If there is one thing consistent among conservatives in Canada, it is the way they choose their leaders. There were seven candidates for leader in the latest round in Alberta. And once again, the conservatives got the worst possible result from six rounds of preferential voting.
There is a little solace for Jason Kenney in this. He, at least, got 51 per cent support from the conservatives in Alberta. Danielle Smith was the choice of losers.
You have to admit that in the last federal conservative run-off, Pierre Poilievre brought in his own crazies and won on the first ballot. Frankly, Poilievre is hardly worth the price of membership in the conservative party. The other problem is that few of those temporary members will stick long with a party that is mired in dogma dedicated to a losing past.
But the problem in Alberta is preferential voting. Preferential voting is based on the voters, instead of marking an “X” beside their choice, they put the number “1.” They are then asked to number the other candidates so as to indicate their preference.
What is wrong with preferential voting is the backward objective of artificially giving approval to a candidate who was not the first choice of the voter. When a candidate comes last on the first ballot, their name is taken out of the list of eligible candidates. What, in effect, happens is that the second choice of the removed candidate’s ballots are then counted in a second round and a new winner is chosen. Again, if the winner does not have 50 per cent or more of the vote, the second loser’s vote is distributed to the remaining candidates. This process continues until a candidate has 50 per cent or more of the votes. In effect, it can be the voters who chose the losers, who ultimately choose the winner.
What concerns me the most in the Alberta vote was that the winner was not selected until the sixth round of voting. It means that the final votes that put Ms. Smith over the top were the number 6 votes of a field of seven candidates. If I were voting in preferential contest between seven candidates, I would leave the number 6 and 7 slot for the candidates I wanted the least to win.
Between Ms. Smith’s screwball ideas of Alberta’s importance in Confederation and her plans to assert that importance, I wish my friends in Alberta lots of luck.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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