Our political parties fail democracy.

The party members have no one to blame but themselves. They have let the top-down party system run their parties since the Chrétien era. It was the simple change that required the party leader to sign off on the party’s candidates. It gave the party leader total control of the party. Nobody can run as a party candidate without the approval of a faceless committee—working for the leader.

In the liberal party, it is called a ‘green-light committee.’ The committee decides by its own standards (and on direction of the party leader’s minions) who will or will not be a candidate for the party. They try to keep the committee anonymous. With the potential for lawsuits, that is not a bad idea.

But when it is your riding that has no candidate this late with the election looming, you start to have dark thoughts about that committee. Maybe no as angry as the Quebec liberal riding executive in Vimy, who just lost their sitting member because it appears she was not meeting the standards of the green-light committee.

But there were also some angry liberals in my riding of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte early Monday morning, when they got automated calls from the liberal party headquarters in Ottawa cancelling their nomination meeting scheduled for that evening.

It was not as though we were left without a candidate. The reason for the cancellation was that they had cancelled the green-light for one of our two possible candidates. Of, course, no reason was given, or questions answered. It was just that we did not need as large a hall for an acclamation event. It felt like we were being told “Here’s the candidate, we approved for you.” Like it or lump it!

We Canadians tell the rest of the world that it is great to live in a democracy. We should practice what we preach.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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