Monday, May 04, 2009

The Idiocy of weighting OMOV

Save for the passing of WOMOV, the Seinfeld convention lived up to its name. Not much of substance was said or accomplished. Still it was a lot of fun.

As for WOMOV, I am a strong backer of OMOV. However I hate the weighted portion. The hinterlands are already grossly over represented in the House of Commons and Canada's major cities in particular get screwed. The Liberals apparently decided that a mountain of salt needed to be poured on this wound. It is grossly undemocratic to give, for example, Crow Foot Liberals the same voting clout as Vaughn Liberals, but alas when it comes to the party base reward your detractors and punish your supporters is the Liberal way. In the upside down world of Liberal insider politics, Alberta Liberals have more clout than Liberals in Toronto proper. Ignatieff must be starting to believe his own rhetoric about rural Canada.


Anonymous said...

I think the WOMOV is a good way to connect to 308 ridings, each with one MP. The leader should be trying to represent all 308 ridings and not just those which are easy Liberal wins, with lots of Liberal members already signed up. The party should reward ridings with large numbers of members in other ways, but select a leader who is capable of appealing to voters in all 308 ridings.

Ted said...

"The hinterlands are already grossly represented in the House of Commons and Canada's major cities in particular get screwed."I think that is the whole point behind WOMOV. If you want to be a national party, you have to reflect the different regions. To do this genuinely, you have to do it in the same way that the different regions across the country elect our government.

That the hinterlands and small provinces are grossly over-represented in Parliament is a fact that we cannot change right now. Instead, we have to deal with that and grow the party in such a way as to reflect that reality.

We need strong party organizations in each riding because ridings elect MPs which determine government. If we went with the NDP formula of a straight-up OMOV, we would only be further dominated by cities as a party and that much less likely to break out across the country.

Put another way, the country elects its government based on a weighted One Voter One Vote democracy - as does the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand - and we greatly strengthen our ability to form government by structuring our party voting system to mirror the nation's electoral system; conversely, we weaken our ability to reach out across the country and to form government by choosing an electoral system at odds with the national electoral system.

Castor Rouge said...

Coming from a rural riding with an active Liberal assoc. and a pretty healthy membership I could not disagree with your assessment more. The fact is even a strong Liberal rural group like mine could never compete against urban centers where leadership candidates can canvass broad numbers in a small area and it is far easier to sign up vast swathes of "instant Liberals". Realistically, without the weighted vote, a leadership candidate could theoretically sign up enough people to win in Canada's three most major cities without receiving much if any support beyond them. A leader that can't convince Liberals from a majority of ridings across Canada to vote for them is going to have no hope with the general electorate spread across the same ridings, because in the end no matter how many votes you win by in Toronto or Montreal, you don't get to be Prime Minister and form the government if you can't branch out.

Koby said...

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. 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 ridings that they matter less to the party than Liberals in province that has never voted Liberal is not going to help.

Ted said...

I don't buy that at all Koby.

In the pre-OMOV, you had the same riding bias, it was just delegated. A Toronto riding never had more say than a rural riding. The only difference is that now you vote directly instead of through delegates.

Also, the WOMOV forces the party and any leadership candidate to reach out to more and newer members, so the base expands instead of getting frozen, like with the NDP.