Letting supporters choose the leader. An interesting example for our political parties to look at if they really want to become relevant to a greater number of people. Canada’s Liberal Party is in the process of choosing a new leader and has gone well beyond the old practice of letting the elected parliamentary members make the decision. Not only do all rank-and-file Liberals get a vote, but non-members (who register as supporters without having to pay any membership fee) get one, too.

The Globe and Mail reports party president party Mike Crawley as claiming the exercise of getting supporters “exceeded expectations” following confirmation from the camp of Justin Trudeau that — as of Sunday night’s cut-off — the leadership front-runner alone had signed up 150,000 supporters. Supporters could sign up either through the party website or that of the individual candidates for the leadership according to The Globe and Mail:

“None of the other remaining seven leadership camps released sign-up numbers Monday, but Trudeau’s total is more than the 131,000 party members that were eligible to vote in last spring’s NDP leadership convention. For third-place Liberals in the House of Commons, good news has been tough to come by for several years. Crawley took to Twitter on Monday to claim a ‘huge diverse pre-cutoff surge of supporters’ that ‘exceeded expectations.’ A robust base of support would be a boon — both in public perception and, more critically, in fundraising — as the Liberals start rebuilding again for a federal election in 2015.”

Campaigning on state issues. Over in Perth the WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan in six weeks of campaigning says he has  focused on tackling health, education, community safety and public transport. Out in the west of  Sydney this week Prime Minister Julia Gillard is talking largely about the same issues. It’s a strange beast this federal system of ours.

News and views noted along the way.

  • Medicine wears off: is the euro crisis about to return?
  • Men, we can’t plead ignorance on s-xism any longer — “Try this experiment today: ask a woman about the most horrifyingly s-xist thing that has happened to her. I can be reasonably confident of two things that should shock you. First, she will have enough events to choose from that picking just one will take a moment. And second, it will be more horrifyingly s-xist than you will have imagined.”
  • In conservative Pakistan, everybody must get stoned
  • Why cats lack a sweet tooth
  • Every celebrity mocked on South Park over its sixteen seasons — “Brown, Alton: He and other celebrity chefs Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, Jamie Oliver, Mario Batali, Giada De Laurentiis, and Guy Fieri descend on South Park, where Randy has become obsessed with cooking shows, to film the new show Hell’s Kitchen Nightmares Iron Top Chef Cafeteria Throwdown Ultimate Cookoff Challenge. (Season14)”; Akihito, Emperor: He and fellow Japanese leader Prime Minster Yukio Hatoyama are ruthless in their war against dolphins and whales, who they believe dropped the atomic bombs on their country at the end of World War II. (S13); Dierdorf, Dan: The NFL commentator is calling a game between the Chiefs and Dolphins when Japanese madmen storm the field and murder all of the Dolphins. (S13)”

Peter Fray

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