Why a weighted one member one vote

1=1 has listened to the concerns of members throughout the Province. Here’s what we’ve heard:

Concern: Toronto swamps smaller and rural ridings // Urban perspectives are overrepresented

Delegate System: Rural and Northern ridings can’t always send their allocated Delegates because of distance and cost.

W1M1V: W1M1V is weighted. Every riding from downtown Toronto to Northern Ontario is awarded 100 points to assign to leadership candidates. Each riding has the same influence.

Concern: Why bother? Voting for a delegate is the same as voting for the leader

Delegate System: Delegates are lobbied, entertained, and made promises for their votes after the first round. There is no communication between delegates and those who elected them.

If your riding can’t fill all its delegate spots they are backfilled from other ridings. Delegates often represent ridings with which they have no connection or haven’t even visited.

W1M1V: Each member, regardless of their ability to pay delegate fees or travel; no matter where they live or who they know, has the right to cast a ballot for the leader of their own choice. This empowers the membership and strengthens PLAs.

Concern: Delegates already reflect the party membership

Delegate System: Our ex officios don’t look like our party membership. Compared to the average Party member ex officios are generally likely to be wealthier, more of insiders, live closer to the convention site, and are more likely to be associated with a leadership candidate.

W1M1V: The membership reflects the Party. This encourages us to reach beyond our exclusive and geographical bubbles to include people of all socioeconomic, geographic, and demographic groups.

Concern: Women and youth representation

Delegate System: Yes, there are requirements for women and youth delegates. However, these get severely watered down by the ex officios who make up ⅓ of the delegates and have an extra vote.

There are no provisions for other equity-seeking groups, such as seniors, LGBTQ , persons of colour, or persons with disabilities.

W1M1V: W1M1V ensures that every youth and woman member gets a vote, rather than a select and connected few. Other equity groups who have no reserved delegate spots are not also assured votes.

No special measures have to be taken to ensure the representation of other equity-seeking groups because each and every member, no matter their identity, is enfranchised.

Concern: Northern representation

Delegate System: Northern members are penalized twice under a delegated system:

  1. The Leadership convention will likely never be held in Sudbury, Timmins, or Thunder Bay. This can double the costs and travel time for Northern delegates to attend and vote.
  2. Higher costs means Northern ridings can’t always fill their delegate spots. Their unfilled spots are backfilled with delegates who don’t represent their communities.

W1M1V: Every single riding gets equal representation. Northern or Southern, big city or rural community. No travel is needed. Every vote counts.

Concern: I support 1M1V - but I think the points should be weighted according to membership size in that ridings

Delegate System: Currently, all ridings are technically weighted about evenly anyway.

W1M1V: Weighted ensures the dangers associated with unequal weighting are avoided.

Weighting ridings differently causes two big problems:

  1. It punishes smaller ridings, diminishes the influence of regions like the North and pits ridings against each other.
  2. It creates the ability of a leadership candidate to win the leadership by only concentrating on a high point yield region (like the GTA) and ignoring all the others.
Concern: Didn’t Doug Ford and Patrick Brown win because of W1M1V?

Delegate System: Ford and Brown did not win because of an electoral system; they won because they out-organized their competition.

W1M1V: With W1M1V, leadership candidates have to visit more communities, better organize, and run a Province-wide race.

Liberals would never elect someone like Doug Ford or Patrick Brown.

If we’re serious about “rebuilding,” “renewal,” and “growing” the Party, we have to engage voters in Kapuskasing, Akwesasne, and Belfountain, as much as in Toronto and Ottawa.

Concern: Delegates already represent the membership

Delegate System: Rank-and-file members only know how their elected delegates will vote on the first ballot. After the first ballot:

  • Delegates don’t contact their ridings after the first voting round of voting
  • Delegates are influenced by forces outside of the will of their riding membership

W1M1V:

  • All members are representatives of their own riding
  • All members get to represent their own opinion
  • The decisions of all members are respected and trusted
  • Members get engaged and energized by their leadership candidates during the campaign
Concern: The delegated system is fair enough already

Delegate System: Ex officios are allowed to freely vote on every round of voting. However, the first votes of elected delegates are automatically added to the candidate they have declared for upon registration at convention.

W1M1V: Every member’s vote is theirs and theirs alone. Ex officios don’t lose anything; rather all rank-and-file members now have the same voting rights.

Concern: I don’t understand what “weighted” means, how it works, or how it compares to what we have now

Delegate System: Each riding is meant to have approximately the same number of delegates, however, larger ridings tend to dominate smaller ones. Here’s how:

Smaller, rural and Northern ridings often have trouble filling all their delegates spots. Delegates from larger ridings with overflow from larger, more urban areas are then back-filled to the unused spots.

As such, larger ridings increase their number of delegates; smaller ridings lose delegates.

W1M1V: “Weighted” means each riding is weighted equally at 100 points. Each leadership candidate in each riding receives the number of points of the 100 corresponding to the percentage of vote they received in the riding. The ballot is ranked; the first to get 50% + 1 of the overall points wins the leadership.

This prevents bigger ridings from dominating smaller ones. It also prevents a leader from being elected based on support of one region.

Concern: How do we grow the Party?

Delegate System: After a crushing defeat, it’s unreasonable to expect organisers in the field to continue to ask voters to donate their money, volunteer their time, sign-up as members, vote for the Party, AND not be fully entitled to vote for the leader.

W1M1V: It’s much easier to sell memberships to people on the basis of voting directly for a leadership candidate who shares their ideals. It’s much harder to sell based on the promise of being able to vote for someone you may have never met who will then serve as your proxy at a convention where you are not present, but only for the first round of voting, and then however they like afterwards, no matter what you want.

Concern: People sign-up to the party as “instant Liberals” during leadership - then disappear.

Delegate System: This also happens when people sign-up to vote for delegates.

Keeping members involved and engaged after they sign-up to vote isn’t a failing of a voting system, it’s a challenge for organizers, riding presidents, and OLP executive.

W1M1V: The more people who sign-up the better – for whatever reason. It brings in more money, more data and most importantly, gives us the profile of the voters we need to pursue in the forthcoming election.

Those who sign-up — even if they disappear after the leadership race — are very likely “Tier 1” or “Tier 2” support and very likely going to vote Liberal in the general election.

Concern: Delegated conventions are more exciting and reward people for being involved in the Party

Delegate System: Delegated conventions are definitely exciting. However, they also exclude 95% of the Party membership from participating. And there’s also almost no outreach to the Liberal-minded voters.

Conventions are also expensive and don’t make money like some people thing. A lot of resources are poured into them to ensure they are revenue neutral.

W1M1V: There is nothing on the W1M1V system that prevents holding a convention. Nothing prevents us from voting in-person.

Leadership conventions shouldn’t be held as a means to “reward” certain Liberals. Especially when our Party has been defeated so badly. Hardworking Liberals are meant to find and recruit other hardworking Liberals, who then recruit others. That is how we grow and come back. Offering the opportunity to have a voice on leadership is a big incentive to work with.

Concern: We need strong support for our new leader

Delegate System: Leadership candidates only have to lobby and build support from a relatively smaller and known block of delegates and community organizers. They only have to appeal to less than 5% of the Party.

W1M1V: A W1M1V process requires candidates to build broader base of support from many regions and ridings. Having to appeal to 100% of the Party means a broader base heading into a general election.

Concern: Broadening the Party in order to retake government

Delegate System: A delegated system does nothing to broaden the Party’s base or support beyond the people already known to us. Both of which are needed to retake government.

W1M1V: Generating excitement with a much larger group of voters creates a potential movement heading into a general election.

Concern: Trust and respect of members and voters

Delegate System: The Party continues to suffer from perceptions of being out of touch with voters. It’s hard to counter this argument when we actively prevent the membership from fully participating in the processes of their own Party.

W1M1V: W1M1V respects and trusts Party members and invites all of them to participate.

Concern: Only leadership candidates with money to travel can afford to win

Delegate System: Leadership conventions are extremely expensive for candidates. Moving delegates from all corners of the Province to a single voting location is expensive and a huge logistical undertaking.

W1M1V: W1M1V allows for a variety of voting methods that don’t require travel to Toronto or Mississauga. The proposed amendment allows the executive to use any method or combination of voting it sees fit, including: paper ballots, internet, telephone, etc.

Concern: Can’t online voting be hacked? Isn’t in-person voting better and safer?

Delegate System: In-person voting has other issues. For example, if a delegate doesn’t make the convention (weather, illness, delays) then their vote doesn’t count. There is no online option.

W1M1V: The proposed amendment allows for voting by any method or methods OLP executive deems fit. This may include online voting, in which case the recommendation is we use the same system and security company used by the Liberal Party of Canada.

The key point is voting for leader is now done locally — in your riding.

Concern: I support 1M1V - but I think the points should be weighted according to membership size in that ridings

Delegate System: Currently, all ridings are technically weighted about evenly.

W1M1V: Weighted ensures the dangers associated with unequal weighting are avoided.

Weighting ridings differently causes two big problems:

  1. It punishes smaller ridings, diminishes the influence of regions like the North and pits ridings against each other.
  2. It creates the ability of a leadership candidate to win the leadership by only concentrating on a high point yield region (like the GTA) and ignoring all the others.