The B.C. Liberals have adopted a new process for selecting a party leader.
Delegates overwhelmingly voted to amend the party constitution during a convention today (February 12) in Vancouver.
Endorsed by the B.C. Liberal provincial executive, the new weighted-vote system is intended to update the party’s leadership selection process. It aims to give all regions in the province a more equal say on the decision, despite varying population levels.
Under the new system, which replaces the party's old one-member-one-vote process, each of the province's 85 ridings is assigned 100 points. Candidates can be allocated a share of the points available in a given electoral district based on how much voter support they receive there.
Delegates at the convention voted 1,319 to 23 in favour of changing the voting process.
Prior to the vote, there was some debate among those gathered in the Vancouver Convention Centre Centre and connected by audio from several venues across the province.
Opponents of the voting-system change questioned why the party’s long-established leadership selection process should be scrapped, and suggested the new system will not benefit party members from more populated areas of B.C.
But most spoke in favour of changing the leadership vote system, including the candidates vying to become the next party leader and premier on February 26.
“That will strengthen us as a party and contrast us to the NDP,” said Kevin Falcon.
“This is a unique province filled with unique regions,” said Christy Clark.
George Abbott said the constitutional amendments are important vote for the future of both the Liberal party and the province.
And Moira Stilwell said the new leadership vote process is essential for the party unity.
Delegates also passed an amendment requiring party voters to indicate support for at least two leadership candidates on the preferential ballots.
The six B.C. Liberal leadership candidates also debated as part of the event today in Vancouver.