Saturday, May 23, 2009

On incentives

Most earlier discussion about the Cons' and Libs' efforts to protect MPs from any riding-level democracy has focused on the disenfranchisement of members and the lack of accountability for MPs. But with the Libs now reporting on the results going into their first deadline for protection, it's worth noting how their scheme may create some perverse incentives for anybody who supports the party but not a local MP.

After all, in trying to create an incentive for MPs to make an effort to work on recruiting members and donors, the Libs have also effectively decreed that the MP will personally benefit from anybody within a riding who signs up for the party. Which raises the question: how long will it be before Lib members and donors end up seeing no choice but to abandon the party en masse in order to get rid of an unpopular MP who would otherwise be protected by their continued involvement?

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