There are some healthy "renewal" proposals to vote on at the Liberal Convention. And, there is one change in particular that is so watered down that it amounts to institutionalizing the leaders power, not curbing it as advertised:
This proposal doesn't sit well, this leader appointment "quota" is supposed to be some improvement, advancement? I don't have the exact numbers for past elections, but allowing our leader to select a full 20 candidates doesn't equate to democratizing the party from this quarter.
In a true democratic party, NO individual should be ordained from the top, they should have to demonstrate their CHOPS, compete for member votes, provide a presence in the riding they want to represent, participate and engage with the grassroots. This proposal is actually insulting on many levels, because it provides two tiers of standard bearers, those selected by riding members and those IMPOSED on riding members with a "father knows best" flavour. If someone is truly a "star" candidate, surely the leader can visit the riding, make the case for she/he, work to get their choice nominated, let that person demonstrate to the great unwashed that they are a person of merit, a real coup to even have in the party.
This amendment looks like some sort of bastardized compromise, in formally "curbing" the leader's ultimate power to appoint, we've come up with a quota that enshrines the practice. Our leader can only appoint 25% of candidates in a particular province, posited as though this is progressive. Taken further, history tells us the leader generally appoints in FAVOURABLE ridings, so 20 KEY people that have a decent shot at becoming an MP are given a free pass, shoved right passed the membership. People put before the wider electorate without much advance knowledge of their positions, there ability to work a room, interact and engage. Having no personal relationship with ridings we are supposedly "empowering", said appointment may or may not jive with the locals, we really have no idea how that relationship will work, very much a forced marriage of sorts.
This amendment reeks of more elitism, it contradicts all the proposals which look to give local members more say in the process. One is hard pressed to find a more grassroots democratic expression than a local riding nomination, it is a core undercurrent that maintains a healthy debate. Giving our leader this almost obscene power to dictate isn't representative of a "modern" political party, of the type Liberals want to project. Instead, this particular amendment fleshes out top down hierarchy, it is regressive, paternalistic and anti-democratic, no matter how you cut it. I'd rather have NO proposal, status quo, open ended appointment power, then this ruse presented as some sort of reform.