Who gets to pick the party leader?


In reviewing William Cross and Andre Blais’ new study of how leaders are chosen in English parliamentary systems, Christopher Moore quotes William Hague, the British foreign minister who was dispatched by his own caucus when he led the Conservative party a decade ago.

“Having the leader elected in parliament strengthens parliament itself. Without the power to change the leader, to elect the prime minister, backbench MPs would have less influence, would have less power over their party leader. All of us who are constituency MPs, trying to represent our constituents and our interests in different parts of the country, know that we are strengthened by having this colossal power at our disposal. In other systems, where party conventions do the choosing of the leader, individual members of Parliament have less influence throughout most of the life of the parliament. And it can very clearly be argued that democracy suffers as a result because the ability of members of Parliament to bring influence to bear is fundamental to democracy.”


Who gets to pick the party leader?

  1. I agree. Exhibit A: BC Greens and NDP sabotaged BC Liberal leader contest to ensure most left wing and fail leader won (Clark). It worked. (straight.com/article-377415/vancouver/green-liberals-foiled-falcon)

    Exhibit B: Redford outright bribed NDP-supporting teachers into voting in PC leadership by promising them millions in $. It worked.

    The result: two hostile takeovers of right wing parties by left wing women with the collusion of NDP/Lib/Green saboteurs.

    Vander Zalm is another example: a leader foisted upon a caucus that loathed him. It’s the caucus who must work with the leader and must be in harmony with the leader, so let caucus pick the leader. More importantly, leadership contests as currently run in Canada are vulnerable to sabotage by political opponents, and that is a matter of evidence based political science.

    • 1. They’re only vulnerable to sabotage if there is already a relatively even balance. Evidence is in the Alberta Liberals, where the most conservative leadership candidate came not just second or third, but dead last.

      2. Is it sabotage when a group of people organize to achieve a goal? What if green MPs organized to choose their leader? Would that still have been “sabotage” under your thinking?

      3. The second sentence of the quote disqualifies our system. When the leader gets to choose which MP’s nomination papers to sign, the MPs do not have the power to change the leader anyway. Your solution in our system would simply encourage corruption and cronyism, where the leader picks only the MPs who agree to support him for the leadership.

      As for your assertion of Christy Clark being the most left-wing, I’m just going to assume profound ignorance on your part, and not outright malice/trolling.

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