The nomination process is broke, what’s Plan B?

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If there is one thing Ontarians can take away from the upcoming elections regardless who wins, it is the fact that the nomination process political parties at both the federal and the provincial levels are flawed and favor mediocre candidates who can and will manipulate the system.
The PC party has been plagued by the nomination scandals that have left a dozen odd ridings with candidates who are operating under a cloud of suspicion. And this might actually hurt the party. But worse is the damage it is causing to the integrity of our political system. Many voters who are inclined to vote PC are struggling to come to terms with the possibility of fraud-tainted candidates representing certain ridings that have been named by the NDP for possible corruption. But the thing is that all political parties have skeletons in their cupboards when it comes to the practices adopted by many of their candidates in nomination battles. How members are recruited and signed up is nothing short of scandalous yet no one is really calling for a revamp of the system despite all party bosses being aware of such practices, this may perhaps explain why the PCs have escaped the absolute wrath of Liberals and the NDP. The two parties have certainly not seized upon the issue and given it wide exposure.
As someone recently observed that there are two professions that are very popular among new immigrants, many first begin by becoming real estate agents and after a few years of buying and selling real estate, the begin to believe they know the land well enough that they feel equipped to become politicians. This the person said could explain why so many candidates make the real estate to politics transition within 20 years of their immigrating to their adopted countries. There are similar cases of nomination scandals in New Zealand and Australia involving South Asian politicians.
The nomination system favors ethnic candidates especially in ridings dominated by ethnic populations like say Brampton and Mississauga where virtually all the candidates fielded by all political parties are overwhelmingly South Asian.
Now that you might say starkly contrasts with municipalities where the councillors are mostly all white and graying.
Now juxtapose the federal and provincial political landscape where South Asians and Chinese seem to have made deep inroads with municipal politics across the land. It is not uncommon for a sitting councillor to be elected repeatedly for 20 to 30 years. It is rarely that a serious new immigrant contender is able to dislodge a sitting councillor. And why exactly is that the case? Candidates who run don’t have a nomination process so they are judged by their personalities, vision and what they truly have to offer. Which is why most South Asian MPs and MPPs across Canada would quite possibly lose if they ever chose to run as councillors in their own local ridings. Most voters don’t really care for dummy political candidates in provincial and federal elections because they know that the brain trust making decisions at the respective political parties are making all the decisions with little or no input from inept MPs or MPPs, but when it comes to municipal councillors, they need to really display their vision and prove their commitment to the wards they live in. More importantly, they get to make some really important decisions unlike many of our buffoonish MPs and MPPs.
I once asked a promising young person of an ethnic origin why she didn’t run for municipal councillor and instead opted to run for school trustee. She very candidly said it would be futile because sitting councillors are too powerful for a lay person to beat. She would only run when one of the sitting councillors announced their retirement. Until then she hobnobs with them all, poses for selfies and professes her support to the mayor and sitting councillors, all she can hope for is for one of them to retire and possibly endorse her candidacy
If the nomination process is broke and in need of an overhaul, one wonders what could come in its place that would be fair and transparent.
I have a suggestion- scrap the nomination process. Let all potential candidates apply for the position as if they were applying for an upper management position at a Fortune 500 company. They should then be interviewed by a panel of distinguished Canadians from all walks of life. The panel should grill them on their knowledge about the riding and understanding of the Canadian political system. After all if they want to operate within the political system, it would help to really know the system. They should be asked to display leadership and oratory skills because to be effective in the assembly and parliament, one should have a good diction and command over either English or French. And most of all, they would have to prove that they got into politics after spending years volunteering and displaying a good understanding of true multiculturalism. They should be able to show they are not just community leaders with commitment to their own community. Ethnicity would not matter because after all, we want a meritocratic system that will throw up the best leaders. Frankly in a multicultural country such as ours, mature voters should not care about the color and ethnicity of their leaders but should be confident that their party has selected the best candidate who has been rigorously screened. Voters feel betrayed if they realize that the system favors candidates who can potentially bribe their way to winning nominations.

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