Taking Away Your Vote In The Liberal Leadership Race?

Bob Rae posted this on Facebook at 1:05am

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Taking Away Your Vote In The Liberal Leadership Race?

Today at 1:05am
As you know, our Leader Mr. Dion is stepping down, and Mr. Leblanc is exiting the leadership race. I want to thank both of them for their contributions, past present and future. 

In light of the opportunity to defeat the Harper government and replace it with a new government of national economic unity, it is clearly now time to bring the leadership selection process to an earlier resolution. We need our new permanent leader in place by the time the House returns to debate the Conservative budget on January 26th, 2009. 

This obviously means we need a different selection process from the one that was put in place to lead us to a Convention in May. Press reports have some suggesting that the entire leadership process should be replaced with a single, secret vote to be held in a closed meeting of the 76 MPs, next week. I think this is the wrong thing for our Party.

The party Executive is working on a viable, timely, cost-effective and constitutional means of enabling a one-member-one-vote democratic leadership selection. This can be in place swiftly, and you can make your voice heard in the selection of your Leader. I believe that ordinary Liberal volunteers must have a direct say in choosing the new Leader. That’s the only way to go.

You are the volunteers who make this Party a living force in the life of our country. Without you, there is no Liberal Party. You give your time, your talent, your financial support, and ask for nothing in return except the chance to contribute. To take away your chance to choose the person who leads you… it just doesn’t seem right.

As well, there are real questions about representation that we need to keep in mind. A simple vote of the Commons caucus would leave significant portions of our country’s diversity silent in the selection of our Leader. Because our caucus is concentrated in major urban centres, almost no rural ridings would be represented. Literally two Liberals between North Bay, Ontario and Vancouver, BC would have a vote in the MPs-only process. Most of francophone Quebec outside of Montreal would go unheard from. Defeated candidates would be disenfranchised. So would the party executive that you have put in place. So would our youth, women and aboriginals – who are under-represented in the Commons caucus. So would our long-serving Senators, who have given so much for our Party. That doesn’t seem right either.

Finally, there’s the question of what this kind of vote would mean for our party’s ability to grow. We have a chance to welcome Canadians into our political family. We need more of them to join us – especially in the places where our support has been declining. I favour a 308 riding strategy, not a 76-person vote. I have spoken out for using our race as a chance to grow this party; a closed caucus vote would take it in the opposite direction.

Let’s urge everyone in a position to influence this to put a stop to this hasty, ill-considered idea before it goes any further. I urge you to contact your nearest Liberal Member of Parliament, and any of the following, to let them know how you feel about this attempt to take away your vote:

Party President Doug Ferguson: dferguson@liberal.ca

Commons Caucus Chair Anthony Rota: Rotaa@parl.gc.ca

Please get involved with my campaign. 
http://bobrae.ca/en/crmapi/volunteer

Do whatever you can. Every little bit helps. Together we can have an open leadership process, defeat the Harper government and give Canadians the government they need to deal with the economic crisis.

Please let me know what you think.
http://bobrae.ca/en/contactus

-Bob




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Taking Away Your Vote In The Liberal Leadership Race?

  1. Allowing all members of the Liberal Party to actively choose a leader is a sound policy and I fully endorse it… next time around. The Liberal Party requires stability above all. Not in six months, not in six weeks, but right now, at this very moment. To allow Stephane Dion to remain at the helm in the coming weeks while an all-member voting system is established and the public faces of the proposed coalition continue to parade around the country, oblivious to public opinion and reality, would cause even further damage to a party with little reputation of any meaning left.

    Sorry, Mr. Rae. I just don’t think it’s going to happen for you. I know, it’s upsetting. You tried very hard, but your support for this particular coalition leaves those of us who were around in Ontario during your reign a little… doubtful. Ignatieff leaves me feeling a little uneasy, but unless Manley spontaneously decides to throw his hat into the ring (and I wish he would), Ignatieff is the best hope our party has for emerging from this whole mess no worse off than before.

  2. “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”

    – Sun Tsu

    Nor a political party.

  3. They should have an MP vote (or some other simple selection process) now, with the caveat that Ignatieff (sorry, “the winner”) submits himself to a leadership review by the end of 2009.

    It gets Dion out of the way quickly, stabilizes the situation, and allows room for a democratic vote to take place, albeit at a later date.

  4. Quote:
    “In light of the opportunity to defeat the Harper government and replace it with a new government of national economic unity … ”

    That’s really how Mr. Rae and his Coalititon of Power Grabbing sees it. This has *nothing* to do with what is good for Canada, why there is a need for change in government at all, or why whatever unspecified and non-public “plan” of Mr. Rae’s would be better. Just … “opportunity to defeat”. Pure power grab, against the will of Canadians expressed only 6 weeks ago in a $300 million election.

    “New government of national economic union”. Wow. The last time I heard words like these, they were uttered from Red Square. Of course it’s natural lingo to Mr. Rae and his good Coalition buddies from the NDP, the $5 billion Kelowna Accord, Red Jack, unions and public service alliances (unions), senator-wannabe Liz May, the Duceppe Separatistes and, of course, the Great Boondoggle in the Sky — Global Warming.

    In other words, all those vested interests who want unfettered access to many more billions and billions of our tax dollars again. The public trough needs re-opening and Rae’s their key.

    The “Coalition of the Golden Trough” is so out of step with Canadian values that it is sickening. That’s why it is so dangerous to Canada. And they are counting on the passivity of Canadians to quickly take over government. So the time for defending our Canada against these barbarians is now, Canada. Our Choice, you and me.

  5. “Let’s urge everyone in a position to influence this to put a stop to this hasty, ill-considered idea before it goes any further. I urge you to contact your nearest Liberal Member of Parliament, and any of the following, to let them know how you feel about this attempt to take away your vote”

    Now Rae is recycling Harper’s speeches?

    Poor Bob, He say 50%+1 of MPs trumps every other notion of legitimacy, mandate, and honour and Iggy shows him just what that means.

  6. omg. that email is soo funny.

    the liberals have lost their minds and their credibility.

  7. I thought that the people already had their chance to vote seven weeks ago, electing MPs to make their decisions for them. We don’t elect leaders in this county Bob, we elect representatives!

    I think it’d be awesome if Rae won a plurality of votes for leadership, say 38%, with Iggy, maybe Manley, and what the hell, a few leftover Dion supporters (who obviously aren’t voting for the good of the rest of the party) making up the rest. Then those voters form a coalition to take the leadership.

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