Yesterday, provincial New Democrats biennial convention delegates voted in favour of having a leadership review at each party convention. Speaking in support of that resolution, leader Carole James told them, "It's important that you have an opportunity to have a democratic right to make your views known." But it's worth remembering the system it replaced. Until this weekend, the New Democrats' constitution stated each member of the party's executive - including its leader - would be elected at convention. In other words, someone who has been a party member for at least 90 days could challenge the leader just by putting their name on that ballot. After 2003, such a gambit likely wouldn't have worked. That's when the party approved a resolution to have its leaders elected by the membership as a whole rather than just convention delegates. But the old rule was still on the books until this past Sunday.
November 30, 2009