Canadians only have a few more days to influence the direction the federal Liberals take their party.
Pretty well anyone interested in voting in the upcoming leadership race can do so now; no need to be an official card-carrying federal Liberal. All you need to do is register online by Sunday’s deadline, and tick the box that says you don’t belong to any other federal party.
The campaign is an attempt by the Liberals to drum up interest in their party, with young candidate Justin Trudeau considered a favourite.
Political scientist Peter Prontzos says letting anyone vote does open up the process to sabotage.
“If there is a potential candidate who the Tories thought was weak, they might, if they wanted to, get their supporters to sign up to vote for the weaker opponent,” he notes.
He says the open-to-all voting system will likely generate limited interest, given the party’s third place standing in Ottawa.
If things work as planned, however, it could have some effect.
“But even if ten per cent of the people who sign up to vote eventually take out party membership, that’s a big increase for them,” Prontzos says.