The Ontario liberals are going to be planning a leadership contest in the next while. Liberalism is at a crossroads in the province. I think there is the talent available and I think there are those with the desire to be that leader. What the party needs to do is open the door as wide as possible to make it a truly democratic and fair event.
Start with what the event is not. It is not about who can sign up the most temporary liberals to vote for a candidate. It is not about who is the choice of the party’s former leadership. Leadership is about ideas, challenges, generating excitement and enthusiasm. Leadership is looking behind you and seeing that people are standing with you, believing in you and the direction you see into the future.
Leadership in liberalism requires a progressive person. You can hardly be a progressive and think in terms of a delegated convention. Liberalism is one person, one vote. Preferential voting is anathema to liberalism. It is working your way down to the least.
But it costs money to run a convention and each and every one of us who wants to have a vote that counts at the convention is going to have to contribute to the cost. I would suggest to you that the fairest contribution would be for every liberal-minded person to kick in $25 to cover expenses. And that includes the candidates. Candidates should not be forced to dig any deeper than the rest of us.
Of course, candidates need to be vetted. That should be an open process. It is not something that goes on behind closed doors. If there is something a candidate does not want people to know about him or her, then do not be a candidate for leader.
And candidates need to meet the party in all parts of the province. Local associations would be expected to organize and advertise meetings in their area. This would be an excellent time to get the $25 contributions from as many as possible.
While the people attending the event when the counting will be announced might have to look forward to a long day, I am sure the experience will be worth it.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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