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How about some democracy instead?

Briefly, I sympathize with Steve V’s frustrations with the Liberals having locked-in incumbent MP’s, (though I can’t speak to his specific criticisms of the 2 MP’s he singles out as examples of that), but as others in his comments have said, I don’t think the “forced retirement” option (where the LPC leader has the power to refuse to sign a candidate’s nomination papers) is the way to go to resolve that. That’s a drastic power that should only be used (in my opinion) in isolated situations where perhaps misconduct has occurred.

The way I feel is the way to go to resolve that is for the Liberal Party to have “open nominations” – that is, if there are Liberal members in the local riding disenchanted with how their MP is serving, they have the ability to put forth a challenge to that MP by running as a candidate in the nomination process to represent that riding in the next election, and give the local Liberal members of that riding a choice of candidates to vote for. This would be similar to the primaries system in the US that you see pop up from time to time every election cycle (the most prominent one this cycle being former Lt-Governor of Arkansas Bill Halter challenging a sitting Democratic Party Senator, Blanche Lincoln in the Arkansas Democratic Party primary. Halter is getting his support from some local Democrats disenchanted with Lincoln’s stance on the recent Health Care Reform bill).

This may not solve all problems of entrenched incumbent MP’s, but it’s a better option and less divisive then the leader of the Liberal Party either refusing to sign nomination papers, or even using the power or appointment to nominate specific Liberal candidates to ridings whose members might be disgruntled that they have no say in the matter.

2 comments to How about some democracy instead?

  • Democracy must rule.

    Nomination races should always happen, regardless of the MP.

    Giving even more power to a leader is never an answer.

  • ck

    Should probably go case by case. While I agree there are some who should probably move to something else, as they are no longer serving their party well, there are still other veterans who do.

    One example I could think of is Stephane Dion, while being leader didn’t work out for him (I’m still convinced had he more support and loyalty within his party, hs could have had a shot), obviously the folks of the St-Laurent riding must have confidence in him to best serve their interests in Ottawa still, otherwise, no one would vote for him. I’m sure if Iggy tried to oust him now, the folks of St-Laurent would surely make him pay for it by, say, voting in the Bloc.

    The same would no doubt go for a lot of ridings who have had the same individual representing them in Ottawa for years and then the leader decides to remove that individual just for the sake of having somebody new and fresh. Then, the folks don’t like Mr/Ms New and Fresh and they let the leader of that party know either by voting for another party.

    If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, there really isn’t such thing as a 100% iron clad ‘safe’ riding for any party. Thomas Mulcair taught us that much in Outremont and so did Bernard Genereux in Montmagny-l’Islet-Kamouraska-Riviere du Loup.

    One must be careful indeed.

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