Saturday, 30 November 2013

Chong's bill could roll back the triple whammy that concentrates power in party leaders. UPDATE

I've high hopes and low expectations for Michael Chong's private member bill to shift power to MP's and riding associations.   Three elements in the bill to be introduced this Thursday are according to Coyne:  Riding Associations have the final say on who gets nominated, not the party leader.  Caucus can decide who belongs and can trigger leadership reviews with a 15% petition to be followed by a 50% +1 vote.  MP's will have more liberty to disagree with the PMO's direction and to represent their riding.

First Past The Post in elections gives clarity to the vote (a feature) and concentrates power in the hands of the winning party (a bug).  This goes double because the winning party, not the voters, decide who our prime minister is.  This goes triple because the PM then controls most of what happens in the party and the house.         The Chong bill would weaken the top down effect for the second and third whammy.

This sounds democratic but more accurately is a distribution of power to a larger number of inside players.  An unrigged gateway in through riding associations is opened wider.   I like it. 

Other media pretty much reprint the  Canadian Press story although the Globe did their own.  Michael himself hasn't promoted this on his website and has declined comment until the bill is introduced.    The opposition parties that would like to put the chop on our Prime Minister are showing gentlemanly restraint because the bill would cramp their leadership style too.  Thus the "low expectations" in my lede.

h/t Blue Like You

UPDATE:  I agree with posters Diogenes Borealis and Crux of the Matter that the bar is set too low for a leadership challenge.  The 15% sounds like a bait number to get MP's to buy into the bill by amending it.

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