply, the questions that you are asked, the promises you are expected to give and the overall insult to your intelligence that is involved.

What is more worrying than the people who struggle through the process out of their sense of duty and desire to make a contribution are the people who look at it all and say: “Screw it!” We must be losing many interesting candidates. Some might have mattered.

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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