... which is to say, we're at least going to *maybe* beat what the Alberta Liberals managed in 2011.
Back then, only 8,760 out of 27,567 "supporters" ended up voting in the Alberta Liberal contest that elected Raj Sherman as leader, or 31.3%.
As of today's Winnipeg Free Press article, only 89,000 of 294,000 federal Liberal "Supporters" have registered, or 30.7%. Those are just people registered to vote, not who will actually end up voting.
For further context, 59,000 of I believe around 130,000 NDP members voted in their leadership race, or about 45%.
Oh, dear. We're getting our asses kicked by the NDP, in a way. Nevermind the Conservatives, who had over 97,000 people vote in their 2004 leadership election.
I supported the Supporters category back in January 2012, one of the 3,000 or so delegates that were excited about this prospect. What's happened, however, is that the "Supporters" category has become a half-assed mess. People are signed up, sure, but we're not really pulling them in. Beyond a leadership race, which is a one-off event that most people are writing off as one person's to lose, what is in it for a Supporter? We didn't allow them to vote in riding nominations, or some stupid reason. We've failed to articulate what the benefits of it are - because there are no benefits, outside of the leadership vote. Even that benefit got messed up, with the short time span for signing up and the dithering posture taken by much of the establishment.
As I said, part of it is the fault of the narrative around this leadership election. I suspect a lot aren't bothering to register because what is the point? They don't see a competition. The media has absolutely killed it for us. Without extra benefits to being a Supporter, there's no reason for them to engage.
In short, we fucked it up. And while 89,000 people is impressive as a voting base, its nothing compared to almost 300,000 that actually decided to take a slight interest in the contest and the party. But, we never took hold of that initial investment and drew them in. Its been a failure, and the only way to change it around is hope the next leader moves forward with changes to the category. But, I'm not holding my breath.