Thursday, September 28, 2006



The Liberal party has an odd way of selecting
delegates to the Leadership Convention and
unfortunately, I have been caught up in this rather
bizarre and unusual method.

The delegate selection and Leadership method that the
Liberal party of Canada chose to implement has created
many problems. As members, we were informed that we
had two choices for delegate selection in regard to
the criteria set forth by the Liberal Party of Canada.

First, we could stand as either undeclared (not
supporting any Leadership candidate) or, in
support of one of the Leadership contenders. If you
chose to stand as an undeclared delegate candidate,
you would have virtually no opportunity to attend the
Leadership convention since all Leadership contenders
would receive a proportionate share of delegates based
on the members vote (choice) for Leader at the
Delegate selection meetings. Additionally, the general members vote for the leader
at the same time as they choose delegates. The
delegates standing for election have attached to their
name, the Leadership candidate they chose to support.

Second, when my 1st ballot choice withdrew from the
Liberal race, just a few days ago, all her confirmed
delegates revert to 'Undeclared' on the ballot. We
were not provided an opportunity to edit our choice on
the ballot in support of our second choice for Leader.
Moreover, Leadership contenders can only choose those
delegates from the lists who have voted for them at
the delegate selection meetings. Result, if your first
ballot choice withdraws, you are basically out of luck
in attending the convention.

The Liberal party has punished those of us who
supported Dr Hedy Fry. Informing us that our names
remain on the ballot even though they re-moved
Dr Fry's. I questioned them on this and said I wanted
my name removed since I wouldn't be given an
opportunity to attend the said convention. They
refused saying, my name had to remain on the ballot.
In effort to appease me, the staffer suggested I tell
members NOT to vote for a Leadership Candidate and
this may provide a faint hope for attending the
convention. And just yesterday, this same staffer telephoned me to say that I could withdraw my name from the ballot. I have chosen to stay on the ballot.

However, those who have chosen to provide Hedy Fry with their first ballot
support have been ruthlessly disenfranchised from the
Leadership and political process and this is terribly
sad. We are the grassroots of the party and this may hurt the Liberal fortunes. Especially, if expected, new instant sign-up members are bussed in to the delegate selection meetings this weekend and acquire the majority of delegate spots.

As someone who put in countless volunteers hours on both Shirley Chan and Dave Haggard's Liberal campaigns in Van-East, moreover, I have worked tirelessly on
promoting Liberal values and therefore my disappointment is profound.

I have been an instrumental member of our Policy Committee. I'm the
elected Vice-President of our Riding Association and I hosted and organized two successful events for Dr Hedy Fry and Mr Scott Brison and this is how the Party chooses to repay those who volunteer for them?

And if this is how, the Liberal Party of Canada treats it's members, then I question whether my party deserves to be entrusted as a government in waiting. It appears
the hierarchy of the party have not learned their lessons from the past. Its now time to do so.

Jamie Lee Hamilton