How the NDP select their leader

Following yesterday’s post from Dorothy on the UK Labour Party, I thought we’d look at how Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) select their leader, given they are also in the middle of a leadership race.

At it’s core, it’s a reasonably straight forward system. They use a preferential vote, with a one-member-one-vote (except affiliate members, who’s votes are worth a quarter of a full member). Candidates must pay a $15,000 registration fee, and their campaign spending limit is a massive $500,000. So far there are nine candidates, it’s pretty full on. You can view the full set of rules and regulations here.

To me, the most remarkable thing about the NDP’s leadership contest is that they’re taking over seven months to do it. That’s seven months without a leader of the opposition. One of the reasons given for this is that over half of their MPs are now from Quebec, where they went from one MP to 59. They need time to build membership and organisations to support these new MPs, and feel it would be wrong to select a new leader in the midst of this growth.

Say what you will about the NDP, but from my outsider’s perspective, they seem very mature for such a young party.

Update: Thanks to @redrabbleroz for pointing out that the NDP have moved their leadership selection to a pure one-member-one-vote model – removing the affiliate vote. The Candian Conservatives and Liberals also select their leader by membership vote, but have it weighted across all the ridings (electorates).

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