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Liberals to choose new leadership vote system on February 12, 2011

The B.C. Liberal Party will choose how to elect its new leader -- and the next B.C. premier -- at an “extraordinary convention” on Saturday, February 12, 2011.

The party announced the event in a news release on November 13. The release quoted Liberal Party President Mickey Patryluk:

“Today we’ve taken a major step to modernize our constitution to ensure every member of our party not only has a vote in selecting our next leader, but also give every region of the province an equal say.

“After reviewing the 17-year old leadership vote provisions in our constitution, and hearing from our membership, we all felt this course of action was the best way to proceed.”

The release explained the preferential ballot system that the party will use:

The proposed leadership vote process endorsed by the Provincial Executive calls for a preferential ballot system, giving every member of the party an opportunity to vote, and weighting the results through a point system to ensure each electoral district is counted equally. The first leadership contestant to receive more than 50% of the points allocated on any province-wide count would be selected as the Leader.

To ratify the new vote process in the BC Liberal Party constitution, an extraordinary convention has been called for Saturday, February 12th, 2011 at 1pm in Vancouver. At that meeting, all delegates as selected by local riding associations will have an opportunity to vote on the proposal. To pass the amendment it will require the support of 2/3rds of delegates in attendance.

The executive has also rescheduled the party biennial convention for May 13-14 in Penticton. The convention had originally been scheduled for November.

Still to be determined is the date of the actual leadership vote, when Campbell will turn over the premiership to his successor.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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