Not knowing liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter, she has already earned my support for mayor of Toronto. Mitzie is planning to be in Hamilton for the liberal party annual convention on the weekend, promoting the “one-member, one-vote” change in the party’s constitution. Having been one of the insiders who used to take part in running delegated conventions, I can certainly attest to the unfairness and undemocratic nature of those events.
I am not apologizing for my participation, because, at the time, we had no alternative method to select party leaders. To keep things lively for the news media, we did not consider mail-in ballots. Besides, we needed the publicity and the money those conventions raised for the party. It was the advent of the internet and its wide-spread availability in Ontario that provides a fast and effective way to let every member of the party have a vote.
And as Mitzie wrote for the news media “the one member, one-vote system is not only more democratic but ultimately leads to a stronger party organization.”
But the party delegates at this convention need to be wary of attempts to weight the vote or to rank their ballots. Both of these allow for easy manipulation of the vote. For true one-member, one-vote to work, stick to your guns.
You should remember that preferential ballots and riding weighting were the undoing of the federal conservatives when they chose Andrew Scheer and then Erin O’Toole as their party leaders.
First of all, preferential voting, with a strong field, tends to count down to the least aggressive candidates. Party leaders need to be aggressive.
And weighting ridings is about the dumbest idea in a democratic vote imaginable. Nobody in politics really believes that all electoral districts are equal. Weighting means that the choices of the stronger ridings are diluted with the opinions of weak ridings. In politics, always go with your strengths. Go Mitzie!
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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