To put the truly astonishing Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal leadership vote into perspective, here is a table of "open" party leadership contests in Canada, both federal and provincial, since the Parti Québécois leadership race of 1985.
These include party leaderships decided by open, one-member-one-vote member- or supporter-based voting, or conventions which were open to all party members. It also includes party leaderships which were geographically weighted one-member-one-vote, but excludes internal party votes for delegated leadership conventions.
Colours follow the traditional partisan colour scheme, with the addition of purple for Quebec sovereigntist parties, and green for non-"Conservative" right-of-centre parties.
The "votes" figure takes the total number of valid votes on the largest ballot (or count, in the cast of preferential ballots.) The per-capita figure expresses the total number of leadership votes in the largest ballot as a percentage of the voters list in the province (or Canada) at the chronologically nearest federal election. (One exception: the 1990 Ontario PC leadership is expressed as a percentage of the 1990 Ontario provincial voters list.)
Since 1985, the average open provincial party leadership has attracted about 1.5% of that province's electors. At 5.8%, as a pure exercise in voter-mobilization, the NL Liberal leadership is a runaway success.
Additions and corrections are welcome.
Despite the wrinkles and gremlins, the NL Liberal Party, and the teams behind the five candidates, deserve full credit for driving this leadership process, which, adjusted for population, is one of the biggest exercises of grassroots party democracy in recent Canadian history.
Labels: pretty tables