Few candidates have so far declared their intentions to run but front-runner MP Dianne Watts is expected to declared her intentions to seek the BC Liberal leadership next week. And others like Rich Coleman, who is waiting for backing from key Indo-Canadian supporters, is still waiting for that support to line up before he decides to throw his hat in the ring. But most big BC Liberal Indo-Canadians are expected to support Watts, who will most likely be crowned on February 3rd – this is a DESIBUZZCanada prediction. The leadership vote will now take place on Feb. 1, 2 and 3, with the leader being announced on the 3rd.
VANCOUVER – BC Liberals will choose their new leader on Saturday, February 3 as the party officially launched the race this week that will select the next leader of the party. The party initially tried to pull a fast one by having the leadership battle on Super Bowl Sunday, February 4 but that was quickly changed to a day earlier.
Few candidates have so far declared their intentions to run but front-runner MP Dianne Watts is expected to declared her intentions to seek the BC Liberal leadership next week. And others like Rich Coleman, who is waiting for backing from key Indo-Canadian supporters, is still waiting for that support to line up before he decides to throw his hat in the ring. But most big BC Liberal Indo-Canadians are expected to support Watts, who will most likely be crowned on February 3rd – this is a DESIBUZZCanada prediction.
The leadership rules released on Tuesday by the Party Executive reflect widely supported elements of the 2011 leadership process, including a vote for every member of the party, equal weight given to every riding in the province, and a preferential ballot that will enable members to rank their choices for leader.
"The overall feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I know that members throughout the province are excited for the race that will unfold over the coming months," party president Sharon White said Wednesday.
"However, we did hear from many of you that the overlap between our Leadership Convention and the NFL Super Bowl should be avoided."
The leadership vote will now take place on Feb. 1, 2 and 3, with the leader being announced on the 3rd.
The party also announced that former BC attorney general Geoff Plant, Q.C. will serve as Chief Returning Officer, overseeing voting arrangements and compliance with the rules.
White said recognizing concerns raised during the 2011 leadership race, the party and its vendor will establish a protocol to verify voter credentials that does not rely on personal information numbers (PINs) distributed by mail.
To ensure party members and British Columbians have every opportunity to get to know the candidates and their platforms, each declared leadership contestant will be required to participate in party-sponsored debates or forums in Vancouver, Surrey, Prince George, Nanaimo, and the Thompson-Okanagan region, and one organized by the BC Liberal Indigenous Network. The party will hold a Leadership Convention for the announcement of the new leader on Sunday, February 4th.
In order to give party members and all British Columbians confidence in the security and integrity of the leadership process, the party’s rules have been modernized to prohibit payment for memberships by cash or prepaid credit card. The party will institute a rigorous monitoring system to flag invalid membership applications.
The deadline to join the party or renew one’s membership in order to vote, as well the deadline for prospective candidates to enter the race, is Friday, December 29th. The cost of membership remains $10 for four years, or $5 for those aged 14-25.
The full leadership rules, and instructions for prospective contestants, are available at www.bcliberals.com.
RULES OF THE BC LEADERSHIP GAME:
To cover the costs of administering the leadership process, and ensure the party is on a strong financial foundation for the new leader, prospective leadership contestants must submit an exploratory entry fee of $10,000. Those wishing to remain in the race will submit an additional candidacy fee of $15,000 in advance of the first leadership debate (or in order to approved for candidacy, if entering after the first debate), followed by a final candidacy fee of $25,000.
In addition, each contestant will provide a refundable compliance deposit of $10,000, which must be replenished following any deduction for a violation of the rules.
The total entry cost of $50,000 compares to $30,000 for the 2017 Alberta PC leadership race, $75,000 for the 2015 Ontario PC leadership race, and $50,000 for the 2013 Ontario Liberal Party contest.
Each contestant will be prohibited from spending more than $600,000, not including entry fees or administrative fees payable to the party. This compares to $450,000 in the 2011 leadership, while eliminating the previous exception for personal expenses. The higher cap also reflects inflation, population growth, and a race that is approximately six weeks longer than in 2011.
As required by the Party Constitution, each member will have one vote, with each electoral district given an equal weight of 100 points in the balloting.
Each member may vote by a preferential ballot on which the voter indicates their preference for leadership contestants, ranking as many or as few as they wish.
The candidate who receives the fewest points on each count will be eliminated, and their ballots distributed among the remaining candidates according to the next preferences indicated.
The first leadership contestant to receive more than 50% of the points allocated on any province-wide count will be selected as the next leader.