Sunday, April 05, 2009

Leave It Alone

Jeff already has an excellent breakdown as to why any amendments which effectively introduce quotas are counter-productive. Just to add my two cents, any amendment which sanctions artificial influence or disproportionate weight makes OMOV a practical failure. To give any subset within the Liberal ranks a pre-determined, calculated influence over the selection would mean that OMOV is nothing more than a bastardized farce.

You can understand the sentiment, and much of what the YL argue is true, in terms of the good work, a progressive voice, etc. However, that is really irrelevant to the principle within the OMOV concept, and there are plenty of remedies available to offset the perceived erosion of influence. If the YL are the vibrant, mobilizing force that they claim (and I agree), then this system merely requires a retool of sorts, which if successful will maintain the influence. Introducing a quote denotes weakness, that the voice of the YL requires help to be heard. In one sense, that's an insulting sentiment.

OMOV only undermines the voice of Liberal youth if they are incapable of maintaining a large membership, if they lack the organizational skill to attract new members. Under this system, the YL are only handicapped if they currently enjoy manufactured support. If anything, this new system can be empowering, because if the YL is what people claim, it should have no problem maintaining its "say" in any selection. If the Liberal Party can't attract more youth into the fold, then that lack of appeal should be reflected in OMOV, because then the party expression is really an accurate read on the makeup of the grassroots. I see the need for quotas as a defeatist attitude, that completely undermines the spirit of the initiative. If the YL are marginalized under this system, it's "fair" qualities will be nothing more than a testament to inherent weakness. If that fragility is real, then one has to wonder why the wanting subset deserves a uneven voice.

If this amendment to OMOV passes, then the final product resembles nothing of the sort and renders the terminology useless. Why bother, if we essentially create tiers of Liberals, inequalities and distortions?

4 comments:

Jason Cherniak said...

It depends on what you think the "principle" is. Is OMOV about equal representation, or is it simply about getting rid of the delegated system where there is an extra step between vocing your opinion and actually electing the leader?

Steve V said...

I assumed it was about equal representation, that's what OMOV means to me.

Scott Tribe said...

Steve's presumption is my presumption as well, Jason (though the other reason about getting rid of the delegate system applies for me as well).

From my hearings and observing, the YLC isn't going to get a lot of blogger net-root support for their amendment.

The question then becomes whether or not they will still vote for OMOV and supporting increased democratization of the Liberal Party or not if their amendment goes down to defeat.

I like John Lennard's point brought up and quoted at Jeff's piece: actively grow the youth wing, and they won't need a quota to be influential, and they'll have hopefully more then a quarter of the membership.

Anthony said...

the problem with this amendment, and I have told Braeden and Sam this, is that it actually encourages a smaller YLC

the less young Liberals, the more influence they have. As much as I trust their motives, I was in youth politics long enough to know this system will not encourage a bigger YLC.

They are 12-14% of the party specifically because the past 2 years were spent squabbling at the executive level. The fact they cant tell us what they did to recruit people since 2006 just proves my point.

The YLC had an issue important to young people, the environment. They failed to recruit with an issue that suited Young Liberals.

In quebec, We recruited with Anti-Ballistic Missile shield. We recruited with gay marriage. We recruited with correction of fiscal imbalance. We recruited with Quebec nation.

You use policy to recruit members. The lack of any policy from the YLC level for the last 4 years may be the reason they sit at 12-14% and will try to effectively double the value of their vote.