Monday, February 16, 2009

"You cannot eat your cake and have your cake."

When is a Leader not a Leader? When they're an interim Leader! Or, (perhaps and) when they have not been elected in accordance with the LPC Constitution.

ILMI seems to get that it is important for his leadership to be "ratified" by the "rank and file" as well as the importance of adhering to "all the constitutional procedures for the party", but I'm not sure that he gets (or knows?) that the Party is about to do neither. Not sure that delegates to a convention (elected, selected or ex-officio) are really the rank and file; the people who elect them, however, would be. Not sure either that the decision-makers really get that they are likely doing the ISTBLLMI (Interim Soon to be Legitimate Leader) no favours in once again bending the process for practical, not principled reasons, and expediency.

The Party will be allowing EDA's to not hold Delegate Election Meetings for the upcoming Vancouver (Leadership) Convention, if the number of "delegate candidates" applying to be (elected as) delegates is less than the maximum number per EDA (22). This is apparently being authorized so that EDA's, Clubs and PTA's can avoid the expense and administrative hassles of holding meetings, when they otherwise wouldn't be necessary, as the delegates they claim, would simply be "acclaimed" in such an instance. Problem is that pretty much negates the universal (or OMOV) vote aspect of the leadership selection process currently envisaged by the constitution and nullifies the desire of ILMI to have his leadership ratified by the rank and file.

To Quixotique at least, the Constitution seems, while certainly not always, pretty clear in this instance.

Article 53:
Whenever a Leader is to be chosen for the Party, the Party must elect a new Leader according to the procedures set out in this Chapter (which is referred to in this Constitution as a "Leadership Vote").

Article 56:
(1) The Leader is elected at a National Leadership Convention with the delegates to that convention being elected in proportion to the popular direct vote received by each leadership contestant in accordance with this Constitution and the Party bylaws. ...

(2) At a delegate selection meeting to select delegates to a National Leadership Convention held in accordance with Section 63, each member of the Party who is entitled to vote at the meeting must be provided with a ballot that permits him or her both to vote directly for the leadership contestant of his or her choice and to vote for individual delegates...
Seems pretty obvious to me. What also seems obvious to me is that the Party (grassroots, rank and file, or er, um, duh - the membership), if given the opportunity to have their direct say as the Constitution provides, would likely do so in an overwhelmingly positive fashion for Mr. Ignatieff.

What better ratification, legitimization or whatever you want to call it, could you hope for than that? How much more membership engagement could you get than that? How much more personal investment in your leadership could you get than that? Pretty easy to accomplish all of your goals at once - and turn a perceived minority leadership into a majority one to boot.

Instead we are poised to de-legitimize an already illegitimate process even more. Again. And doing the new boss a huge disservice in the process.

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