The following has been added to my website to update yesterdays article athttp://www.strategicthoughts.com/record2010/Feb12extraordinary.html
Equality or One-Mountain-One-Vote?
Rather than setting a date for the BC Liberals to choose a replacement for GordonCampbell, theparty's executive has scheduled an extraordinary convention forFebruary 12thto consider a change to the rules on how a leader will be selected.The party's constitution currently provides for a new leader to be elected ina voteby all members of the party(who pay a fee) in a system called one-member-one-vote, but in the proposed change all votes are not counted equally. As described inthe party's news release, if the proposed change is ratified, votes would beweighted through a point system to ensure each electoral district is countedequally.The BC Liberal Party's constitution is not available online, so we can't see what itspecifies with respect to how many delegates each of the 85 constituencyassociations is allowed to send to the February 12th convention or how thosedelegates are selected. There is also no public information on the total membershipof the BC Liberal Party or on how that membership is distributed amongst the 85constituencies. It is not surprising that information is not public, but it is vitallyimportant to any potential leadership candidate. The two voting systems requireradically different types of campaigns. In a one-member-one vote system, there isan incentive to sign up as many members as possible before the 41 day cutoff priorto the leadership vote. In the proposed system with equal weight given to eachconstituency, all a membership signup campaign does is to dilute the effectiveweight of each of the members in whichever constituency is receiving the newmembers, hence the advantage of signing up new members is reduced to changingthe proportion of the vote any particular candidate may receive from theconstituency associates that receive new members.There is nothing inherently right or wrong about either of the voting systems. Theone-member-one-vote system appeals to the populist side of most of us in that itseems fair that a vote from a member in Surrey would count exactly the same as avote from a member in Atlin. On the other hand, when we vote in a generalelection, votes in Atlin count for much more than votes in Surrey. In the 2009general election, the northern Stikine constituency had a population of 21,116 andit had 14,725 eligible voters; the Vancouver Island Comox Valley constituency had