Democracy costs $500?

For the past 60 years, we have watched Canadian politics spiral into a quagmire of failed ideologies and failed leadership. We continue the pattern by choosing leaders by old methods that are easily corrupted, that fail the voting public and fail our political parties. The planned contest for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party is an example of the problem.

Scheduled for March 6 and 7, 2020, the provincial liberal hierarchy is running an outmoded delegated convention in Toronto. It is a convention to supposedly decide on a new leader. In some electoral districts, massive signing of ethnic groups will take votes away from local liberals and send controlled delegates to an easily rigged convention.

Costs to delegates at the convention (if they pay by February 21) is $499 and just $249 for seniors and youths. You may rest assured that any and all deficits that the party still faces from the last election will be covered by these punitive fees.

Once the delegates, who can afford it, get to the convention, they will find it is not their event. It is the party elite of past and present—MPs, MPPs and party officials—who control the convention. At the last convention, that chose Kathleen Wynne, the question was already locked in as fellow candidate Glen Murray had passed all his delegates to her when it was too late to change the delegate voting ballots. Wynne went into that convention in just second place but it was the losers who chose her. They were the third and fourth place candidates who took their voters with them to support Wynne. It reinforced the idea that the losers are the choosers.

Some political parties have tried to overcome this problem by using preferential voting. This is where the voter is asked to number all the candidates in order of preference on the first (and only) ballot. That was the way the federal conservatives voted for their last leader. And look what they got!

The liberals will only have democracy in their party when all members can vote. And continue to vote until one candidate has a majority. Democracy should not cost $500 per voter.


Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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