With the close of supporter signups yesterday, we are now entering a new phase of the Liberal Leadership race. I am excited that our campaign has been able to directly sign-up thousands of new Liberal supporters over the past few weeks from every corner of this country. In addition, we know that many people who are supporting my campaign have signed up directly with the Liberal Party of Canada via their website.
The enthusiasm that I have encountered in my travels across Canada these past few months has been humbling. Canadians are truly looking for bold ideas from the Liberal Party and smart, strong, courageous leadership.
There will no doubt be significant interest over the coming days regarding the numbers of supporters signed up by each campaign. While it is understandable that many will want to try figure out where the candidates stand in the “horse-race”, there are a few important factors that should be kept in mind at this juncture of the campaign:
- Signing up supporters is just the first step in a process that leads to a vote being cast. Those new supporters, as well as existing ones, still need to register with the party before March 14th in order to be eligible to vote.
- Unlike a traditional delegated leadership convention where delegates are pledged to a certain candidate for the first ballot, all supporters and members are free to change their mind right up to the moment they cast their ballot in April.
- The rules of the Liberal Party Leadership race weigh each riding across the country equally. That means a campaign, like ours, which has been attracting a broad-base of support across a wide geographic base will be in a much stronger position than a campaign which signs up a large number of supporters concentrated in a few cities or regions.
They say that a week is a lifetime in politics. With more than a month until the first votes are actually cast in this Leadership race, the only thing that we know for sure is that it is still far from over!
Martha Hall Findlay