Thirty-four days from now, more than 50,000 provincial Liberals will elect a new leader. Eighty-four days from now, around 25,000 New Democrats will do the same thing. That means it's likely less than two percent of British Columbia's population will have a say in who succeeds Gordon Campbell and Carole James. Given our two-party system and the increased power of political leaders within it, that seems profoundly undemocratic. So why don't we extent the right to vote in such elections to the general public - as already happens in the United States? Why don't we expand that franchise beyond those who pay $10 to become a Liberal or New Democrat?
By doing so, it's more likely the winners of such races will be those who can appeal to the majority rather than those who can mobilize an ideological minority - signing up masses of new party members. Because, unfortunately, that's what's happening right now as less than two percent of British Columbians prepare to make decisions that will affect the remaining 98 percent of us.