19 April 2009

On Helping Select the Next PM or Premier

According to John Snobelen, there's only one way to do it. "Join the party."
Have you ever watched a leader's debate and wondered just who the heck picks these people? Turns out you do. Or, more precisely, most of you don't....

One way or another, unless you support the federal Liberals - who have abandoned democracy altogether - party members have a say in who leads them. The only trouble is hardly anyone is a party member....

In our system, leadership matters.... Unless you live in the riding of the leader of the successful party in the next election your only chance to vote directly for or against a leader - [or] have a say in the platform of your party - happens during the leadership selection process.

Snobolen therefore advises people to sign up, to become members of a political party of our choice in order to help select its leader and shape its policy.

Not bad advice, except for those of us who
  1. hate the party system, or
  2. cannot find a single major party whose founding principles consistently translate into directly related policy and action - i.e., parties whose leadership, which includes the leader's tight inner circle, walks its own talk, or
  3. realize that leadership is ALL that matters under the first-past-the-post electoral system and that once chosen, the leader and his/her cronies can pretty much lead the party in whatever direction they like, the rest of the membership be damned.
Now given we are stuck with the party system for at least the rest of my and likely my children's lifetimes and electoral reform is still looking for a party to make it its number one platform issue (federally, that is; the BC Greens have made it a key plank in their 2009 platform), I'd be willing to consider signing up for membership.

In fact, I spent a brief time as a member of a political party not that long ago.

It sucked.

Refer to points 1 and 3.

Still, I'd reconsider and would urge other non-partisans to reconsider, if and only if, we could join ALL political parties. In that way, we might reduce some of the polarizing aspects evident in current party politicking.

Otherwise, we're shit out of luck.

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