When the Ontario Liberals last met in conclave in Hamilton this year, the attendees were told that the upcoming leadership vote would be one-member-one vote. No doubt many of us were delighted with that. I was not there for the announcement. As a senior, I could scrape together the $250 registration fee but at least $500 in meals and hotel in Hamilton was out of the question. It was not in the budget when facing food inflation at its most virulent stage.
But the executive of the liberal party broke their word. I only found out earlier this week that these dummies are artificially weighting the electoral districts. It is the same as the stupid conservatives. They give every riding a weight of 100. If your riding has more than 100 voters, you become a percentage with your vote. If your riding has less than 100 voters, then you are counted as one.
What they are doing is penalizing ridings that keep their membership up and adding legitimacy to the ridings that do little. If those Ontario liberals had paid attention to the last three leadership races of the federal conservatives, they might have had an inkling that there was something wrong with the procedure. Combined with a ranked ballot, it is a system guaranteed to produce a leader who can only be described as the lowest common denominator. In their last go-around, they probably dumped Patrick Brown from the race for fear that he might keep Pierre Poilievre from winning on the first ballot.
What I really cannot understand is why people who are supposedly supporting democracy can then accept the ballot counts reported by some computer nerds? Have you ever seen the actual results, by the numbers, of ranked ballots? The truth is that not everybody ranks any or all of the possibilities. Nor do many people study all of the possibilities and do an honest ranking?
A ranked ballot is a strange animal. The least contentious ranked ballots are when there are six or fewer candidates. These are easy to rank and usually take less time to count. You tend to trust the count. Try a ranked ballot with 20 candidates some time and follow the bouncing ball—because where it lands is anybody’s guess.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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