Friday, January 6, 2012

And so the Primaries Idea Goes Out With a Whimper

That makes me sad. I was looking forward to voting in the primaries-style system that was proposed before. Is is so wrong to move towards a system that, yes, is driven a lot by media attention, but is utterly more interesting than the races we have up here? There's a reason why time and time again, primaries in the United States among both Democrats and Republicans help winnow down the field, toss out those with no chance, and do select qualified candidates for the nomination. (And yes, I even include George W. in this group.)

It was interesting and I liked it. But, c'est la vie.

What's replaced it is something spuriously similar to what the Conservatives currently use. Allow me to copypasta it here:
for each electoral district, the first preference votes recorded in favour of leadership contestants on the ballots cast by the supporters of the Party who live in that electoral district are counted and then the 100 points allocated to the electoral district are allocated to each leadership contestant on the basis of the ratio the number of the first preference votes received by that leadership contestant bears to the total number of votes counted;
Not only is it similar, it is, in fact, the same thing the Conservatives use, with a few tweaks here and there. I have no general problem with it - it does the job, after all - but now the "official" course has not only moved away from the primaries but also from OMOV. If we keep this up, soon we'll be deciding by coin flip.

The benefits of this? Well, Westerners and Quebeckers will get a bigger say. However, to me it offers up the chance for greater abuse than a primary system would allow. As I said, I have no general issue with the system, I just think they need to really watch who is organizing what.

Not very clear on the timing either. Is it by stages or is it all at once? HuffPo says stages, but I can't find reference to it in the document. Ah well.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It's really unclear what you are sad about, there is still the resolution of having different provinces vote over a 70 day period in a primary-like system.

    Primaries are only exciting because of the power of the office involved. Canadians would be excited about a weighted riding system if American media publicized it as much as they do about primaries.

  3. 12.1 Amend Paragraph 54(3)(b) so that it reads as follows:

    (b) set a Leadership Vote period to commence within five months, consisting of no more than six specific voting dates no less than 10 days apart during which voting may take place in regions, each consisting of one or more PTAs specified by the Leadership Vote Committee, between a first day and a final day that are no less than 70 days apart;

  4. Yes, and almost everyone but you likens that to mean a primary-like system.

  5. Everyone except me and the National Board of Executives of the Liberal Party of Canada, you mean.

  6. What Peter said - that isn't a primary system, it's just staged preferential voting. Primaries are specific ways of voting.