VANCOUVER – Grassroots Liberals voted to make their party more open, inclusive and democratic by giving all members a vote for choosing future party leaders.
“Now all Liberals can have a say in choosing who they want to be their Prime Minister,” said Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. “Liberals have voted to open their party to Canadians by offering them the chance to make their voice heard on the national stage.”
The new one-member, one-vote (OMOV) leadership selection process is regionally-balanced by giving each riding in Canada equal influence.
“I’m front row centre at the constitutional plenary, voting card in hand, ready to pass OMOV and help democratize the Liberal Party,” @BCerinToronto tweeted to #van09 via Twitter. The Hon. Bob Rae, MP and the Hon. Belinda Stronach also spoke in favour of the amendment from the convention floor.
Future Liberal leaders must obtain the support of over half of all Liberal members through preferential ballot voting.
“This simple new process speaks to the progressive nature of the Liberal Party,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, co-chair of the Special Committee on Party Renewal. “For the $10 price of one red Liberal membership card, all Canadians – regardless of where they live or their financial circumstances – can play a meaningful role in our democracy.”
Liberals also voted on policy resolutions developed by grassroots Liberals through commissions and local riding associations. The resolutions were debated online through the EnFamile.Liberal.ca community forum in the lead-up to the Vancouver convention.
Policy resolutions passed at the convention provide the parliamentary caucus with a barometer of where grassroots Liberals are moving. Resolutions passed by Liberals today include support for:
• An emergency convention resolution to express sympathy for the victims of H1N1 influenza and to show confidence in our public health system;
• A national water policy to conserve and protect Canada’s clean water supply;
• Boosting economic growth through investments in research and development;
• Implementing a national early learning child care plan;
• Improved education and economic development for Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples;
• Aging with dignity through housing, homecare and learning enhancements for seniors; and
• Regional economic and business development through essential infrastructure
“I want to hear debate on every resolution. How nerdy is that? Good to hear opposing views and come to consensus. That’s democracy!” tweeted @Tania94 to #van09, via Twitter.