Part of the fun of watching the Liberal Convention play out (from the safety of my Toronto apartment) has been the expectation that Montreal would be the last delegated convention in the history of Canada. The Libs would step into the 21st Century, and step away from this combination of bacchanal and back-room negotiating sessions. But no, apparently not:
MONTREAL -- The drive to modernize the federal Liberal party hit a roadblock Thursday when delegates flatly rejected a shift to a one-member, one-vote leadership process.
Warning: Libs are getting alot of good coverage today, but this kind of three-ring circus will swiftly come to be seen as an embarrassing anachronism, like beauty pageants or dwarf tossing. A vote to retain the current format also signifies that the Party does not trust its general membership to choose a party leader acceptable to its Elite (the people that show up for these wing-dings). This decision will come out as a net Negative when it comes to growing that general Membership, although party insiders are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief this morning.
All I or anyone should have to do to participate in Party politics of any stripe is pay a fee, watch some speeches on television, and cast my e-ballot or, failing that, walk to a nearby highschool/church/library and pencil an x on a real ballot.
9:00 am update: Red Tory has a good post on the same topic this morning. I heartily second his words.