Saturday, April 04, 2009

One Member One Vote Gets Sidetracked

The unstoppable train that was One-Member-One-Vote has apparently stalled. Yes, the only thing of any great import to be decided at the Liberal Convention in Vancouver is apparently running into roadblocks. Jeff's got a good summary of the facts. I've always been of two minds about changing the way we elect a leader (or used to before Czar Michael the Grit... I'm not at all bitter). I like the idea of increasing the democracy involved and removing the financial requirements to voting. However, nothing compares to the theatre of a delegated convention and politics is, if nothing else, theatre. I think there is a value of having a show to introduce your new leader. It doesn't always work in terms of future electoral success (see M. Dion), but it does make things more interesting for Canadians. Thus, as I say I'm of two minds.

It is amusing to see the one-member-one-voter system falling victim to the reality of Liberal Party politics. The Young Liberals of Canada voting to propose an amendment to the constitutional amendment (does anyone else's head hurt) to maintain the electoral power of the Youth Wing is the first glancing blow. Jeff is right to say that this is opening up a can of worms. However, why wouldn't the YLC want to maintain their influence? OMOV already deprives youth of the ability to vote twice by restricting voting to riding associations and cutting university clubs from the process. The youth wing who is arguably most disadvantaged by OMOV was unlikely to let this go without a fight. There have to be questions as to how persuasive the YLC can be in getting their membership to support their own amendment to the amendment, but the youth's ability to vote at a convention should not be underestimated. I wonder how many other amendments will be attached to this thing by the time it gets to the floor. It is always easier to criticize an existing framework than it is to create a new one. The internal interest groups within the Liberal Party will want to make sure that they can benefit from the new system or at least not lose any influence. We will see if OMOV can get through before it becomes a distorted monster of a voting system. I have to believe a gender equity amendment will come along sooner or later. Let the games begin!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The deadline for constitutional amendments has passed. If a gender equity amendment to OMOV hasn't been approved by some executive yet it won't be there.

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