Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Where “no” means “yes”

As I blogged yesterday, the Conservative Party’s riding nomination process seems to have something of a democratic deficit, to the advantage of sitting MPs. Well it gets even stranger.

vote fraudUnder the headline “Tories c all nomination rules democratic” The Calgary Herald reports today that Conservative party president Don Plett finds it “very, very strange that somebody would even suggest that this is not democratic.”

His comment follows an explanation that ballots were mailed out to 94,000 party members, and that ballots not returned were counted as no votes.

In what kind of a democracy does a non-vote get counted? Is this what the Harper Conservatives are planning to do to save their skin in the next federal election? If you don’t show up on polling day your vote will automatically be tallied as a vote for the Con candidate?

Mr. Plett, that is not how a democracy works.


kirbycairo said...

Excellent post, thanks.

penlan said...

"In what kind of a democracy does a non-vote get counted?"

Obviously in Canada. Imagine if Harper et al had a majority?
Scary, scary thought.

Patrick Ross said...

Oh, yeah. Real scary.

(Damn keyboard with no sarcasm button...)

One has to keep in mind that each political party maintains and manages its own internal electoral processes. We won't always like what they do.

We probably won't like that they steamroll any effort to challenge the nomination of their MPs. Then again, we probably won't like another party shutting down their leadership contest mid-campaign, either.

Seems to me that this kind of stupidity is both non-partisan and bloody endemic.

Canajun said...

I have to agree on your last point - neither party (or should that be no party) sets a stellar example when it comes to internal issues.

But this comes back, yet again, to the Harper Conservative's chest-thumping promises of accountability, transparency, democratic reform, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum. When you set yourself such a high bar, you'd better meet it or folks are going to question the integrity of those statements, and by extension, the people making them.

This is just one more example of that.

And if you ever find a keyboard with a sarcasm button, please let me know. It would be most useful.....

Patrick Ross said...

Hey, I'm simply not going to argue that point with you. Mostly because you're right.

Although I'd point out the irony in a leader steamrolled through a leadershp contest in which the two other candidates were pressured by party brass to withdraw claiming that his party is providing its members with new opportunities to be engaged.

A person could make a strong case that Michael Ignatieff may not have been the leader the Liberal grassroots wanted -- just that they weren't willing to vote him down.