Monday, May 29, 2017

Conservative leadership: is this odd enough to merit mention?

There was much mention during the campaign for the leadership of the Conservative party that an unprecedented number of votes memberships (well, votes really, but let them have the euphemism) had been bought and sold: 259,000 was the number usually cited.

On Saturday, apparently there were 125,000 ballots cast: a 48% turnout. Would not the media be going crazy if a federal or provincial election had a 48% turnout? And these were people who cared enough to do something that is actually illegal in real, legitimate elections: they bought their vote!

My daughter summed up the result.  First the Tory voters came for the brown guy, then they came for the two women, and right at the end they got the francophone too.

Update, May 30:  Later stories report 141,000 votes cast, or over 54%. Commentary suggests that the social conservatives who bought votes (or had votes bought for them) were disciplined enough to mark a ballot. Who the signed-up no-shows were remains of no interest, it seems.

Update, June 1: How bogus was this vote, anyway?  Now it was either 141,000 voters or 133,000 -- the difference being the size of Scheer's victory -- and the ballots have all been shredded, so no one will ever be able to check.

Update, June 4:  And it starts to become an issue.   But probably it's a minor aspect of a bigger problem.  All these party elections are manipulated -- to raise revenue, to shape a particular result, just to be different.  Canadian political life depends on them, but t isn't like there is an independent honest-broker Elections Commission to run party leadership 'elections' fairly and transparently.
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