Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Conservative Implosion Watch

The rift between the old sides of the current Conservative Party of Canada - the old Progressive Conservatives and old Reformer/Alliance members - is starting to turn into an increasingly large wedge issue, one that, quite frankly, they don't need.

If you're unaware of said wedge issue, it surrounds the allocation of convention and leadership race delegates across the country for the Conservatives. The current practice is that all 308 ridings across the country each retain the same weight - so, you'd have, for example, 10 voting delegates from Crowfoot, and 10 voting delegates from Laurier-Sainte-Marie. This system was born as a compromise agreement between PCers and Alliance members, because of the former's fears that there their strength in relatively low-member and low-population ridings wouldn't count for much against the much more actively involved and populated Alliance members, thereby allowing the Alliance to essentially override the PCs and letting that whole merger thing become pure annexation.

Old Alliance members these days are seeing fit to attempt and change that system to a "one-member-one-vote" system, so that riding delegates are proportional to the number of members, giving the old Reformers a clear shot for absolute control, especially over leadership selection. They've attempted to do it twice before, but both times they were shut down relatively quickly.

This time, however, it's different. With their majority in hand, I'm guessing the Reformers are feeling pretty well vindicated these days, and now have new life breathed into their cause. Add on to that the fact that there is a relatively good chance Harper may not run for a second term, given that he'll have been in power for nine years, and that some of the MPs seemingly waiting in the wings, like Jason Kenney, are supporting this motion... well, let's just say that there's probably more to this than just the "principle of the thing."

Keep an eye on how this vote goes; MacKay and the old PCers are lining themselves up (including this extremely bizarre letter from MacKay to party members), as are the OMOV folks - they even have a website. Depending how the cards fall, we could see some Chretien/Martin style battles soon enough.

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