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Delegates line up to cast their ballots for the new executive on day two of the Liberal Convention in Ottawa, Jan. 14, 2012.
Delegates line up to cast their ballots for the new executive on day two of the Liberal Convention in Ottawa, Jan. 14, 2012.
(Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

John Ibbitson

Brave Liberal experiment raises hopes for broader political engagement

About 127,000 members and supporters will be eligible to vote next week for the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, less than half the number that originally signed up. So were the party’s efforts at mass mobilization a bust? Not at all.

For the first time in this country’s history, a national political party has sought to draw the broader public into a leadership race without forcing people to become dues-paying, card-carrying party animals. Though the process was highly flawed, tens of thousands of Canadians registered to cast a vote for Liberal leader.