“This list, as it exists, is a mess,” said MacDonald, a longtime Edmonton MLA. “This is not democracy.” (Edmonton Journal, August 31, 2011)
Over the course of the Liberal Party’s leadership contest, which will come to an end on September 10, Edmonton-Gold Bar MLA Mr. MacDonald has gone to great lengths to pull the media’s attention towards the party’s new leadership selection system. The new system allows anyone to register to vote in the leadership contest without having to purchase a membership, creating a whole new class of instant-Liberals, who’s numbers now greatly outnumber the party’s loyalist membership.
Mr. MacDonald criticized the initial party voting list on August 19, after it was discovered that a number of illegitimate names were added (people’s cats, dead people, and former Conservative Members of Parliament). This is a normal occurrence during most party leadership contests, and like other parties, the Liberals combed through the lists and eliminated the obvious forgeries.
A partisan stalwart, Mr. MacDonald’s obvious strategy is to unsaddle perceived front-runner in the contest, former Tory MLA Raj Sherman, but he may do well to remember how public criticisms of irregularities in the party’s leadership process in 1994 dogged then-Liberal leader Grant Mitchell in the 1997 election.