Friday, June 10, 2011

How Should Leaders Be Chosen At Conventions?

Today's poll question; what system should be used to elect political leaders at leadership conventions? When the Conservatives replace Stephen Harper 10-20 years from now; should it be one member one vote, or should all ridings be weighted equally? This is currently being debated at the Conservative convention, with equal weighting for each riding association currently being the status quo negotiated when the PC and Alliance parties merged in 2003. There have been 3 attempts before to change the system, all of which have failed. The "all ridings created equal" system elected Stephen Harper as leader of the party in 2004.

There are pros and cons to both. Each riding has equal weight when we elect governments, and having such a system at the party level provides more regional diversity. However if delegate A is from a riding with only 100 members because it is not a strong Conservative riding and delegate B is from a riding with 10,000 members, then A's vote is worth 100 times more than B's. That hardly seems fair. I like elements of both systems and think there should be a compromise somewhere in the middle. Maybe we could have an "electoral college" with each province having a set number of votes?

The BC Liberal Party had equal weightings for all ridings in their recent leadership race, and it ended up electing the most left wing leadership candidate Christy Clark (which will prove disastrous for the party), with Christy carrying a large advantage in NDP held ridings.


  1. I'm still a one member/one vote supporter until I can be convinced otherwise.

    For example, I believe Conservatives are rational and wouldn't be regionally partisan with their vote with the exception of a few. My personal preference in "10-20 years" is not a person in my province or region.

    The alternative may stack the deck and I do believe there are regions that WOULD be partisan.


  2. Yes, but we do have a special situation with a merged party. The Alliance/Reform had numbers but an image of intolerance and extremism. I was a Reform supporter so it's not like I believe that was true but it was the impression the press put forward. The Progressive Conservatives were weak and floundering but they had something we needed and that was national respectability. We traded our numbers for respectability and it was a good trade, it brought both of us a majority. While it is certainly more democratic to go one man one vote this compromise is working and I think it is too soon to mess with it. Wait a generation, wait until new members don't see themselves as PCs or Reformers but as Conservatives. Then let' talk about OMOV.

  3. I think it rather foolish that just when a party achieves it's first majority, individuals want to raise issues that traditionally have been divisive.
    After some period of solid governing any party may want to visit it's internal arrangement. But, why raise anything of that nature now?
    Immediately following a nail biting victory is the time for hard work and tough organizing in order to continue to build a base.
    We need a great deal of effort and time to build some maturity and experience in our ranks.
    Build up the base now, tinker tomorrow!

  4. well i don't wanna see a rite wing split anymore so I really don't care how we elect our leaders I will agree on the status quoe or what ever scott reid wants. just as long as the rite stays united.