Saturday, April 11, 2009

One Member, One Vote, One Crazy Amendment

Let me get this out of the way, I will not be a delegate at the convention in Vancouver this year. I decided to take on the roll as a blogger, and I have even purchased a mini-pc in which to fulfill this role in Vancouver.

The weighted One Member One vote, for the ridings is the best compromise position regarding democracy in the Liberal Party. I would have preferred a straight bare bones version of this amendment with no weighting, but the riding weighting is a fair compromise to properly represent the country as a whole, which the party has not been doing for most of this past decade in both opposition and government.

In examining the Young Liberals of Canada's amendment, my first reaction is that this is a poison pill. This amendment is greedy, undemocratic, and totally elitist. The Young Liberals are very important to the party, but according to those within its ranks only represent about 10-14% of the total population of the party. Giving the group a built in 25% representation would only further give the Young Liberals a self important voice rather than working to have a strong voice through recruiting of more "real" members, rather than signing up their friends to vote in provincial executive races.

Young Liberals play an important part of the party, through their enthusiasm in bringing about progressive policies, but they often play out high school type fights and politics (we should all expect more out of University students), which I myself have taken part in maybe once or twice (regretfully, crazy days of past).

Through all of this, I have heard one voice from the Youth that sounds mature and not entitled. That voice being John Lennard, the Presidential candidate for the YLC. He believes that the Youth need to grow, and double their membership, rather than force a quota on the rest of the party. John shows real maturity and leadership by taking this stand, and also shows that he is committed to the OMOV in its original form.

I hope that this amendment fails, as I have only heard negative responses from senior Liberals I know, and I think the Youth of the party need to do some soul searching into what is best for them and their role in the party. They already have cheap delegate and event fees, and have a great influence in policy through their most awesome level of voluntarism.

Lastly, I've been getting emails from people running for National Exec positions. Its interesting to see the only communication from exec members is during the time they wish to run for a position. Hit me up after you get elected...


Skinny Dipper said...

I would support a one member, one riding, one vote system where each riding gets 100 points. This is done in variations in other political parties federally and provincially.

I would oppose an amendment giving the youth 25% of the votes. It's not that youth are not important. They are. With an amendment, there would be little incentive for the Yonge Liberals to seek new young members as they would be guaranteed 25% of the vote. If young people wish to have a bigger role in the Liberal Party, they need to sign up more young members.

Remember that the Charlottetown Accord was defeated in the 1992 federal referedum partly because Quebec would be guaranteed in perpetuity at least 25% of the seats in the House of Commons.

WesternGrit said...

Great post Jamie... I totally agree with you, but I have to say that I have been contacted/invited to many a discussion by current exec... Is your contact info up to date?

Anonymous said...

I've also been hit with a barrage of emails in only the last couple of weeks; it's not surprisingly, but somewhat disappointing.

Only John Lennard has bothered to call, not just once, but every so often to keep in touch. And that's one of the many reasons (though a major one) I'm proud to support his campaign.