Saturday, November 25, 2006

Delegates For Hire

Peter Mansbridge did an in-depth one on one with Liberal strategist David Herle, discussing the upcoming convention. One of the scenarios thrown around, which was particularly interesting, involved a candidate using some of his delegates to vote for another candidate on the first ballot. Herle posited, and said there is some precedent, that Ignatieff or Rae may send some delegates to Kennedy to boost his support on the first ballot and keep Dion well back in fourth. The theory being, a weakened Dion would be less of a threat, as well as the added bonus of those delegates coming back on the second ballot to show artifical growth. Dion is wounded, Kennedy doesn't grow naturally with the defection of the planted delegates and the frontrunner looks viable.

The idea sounds far fetched, and somewhat dubious frankly, but it sure demonstrates how complicated this convention could become. Delegates as pawns, how democratic and empowering ;)


Anonymous said...

It's a horse race alright.
Pity it's on an owned track.

Jeff said...

Yet more ammunition in favour of a one member, one vote system.

Steve V said...


There is another angle to sending delegates to Kennedy, particularly for Ignatieff. If Kennedy had a good gap from Dion, but also drew closer to Rae, it could hurt Rae's viability as well.

Anonymous said...

The dye is set on the first ballot and nobody can send their 1st ballot delegates anywhere. It would have to be on the 2nd ballot.

Anonymous said...

I was given the impression that the first ballot was already predetermined: that the ballot a Brison delegate gets when they vote already has Brison marked on it, that the ballot a Gerard delegate gets when they vote already has Gerard marked on it.

I was given the impression that the only way the first ballot could not go to the candidate you were elected as a delegate for is if you do not show up to vote (in which case no other candidate gets it).

Unless, Mr. Herle was only referring to ex-officios who could do what he proposes.

I guess Iggy or Rae could theoretically do something like what Mr. Herle suggests after they reviewed the Strategic Counsel polling results - which I hope will be available to the public and were not commissioned internally for one of the two candidates who could afford it.

Steve V said...


Anonymous said...

I've heard a couple of rumours of people running as delegates for one candidate but supporting another (Coutts in Ontario was one floated pretty well on the blogs - he wasn't elected)... Here in BC Ignatieff and Rae usually ran 2x+ as many delegate spots available, while Dion and Kennedy would offer 10-20 per riding apiece, depending on their perceived success. It is possible, in Herle's theory, that a leader camp could have sent 1-2 people to run as Dion or Kennedy delegates, especially if their own strength in the riding was secure. That way they'd ensure the votes necessary to elect the 'faux' delegates for the rivals over truly serious ones. However, this likely scam would only work under previous funding regulations, where people had the means and ways to legally raise tonnes of funds and ability to divert it elsewhere. Now is not that time.
It seems rather Oliver Stone-ish. And for the record, I am a Rae delegate, and my current second choice would be Kennedy.

Anonymous said...

Herle - one of Martin's campaign organizers...hmmm, we know how that turned out.

I don't listen to him.

UWHabs said...

I was expecting a few ex-officios to vote Martha early on to send a message, then go back to the candidate on the subsequent ballot. I could also see a few people maybe do some strategic voting like you mentioned in this piece.

But it's always tough to do, and I don't think they should all assume to take Kennedy lightly.