LETTER: Singh the wrong person for the job

From reader Rod Retzlaff

Jagmeet Singh’s song is sung. And I am afraid the Federal NDP’s song is not far behind if they don’t come to their senses and get rid of him as leader. But how on earth did this man manage to become the leader of a socialist political party in Canada?

Leadership contests in Canada used to operate by having each riding in the country choose delegates, who would then go to a leadership convention and decide who was going to lead the Party. But sometime in the 1990s I believe, political parties in this country decided to change that system, and allow all party members to caste a vote to decide who should lead the party. Additionally all candidates were allowed a period of time to sign up new members to support their leadership bid. Now, when delegates were nominated to make the decision, they were usually party stalwarts who knew what the parties principles were, and often knew who the contenders were.

They were better equipped to make a well thought out choice as to who would be best to lead the party. Since that change was made to allow all members to decide, many of the people now deciding are ill informed, not well versed as to the actual party principles, and often not politically astute enough to make a wise decision on such a complex and serious matter. Many became members of the party strictly to vote for the candidate who signed them up, and likely had little, if any, allegiance to the party itself.

Some people think that this change was an improvement since it allowed for purer democracy. I believe this change was actually “dumocracy” in action, causing the leadership decision to become completely random. Sometimes it might work out, but sometimes it doesn’t work out well at all.

I think all political parties use this method now, unfortunately the NDP is the first party to really get bit by it. Jagmeet Singh signed up more new members than anyone before him, and they crowned him on the first ballot. I think party leaders would be better decided by the wise and informed than by anxious neophytes. The other parties in Canada are likely to suffer the same fate sooner or later if they continue on this Dumocratic path.

Jagmeet Singh claims to be a man of great principle, and if that is actually the case he should resign right now and give the NDP at least a faint hope of surviving.

Rod Retzlaff

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