Update: they have now ruled it out.
After a long floor debate that was slowed by technical difficulties and points of order, Liberals will continue voting this morning on constitutional amendments, including one on establishing staggered regional voting days.
Having voted last night to create a non-member “supporter” category that will be able to participate in the selection of the next leader without becoming a card-carrying Liberal, delegates decided to keep the nomination of local candidates a privilage of leadership.
This morning, keep watch to see whether or not delegates will continue to reform the process by which the next Liberal leader is chosen. Staggered regional voting days—the Canadian equivalent of the US presidential primaries—could be an interesting discussion.
Lee Reaney, a former candidate in Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, thinks the primary system could be instrumential in creating a buzz around the Liberal party in places where it hasn’t traditionally been successful. Rebuilding is difficult in the most traditionally-Liberal regions of the country, but rebuilding where the party has yet to be built could be even more challenging. Western Liberals, however, are hopeful.
JO: There’s been a lot of talk about renewing and rebuilding the party, but not so much mention of what that means for places where the party hasn’t been traditionally successful in elections. As western Liberals, what do you think renewing and rebuilding means for you locally?
LR: From some discussions I’ve had with people in my riding in Saskatoon, we’re quite excited about the primary idea. We hope that places like Saskatchewan and Manitoba would be early in the primary. I think that would be really—it could generate a lot of excitement there. What I’ve found as a past candidate is that there’s a lot of centrists who are just afraid to vote for the Liberals because we finished third. Generating that excitement could bring a lot of those votes back. We could get to second place, and once we’re in second place, it’s all the way from there. I’m quite supportive of the primary system and i think a lot of people in our area are.
We’ll see what happens today.