All of the provincial Liberal leadership candidates have said they're supporting a change to the party's leadership selection process - one that would give more of a say to rural ridings. Nevertheless, Kevin Falcon's campaign team members are working to ensure the constituency association delegates who will be voting on whether to approve that change support their candidate. In an email exclusively obtained by Public Eye, Mr. Falcon's deputy campaign manager Kareem Allam provides detailed instructors on how to make that happen. The vote to change the leadership selection process will happen at a extraordinary party convention in Vancouver on February 12. The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned email.
From: Kareem Allam
To: Norman Stowe; firstname.lastname@example.org; Marko Dekovic
Subject: please forward... DSM checklist
1. In advance of the meeting, find and select 20 members you trust (not including the MLA/candidate, nor riding association president). Note they don't have to live in the riding. Find 5 more as backups ("Alternates").
2. Confirm they will stand as Delegates and/or Alternates. Document who they are before the meeting and hand the printout to the meeting convenor in advance of the start of the meeting. In addition, make enough copies for anticipated voters at the DSM.
3. Ensure you get enough of your riding members out to carry the vote on the list of delegates.
1. Beyond the automatic delegates allowed by the constitution (e.g., the riding association president, the MLA or defeated candidate, etc.), proactively canvass the executive and/or broader membership IN ADVANCE OF THE MEETING for at least TWENTY (20) delegates who are known and trusted. Suggest identifying 25 to allow for 5 to cancel or be otherwise engaged on the day of the vote, and thus enabling the insertion of "Alternates".
2. NOTE: the party has not yet ruled on how Alternates might be used (i.e., they may not be allowed at all), so treat selecting Alternates as a precautionary step. (It should be done anyway, however.) I also suggest thinking about the reliability of the 20 delegates, themselves (i.e., if someone travels a lot and there is a risk of s/he not being able to be there on Feb 12th, it is better to NOT include them in the list of 20, and instead put them as an "alternate".)
3. Prepare a sheet for the convenience of the BCLP meeting convener that includes the names of the riding association president and MLA/defeated candidate, then the list of 20 delegates, and then a list of alternates (again, suggest at least 5). If possible, put all on one page (it can then act as a "Ballot", if needed). This is an important control element (it is too easy to lose control of an easel or whiteboard...) - do not show up without these printouts.
4. Remember, DELEGATES do NOT have to be residents of your riding. IF the resident BCL members who attend the DSM vote to accept non-resident members as part of the list of 20 delegates, then these non-resident BCL members will represent your riding with full standing at the Feb 12th meeting.
5. If "you" want to include party members in good standing who are NOT from your actual riding, you can nominate them as part of your list of 20+ (again, do this in advance of the DSM), as long as a simple letter is submitted from each of them including text such as: "I would like to request and consent to having my name stand for election as a delegate or alternate for the riding of XXXXXXXXXX at the DSM held on XXXX xx, 20XX, in order to vote on the riding's behalf at the Feb 12th, 2011 BC Liberal Party constitution convention."
6. Bring those letters to the meeting, KEEPING A COPY FOR YOUR RIDING, and submit them to the meeting convenor.
7. WARNING: This "non-resident" rule works both for you, and against you. This rule allows for the potential of delegate hijacking (it actually makes it easier), a risk that will be greatest in those ridings with low members and/or low engagement. See point 12.
8. Other members may show up who have NOT previously indicated interest in being a delegate. Even if you know and trust them, I would recommend NOT altering the printed list of 20, as it will make it tougher to DECLINE to do the same thing for another member who you may NOT wish as a delegate. I would suggest adding all such names to the Alternate list, to be called into action i) if needed because one of the 20 can't make it (a judgement call by the riding association president), and ii) if the party executive actually allow Alternates (per point 2, above).
9. Presuming you are sufficiently organized with i) your printed list and ii) the number of resident riding members in attendance to carry the vote, the members who may otherwise wish to challenge for a delegate position will likely back down and withdraw their self-nomination. However...
10. If someone is insistent that they wish to be a delegate (whether friend or foe), they will raise their hand during the actual DSM when the meeting chair (a party representative) calls for nominations. Typically, the chair will advise he has a list of over 20, but then call for nominations from the floor three (3) times, per the rules of our party.
11. Presuming the insistent member is entitled to have his/her name stand at that point, the chair is obliged to add the name to the list of 20 and a vote begins (the vote is simple: the 20 names with the highest vote counts become delegates). This is why it is CRUCIAL to have your list printed in advance, and to bring enough copies to the meeting (30?) to hand to the meeting convenor as potential ballots (nicely convenient), AND extra copies (another 30?) to hand to your supporters to ensure they know who to vote for. (Note that if the convenor uses your sheet as a ballot for ease and as a time saver, *your* desired delegates will all be in print, and any additional ones in handwriting, making it easy to know who to vote for...)
12. No matter what, GOTV! Get enough members out to carry the vote for your desired list of 20. If another group wishes to have THEIR list of 20 delegates elected, they can merely send enough eligible voters to the meeting and elect a different list of delegates from yours, INCLUDING ONES FROM OUTSIDE THE RIDING!