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De Jong likes convention

The B.C. Liberals are sacrificing the traditional spectacle and suspense of cheering crowds, victory speeches and slamming thunder sticks that has accompanied leadership conventions in the past in hopes of making the leadership vote more accessible to more members.

The B.C. Liberals are sacrificing the traditional spectacle and suspense of cheering crowds, victory speeches and slamming thunder sticks that has accompanied leadership conventions in the past in hopes of making the leadership vote more accessible to more members.

They're gambling that that wider base of enthusiasm will bring the B.C. Liberals the same kind of excitement as leadership conventions in the past have.

But candidate Mike de Jong says there still needs to be a party of some sort.

The B.C. Liberals are doing away with polling stations for the Feb. 26 leadership vote, instead switching to an ultra-modern online and phone voting system.

“We feel this voting method builds excitement within our party because it gives everyone the opportunity to vote wherever they are. They need not travel hundreds of kilometres to a central voting location to cast a ballot,” said Chad Pederson, the party's executive director.

That means fewer people will be present at the convention, Pederson said, but that needs to be weighed against more people participating in the process.

Earlier this month, party executives approved replacing the first-past-the-post system with one that lets voters rank their candidates on the ballot sheet.

To achieve this, the party hopes to replace the one-member-one-vote for a complex point system that weighs every vote differently. Pederson said it is designed to ensure more populous riding don't discount smaller ridings.

The candidate with more than 50 per cent of the points becomes the next party leader.

All of these three major changes have already been approved by the executives of the B.C.

Liberal party but will need to be stitched into the party's constitution.

Party executives will meet next week to further discuss the changes ahead of a convention Feb. 12 where party members will vote on whether they to them.

 
 
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