|Leadership hopeful Bruce Payne gives fellow leadership candidate Raj Sherman a thumbs-up.|
I'm quite proud of this innovation, because it recognizes that most Canadians simply aren't comfortable tying themselves to one party or another - probably a reflection of our common desire to get along with as little acrimony as possible. This resolution recognizes that reality, welcoming anyone to participate without requiring anything more than contact information.
Some pundits are already saying that this change is risky, that it leaves the ALP prone to hijacking by hostile interests. But I don't think these fears are terribly troubling. If the Wildrose or the Progressive Conservatives wanted to stir up trouble, they have the funds to buy thousands of memberships; money is no barrier. Furthermore, these kind of shenanigans usually involve hundreds or thousands of people trying to guess who would be the weakest leadership candidate and voting for that person to sabotage the other party come the general election. But who's to say that they'll guess correctly? Perhaps they'll choose someone who really resonates with voters, despite all expectations.
Even if there were any merit to this argument, I think it's worth the risk. And shouldn't democratic principles include the right to vote across a spectrum of contests? I wouldn't mind having a say in the election of the next PC party leader, the next New Democrat Leader, the next Wildrose Leader. If we all had that power, wouldn't we all be prone to picking the best possible choice for each party? That way, no matter which party wins the general election, we wind up with the best possible Premier. I think that possibility might improve turnout considerably!
For more information on the groundbreaking resolutions passed at the convention, I invite you to read ALP Executive Director Corey Hogan's slick booklet explaining the changes. In the meantime, here are some more images from the convention:
|Sylvia and I took a break to explore the shopping opportunities at Cross Iron Mills.|
|Raj Sherman officially launched his leadership campaign at the convention.|
|...unfortunately his sign started to come loose halfway through his speech. But Raj was unflappable.|
|Payne campaign director Neil Mackie speaks with MLA Bridget Pastoor as Andrew Fisher drops a photobomb.|
|Sylvia and Kim enjoy one of the hospitality suites hosted by the leadership candidates.|