Monday, May 04, 2009

The Idiocy of weighting OMOV: Part 2

Giving 5 % of the Liberal party supporters the same if not more power than the other 95% is not going to make the Liberals popular in regions where they have never been popular. Saying that by having to appeal to the small group of Crowfoot Liberals, for example, the Liberals will become more acceptable to people of Crowfoot is strange reasoning indeed. I think it is safe to say that Crowfoot Liberals are not represenative. Furthermore, it is going to alienate its base of supporters and that is far bigger issue than branching out into Liberal no man's land. If the Liberals are ever going to match the Conservatives in terms of fund rising, telling, say, the legions of Liberals in Toronto proper ridings that they matter less in a leadership race than Liberals in a province, Alberta, that has never voted Liberal is not going to help. Weighting the vote will also lead to strange calcus when it comes to leadership campaigns. Indeed, why do all the leg work of signing up hundreds of new members in various Toronto ridings to help swing the vote their when signing up a few more members in Crowfoot will accomplish the same?

6 comments:

Castor Rouge said...

Mighty as Liberal Toronto may be, I don't think it and it's two other major urban cohorts even come remotely close to the "95%" of members you claim are disenfranchised by the scant "5%" living in the hundreds of ridings outside those cores. Furthermore it should be noted that not so long ago Alberta sent 2 Liberal MP's to Ottawa, and only since 2006 have we been empty handed there. Your arguement neglects many Liberal held ridings right now (ie: Yukon), and lends weight to those that sign up the most instant members, not those that work tirelessly to elect Liberals in ridings not so easily won as some in the GTA. If rather than two Liberal MP's there were only two Liberals, period, left in the whole of Alberta I'd sooner have their votes counted in a leadership contest of the Liberal Party than all the instant, Volpe-fied Liberals that could be mustered.

Ted said...

"it is going to alienate its base of supporters"How so?

More precisely, how is this weighting any different than what is in place right now and has ALWAYS been in place for the Liberal Party?

The only difference is that members will vote directly within their riding instead of through delegates.

Why try to shrink the party even more like the NDP by letting cities dominate? The history of our ridings, spread out across the country, is part of the strength of the party that makes it a national institution. Why would you want to change history and one of the fundamental aspects of a national party?

Scott Tribe said...

It's a bit late to be posting this, isn't it? The decision is made, Maple.. and made overwhelmingly by those attending the Convention.

Koby said...

"It's a bit late to be posting this, isn't it? The decision is made, Maple.. and made overwhelmingly by those attending the Convention."

Precisely, I am trying to stir up shit Scott --- hence the provocative title. Having talked to a few people at the convention about it I am convinced that many have not given it much thought. It is time they did. I feel the need to play devil's advocate.

"More precisely, how is this weighting any different than what is in place right now and has ALWAYS been in place for the Liberal Party?"

That is one of the problems I have had with the whole process. It is the status quo masquerading as change.

"Furthermore it should be noted that not so long ago Alberta sent 2 Liberal MP's to Ottawa, and only since 2006 have we been empty handed there."

The Liberals were shut out in Alberta in 1962, 1965, 1972, 1974, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1988, 2006, and 2008.

The fact that they won 1 seat in 1963, 4 seats in both 1968 and 1993, 2 in 1997, 2 in 2000 and 2 in 2004 does not amount to much in the greater scheme of things. If memory serves, they were also all Edmonton seats. The notion that Liberals are going to break into rural BC, Alberta and Sask is beyond funny.

"Mighty as Liberal Toronto may be, I don't think it and it's two other major urban cohorts even come remotely close to the "95%" of members you claim are disenfranchised by the scant "5%" living in the hundreds of ridings outside those cores."

That was hyperbole, but do not trip over your own reasoning. Either all a leadership candidate needs is Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto and the current process WOMOV is undemocratic or your concerns about a pure OMOV system are unfounded.

"If rather than two Liberal MP's there were only two Liberals, period, left in the whole of Alberta I'd sooner have their votes counted in a leadership contest of the Liberal Party than all the instant, Volpe-fied Liberals that could be mustered."

I do not not want to make a distinction between REAL Liberals and fake ones. They all pay $20 membership fees. Furthermore, I am inclined to count those Volpe Liberals who forked over a $1000 to attend the 2006 convention as REAL Liberals.

"The history of our ridings, spread out across the country, is part of the strength of the party that makes it a national institution. Why would you want to change history and one of the fundamental aspects of a national party?"

The Liberals have never been a party of rural Canada. This back to the land movement of Igantieff is fake history. The Liberals will win as they alway have by winning the cities and Quebec. They need to do a better job of winning seats in the suburbs of Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal and they need to win seats in Edmonton, and even, dare I say it, Calgary. Democrats have shown the way. They won by obliterating the Republicans in urban centers.

Ted said...

You missed my main point though Koby.

If the Liberals have always had riding-weighted voting in some form that reflects how we actually vote in elections, and we've never had anything else, how could the passing of OMOV "alienate the base"?

Koby said...

OMOV "alienate the base"?

That is a good point. I guess it would not. That said, going forward such a process will make it harder to rally the base.