Friday, October 31, 2008

Leadership Convention has to be held Before May

There is a lot of talk of turning the Liberal policy convention into a leadership convention. This is a terrible idea. The problems with the Liberal party go far beyond leadership and the party can ill afford to delay a policy convention or turn it into a complete afterthought. That said, if the policy convention is to be held at the beginning of May and mean something, the Liberal leadership contest has to be held even earlier. Now there are some who claim that the party can ill-afford to have the leadership convention in March or April. However, the longer the leadership contest goes the more money it will cost the party in terms of lost donations and the longer the party will remain adrift. The added bonus is that by having the leadership and policy conventions a month or so apart the Liberals should be able to dominate the political agenda. The economic downturn will tie Harper’s hands.


The Moderate Maverick said...

I agree 100%. The last leadership convention lasted nearly a year, and now this one can only last five months or less? I think the May convention should just remain as a policy convention, and the leadership vote, preferably a one member one vote system, be held later next year somewhere in Toronto.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I see no reason why we can't do both at once and I'd prefer to be in leadership transition for as short a period as realistically possible.

Although I do agree with you in that I hope that someone moves to have us change over to some sort of STV system for future contests.

burlivespipe said...

one main problem with this theory is that many of the people who'd attend the first convention were also expected to go to the second. I don't know about you, but my ability to pay for one is lean at this time, nevermind the endless requests for donations elsewhere. To have to choose between one convention or another, well in many ways I'd feel disenfranchised, and believe others would too.
One member, one vote is something we need, but unfortunately we're stuck with the old rules. I don't see any way of having this or satellite conventions, which would make economical sense and provide many members with a chance to be heard.

Yappa said...

I agree that a leadership convention prior to the May convention is the way to go. And it should not be a "physical" convention but a virtual one, preferably with one member one vote.

Some argue that changing the terms of the convention is unconstitutional, but our constitution leaves the form and location of the convention open to interpretation. It may not be necessary for all attendees/delegates to be in the same hall.

Artcile 64 (3) states that the National Executive may call an extraordinary convention of the party at any time. This could be at a "distributed" site - there is no requirement stating that the convention must be under one roof, or even at the same place.

Article 67 (1) says that the national executive may make any bylaw... to regulate the procedures of delegate selection. Could we define ALL members as delegates and conduct all votes at the local level?

As Rich Clausi says, we need to be creative. There were rules against running on the decks of the Titanic too. See Petition to avoid a delegate convention.