I'm hoping that Nova Scotia Tories were watching carefully the fiasco their Ontario cousins underwent in electing their new leader this past weekend.
It should have been a simple process. Party members were asked to rank their preferences in order for the four candidates. The candidate with the least number of votes on each ballot was dropped with their designated votes going to their next choice.
Points were also assigned to candidates with each candidate getting the percentage of points comparable to their vote in each constituency. The candidate getting more than 50% of the points would become leader.
What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot it seems!
The first point of controversy which arose concerned those who did not indicate a second or further preference on their ballot. They had their candidate and only that candidate was getting their vote. If that candidate got dropped from the ballot, those votes were not reassigned. But what of the points awarded in each constituency? Where did they go? Apparently, that wasn't quite thought out thoroughly.
Then there were the rest of that candidate's votes which did assign a second or subsequent choice. Were they to be assigned on the basis of the popular vote or within the riding which would impact the points assignments in that constituency. Remember it is points and not actual votes that determines the leadership.
The results of ballots in Ontario were so close that the interpretation of these scenarios was to determine the eventual outcome. Thus the chaos!
Nova Scotia Tories will be using a similar points form of selection, using mail in ballots as well as on-site voting on convention day. Hopefully the leadership committee is carefully reviewing its process to ensure that they will in fact elect a leader at their convention.
And be sure to book the facility for the whole day so you're not forced to vacate before you have the vote results.
Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister and past president of the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce.