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Thoughts on Liberal primaries and other stuff

My Liberal blogging colleague Jeff Jedras has a new soapbox to preach from. In addition to his own blog, he now is an occasional contributor at Macleans magazine. So first off, congrats to him on that. His first column over there is to do with the proposals that Bob Rae brought forth on the “open” Liberal primaries to vote for a Liberal leader. In brief, Jeff doesn’t like it. Basically, he thinks it’s a gimmick, and he’d prefer making the party more attractive to Canadians via our ideas – and encourage them to join through a more democratized party.

Personally, I don’t know why you can’t do both. I have no issue with giving the local party member more power to decide on local issues. Some examples – severely limiting the party leadership from doing ‘parachute candidates’ and removing the protection of MP’s from being primaried by a local challenger are two such ways. Expanding OMOV (one member one vote) to other votes above and beyond just electing the leader is another.

That all said – this party needs some infusion of excitement or different thinking to get people noticing it. The current method of signing up for 10$ hasn’t been doing it. Canadians are not inclined like their American counterparts to become members of a political party – and they’re not going to anytime soon, particularly in the current political atmosphere – so I don’t think trying something like open primaries is a gimmick necessarily. I think it’s a legitimate idea to spur interest into an apathetic Canadian electorate.

4 comments to Thoughts on Liberal primaries and other stuff

  • Stan

    Christ, if the conservatives even thought this the idiots here would be ranting about ‘American influence’ and blowing other assorted bigotry out of their asses.

  • Observer

    In practice, a political party can’t do two things at once really well.

    Rae wants you to believe it’s a process issue. Not surprising since he (and other Libs) don’t really have any good ideas.

    Libs don’t stand for anything, everyone knows this. Until that is addressed, nothing good should be expected from the party.

  • ck

    I guess one problem with this primary idea for the Liberal party would be if you have typical Conservative and NDP voters voting in a weak leader for the Liberals, deliberately–a leader who would surely lose the next election so that the Cons remain in Government and the NDP remain in official opposition.

  • Roll Tide

    Americanizing the Liberal party.

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