Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Start corrupt...

Stay corrupt.

The Harper party has a new way of counting ballots. (Emphasis mine)
Federal Conservative party president Don Plett rejects criticism that the new system used to determine whether sitting MPs should face a nomination challenge was undemocratic.

Plett said 94,000 ballots were mailed nationally to party members in ridings with an incumbent, asking them whether they wanted a nomination race in their constituency. The mail-out included Calgary West, where lawyer Donna Kennedy-Glans wanted to challenge longtime MP Rob Anders.

Two-thirds approval was required to trigger a battle, while an unreturned ballot was counted as a no under new rules adopted by the Conservative party's national council in March. In the past, if people wanted to challenge a nomination, they generally could after an interview, Plett said.

"I find it very, very strange that somebody would even suggest that that is not democratic," Plett said.

Of course Plett would find that strange, particularly since the two-thirds approval requirement is hoisted out of Robert's Rules of Order and then promptly corrupted to favour the incumbent.

A two-thirds vote means two-thirds of the votes cast, ignoring blanks which should never be counted.
A mail out ballot, not returned in time for the tellers to count it, is considered a blank.

Starting the process in a corrupted manner simply means they'll continue to try it further on up the line, when it has a more direct impact on more than card-carrying Harperites.

Update: Fairness dictates that I point out that the Liberals aren't better than the Harperites on this issue. From comments over at Canadian Cynic we get the word from a Liberal party member.

... we were told that Liberal incumbents would also be protected. Sure, they had to meet some minimal requirements as outlined here but it was anticipated that every incumbent could easily pass the test.

In the case of the Liberal Party it's not just sitting members who are protected, it's everyone who stood in the last election and still wants to be the party nominee.
Sure enough, the Hill Times has the details.

The difference, (and there is one), is that the Conservatives call themselves a "grassroots" party, and that is patently untrue. They're a party of "inners" - if you ain't one of the good ole boys, you ain't gettin' in.

What is more heinous however, is the attempt to demonstrate a democratic process which truly is no such thing. For Plett, or any other Conservative, to suggest that using a two-thirds majority rule and then assigning unreturned ballots (blanks) to any part of the question is not a corrupted process is demonstrably dishonest.

Why not just announce that incumbents would go unchallenged and be done with it? Going through a public exercise in corruption shows just how stupid they actually are.

H/T Accidental Deliberations

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