Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Today's tonic: "York’s Catholic school trustees are abusing their power by refusing to raise the Pride flag. Their day of reckoning is coming"

Today's tonic: "York’s Catholic school trustees are abusing their power by refusing to raise the Pride flag. Their day of reckoning is coming," by Martin Regg Cohn

I couldn't  agree more with the columnist on this.  

It's long past time for an Ontario leader to be brave enough to take on this sacred cow of a separate system just for Catholics and unite our public education systems to end this systemic discrimination based on religion.  No faith should have special rights in modern Ontario.  

 In 2007, the public made clear in that provincial election (with the crushing defeat of John Tory's PCs who advocated that year expanding funding to all religions) they certainly don't want to further silo off our public education system to create even more religious public schools.  

Instead, the solution to this discrimination is clear: one system for all. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Tonight's tonic: "Debunking three big myths about bike lanes...and why every North American city needs as many bike lanes as they can possibly build"

Tonight's tonic: "Debunking three big myths about bike lanes" by Taylor C. Noakes, a public historian and independent journalist.

I couldn't agree more with these facts.  Enough of the neo-con nonsense that Mark Saunders is spouting in this election, which is just being pushed to divide Torontonians against Torontonians simply to win political power - the sleaziest game so often played by conservative politicians these days.  

"Some Toronto mayoral candidates question their efficacy — but every North American city needs as many bike lanes as they can possibly build..."

"If you’re having a hard time deciding who to vote for, let me make it easy for you: anyone advocating removing bike lanes from any part of the city should be immediately disqualified. They are not a serious candidate — they simply do not understand fundamental aspects of how cities work. 

"Bike lanes have a greater passenger capacity than lanes for vehicular traffic. The average single lane of private motor-vehicle traffic has a capacity of between 600 and 900 vehicles per hour, representing between 600 and 1,800 people (and it’s closer to the lower end of that range because most cars have but a single occupant).

"By contrast, the average two-way protected bike lane (which typically occupies less space than a single lane of traffic), has a capacity of 7,500 people per hour.

"Congestion isn’t just a problem of people not getting where they need to go in a timely manner; it’s also a problem of pollution and emissions. Congested traffic is a major source of the carbon-dioxide emissions that are fuelling the climate emergency.

"A common yet utterly debunked argument against bike lanes is that, because they often replace street parking, they are therefore bad for small businesses. I always thought this was a particularly ridiculous argument, given that most cars travel too fast for most drivers to get a good look at what’s inside a shop window.

"People who use bikes as their primary means of conveyance are in fact better stimulators of local businesses than are people in cars. A recent study from Transport for London provides some truly jaw-dropping insight into just how much economic stimulus can be created by re-orienting city streets to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists.

"Over the course of a month, a cyclist or pedestrian will spend 40 per cent more than a motorist. Improvements to the public realm that facilitate pedestrian or cyclist access can increase retail sales by as much as 30 per cent. Installing bike-parking infrastructure can yield as much as five times the amount of retail spending per square metre than the same allowed to car parking. Cyclists and pedestrians were also shown to visit the small businesses of their local commercial thoroughfares more frequently than motorists did — frequently twice as often."

Friday, May 19, 2023

Today's tonic: "The Leap: Alberta Conservative Lee Richardson on Why He’s Voting NDP"

Today's tonic: "The Leap: Alberta Conservative Lee Richardson on Why He’s Voting NDP"

"Policy: Why won’t you be voting for Danielle Smith? 

"Richardson: I am a Conservative, a Progressive Conservative in the Peter Lougheed tradition. Danielle is not a Conservative.

"Sadly, she is not the Danielle Smith I first knew and admired 30 years ago. She was President of the U of C campus Progressive Conservative Club and a hard-working Progressive Conservative volunteer in my ‘93 federal election campaign. She was then bright, thoughtful, and driven – always challenging herself to get over her fear of meeting people, something she’d have to do, to someday get elected herself.

"Over the intervening years, a clear vision or consistent political ideology or party loyalty would not impair that goal. As her political career ebbed and flowed, her self-professed libertarianism gave way to grievance politics and tactical populism. Danielle’s Tucker Carlson-inspired radio talk show provided the vehicle for the resurgence of her political following while stoking division, hate and fear in listeners, with negative rhetoric, culture wars, and conspiracy theories. The more provocative, outrageous, or extreme were the views expressed, the higher the ratings. Lost were the traditional Conservative values of integrity, ethics, respect for our institutions, authority, the rule of law, and the norms of a democratic society..."

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Today's tonic: "Mark Saunders says he cares about ‘public safety.’ So why is he gunning for bike lanes?"

Today's tonic by Edward Keenan: "Mark Saunders says he cares about ‘public safety.’ So why is he gunning for bike lanes?" 

"If you ask me what I think the rationale behind Mark Saunders’s mayoral campaign appears to be — so far, at least — I’d say it’s to be a loyal assistant to Premier Doug Ford. From his history, his own stances on issues that have arisen, the team that’s behind his campaign, and the Premier’s fairly open support, it sure looks that way.

"Ford’s favourite pastime is to give the city of Toronto’s government a wedgie and stuff it into a locker, and Saunders appears to be the candidate who would lead the city by saying “Thank you Premier, can we have another?”

"But if you ask the Saunders campaign for the rationale behind his run for mayor, they’d say it’s “public safety” — an issue he has accused the other leading candidates of not caring about as he’s positioned himself, as a former police chief, as having the “law and order” solution.

"Now, some of his opponents have pointed out that even if you think a big policing response is the answer to the city’s crime concerns, this particular former police chief might not be your poster boy — some major crime stats, including murder and shootings, went up under his watch, and he publicly denied there was a serial killer on the loose while the worst serial killer in local history was preying on Toronto’s LGBTQ community.

"...In Toronto, where protected lanes have been installed, it has also been the case that the city has reported the roads became safer for all users — during the Bloor Street bike lane pilot project, “conflicts” (collisions and near misses) between motorists were down 77 per cent and between motorists and cyclists down 61 per cent."

Sunday, April 16, 2023

This weekend's tonic from Chantal Hebert: "Is it time to step down? Five questions about Justin Trudeau’s future as he marks 10 years as Liberal leader."

This weekend's tonic from Chantal Hebert: 

"Is it time to step down? Five questions about Justin Trudeau’s future as he marks 10 years as Liberal leader...none of the would-be successors to Trudeau commands an audience quite as large as his own. That is particularly true in Quebec, a province central to Liberal reelection hopes."

It may indeed be true that Trudeau is still the best opponent to take it to nasty PP in the next election.  It would be a polarizing election, but I think it's highly possible Trudeau would inspire and earn the votes of many progressives, myself included, who didn't support him the last two elections in order to stop PP this time.  

This incident caught on tape this week reminded many how strong and engaged Trudeau can be and that he knows well how to combat the right-wing, fascist nonsense overflowing in neo-conservative circles these days. 


Poilievre as Prime Minister would turn Canada into one big inferno which would destroy the institutions Canadians rely on and set our country on course for the types of violence and civil unrest we are seeing in the U.S. where fascists who inspire Poilievre have been doing their nasty work for longer.   

The majority of Canadians don't want to see our country collapse into a shitty hellhole governed by Pierre Poilievre.  Another four years of Trudeau would be more than worth it to avoid the Poilievre Apocalypse. 


Sunday, April 9, 2023

Today’s tonic: “Francois-Philippe Champagne, aka Franky Bubbles, key to Liberals avoiding extinction”

Today’s tonic from (gulp) Warren Kinsella: "Francois-Philippe Champagne, aka Franky Bubbles, key to Liberals avoiding extinction"

I haven't been agreeing much with Warren these last few years, but the guy has always been super smart and I have to admit he's on the right track here.  

I can't ignore the fatigue and hatred I'm hearing about JT lately and, approaching the eighth year of Liberal government, it does seem prudent and the best thing for the country that Mr. Trudeau move on before the next election to avoid the Poilievre Apocalypse.  

None of the other potential successors (Chrystia Freeland, Anita Anand, Mark Carney, Melanie Jolie) seem to make much sense to me, except this guy Francois-Philippe Champagne does.  A hard-working Liberal prime minister?  Wouldn't that be nice.  I'd give him a shot! 

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Pierre Poilievre quits as Conservative Party Leader and exits federal politics for the Bank of Canada

In a surprise move, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has declared himself a "gatekeeper," quit his job as Conservative Party Leader and exited federal politics.  

He'll be moving on to become executive assistant to Tiff Macklem, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, as of Monday morning. 

"I woke up from a nightmare the other day and realized that my whole career has been part of the problem, not the solution. So that's why I'm getting the hell out of here," said Poilievre during a lengthy press conference in which he gave a brief statement, followed by two hours of answering questions from reporters, and managed not once to degrade or attack anyone for failing to ask easy softball questions.  

"I realized in my dream this week that I'm actually a gatekeeper.  I was elected as an MP in a rotten Conservative burrough at age 24 and have been protecting the gates of power for elites ever since."  

"My salary is four times the average size of the types of people I've been attacking viciously for years.  What was I thinking?" asked Poilievre, shaking his own head and looking down at the floor timidly.    

"Since my time as federal leader, I've had the occasion to get out of the echo chambers of Conservative Party youth and insiders to meet with and speak with people with actual jobs that didn't give them a multi-million dollar pension before the age of 30, like I've had.  It's been illuminating!"

"I want to thank the Ghost of Christmas Future who told me in my dream that I should seek a better life.  It's never too late to do the right thing!"  

"You see, at first, I assumed the Ghost of Christmas Future was some kind of evil gatekeeper as the lessons he was telling me made me sort of uncomfortable, like I needed to be nicer to people and use my life to inspire goodness in people rather than hate.  I didn't like how that triggered me and when that happens I've believed since I worked for Stephen Harper that any kind of discomfort or annoyance that challenges me should immediately be declared evil and destroyed," said Poilievre, shaking his head. 

"I was such a fool!  But no more!  Fuck Stephen Harper!  No more darkness for me!"

Poilievre chuckled sweetly as tears came to his eyes as he paused thoughtfully before reporters, then he continued:

"The Ghosts gave me a talking to about my manners as well...I have to say I had no idea I was coming across like such an asshole with my public statements and tweets.  I gotta tell you it's never too late to fix the bullshit you've been doing your whole career and instead turn over a new page."

Poilievre told reporters he's deleted his social media accounts, quit his job as Member of Parliament and already has been hired into a new role as executive assistant to Tiff Macklem, who is Governor of the Bank of Canada, who he describes as a "lifelong family friend." 

"I'm looking forward to a quiet life and doing some actual work starting Monday morning.  I looked at my new job description and I got to say it excites me.  Nowhere on it does it say anything about printing money or pushing inflation to new heights.  All it says is we work hard and independently of the government of the day to try to bring balance to the economy with careful decisions about monetary policy and interest rates.  I had no idea what the Bank of Canada actually did.  So I'm looking forward to this new challenge in life." 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

This week's tonic: "Canada’s spies and the hypocrites who adore them - Did China interfere in Canada’s elections? We don’t know. But journalists must not rely on friendly leaks for the truth."

This week's tonic by columnist Andrew Mitrovica: "Canada’s spies and the hypocrites who adore them - Did China interfere in Canada’s elections? We don’t know. But journalists must not rely on friendly leaks for the truth." 

"I am the author of one of two books of any consequence written about the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the nation’s equivalent of Britain’s MI5. My 2002 exposé, Covert Entry, revealed a rogue agency rife with laziness, incompetence, corruption and lawbreaking."

"Sadly, too few reporters, editors, columnists or editorial writers in Canada have made the effort to understand how CSIS functions with impunity and hold it to account.

"I am sharing this history and context because, lately, there has been a geyser of leaking of “top secret” stuff going on in Canada that is causing quite a tizzy.

"...This is all to say that Canadians should be cautious about accepting as fact stuff that is leaked to “friendly” journalists and news organisations who are not as cautious as they should be – despite having the imprimatur of an “intelligence” service stamped on it.

"...The consensus among a preening batch of grandstanding reporters, columnists, editorial writers and politicians is that China’s “interference” in Canada’s elections is bad because China is a “bad actor” on the international stage.

"I missed all the hyperventilating outrage when Canada’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, joined those Alexis-de-Tocqueville-like paragons of democracy, Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro and former US President Donald Trump and tried to engineer what amounted to a coup d’état and install their man, Juan Guaido, as the president of Venezuela.

"Freeland was praised by the same apoplectic columnists and editorial writers for interfering – openly and secretly – in Venezuela’s domestic affairs since, like China, the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, is a “bad actor”.

"This is a news story oozing with congratulatory glee, published widely among sympathetic Canadian news outlets, heralding Freeland’s “key role” in playing a “behind the scenes” part in a failed attempt to depose the socialist leader.

"When Canada interfered in Venezuela’s right to choose who will be president, most Canadian establishment columnists, editorial writers and politicians applauded. Canada is, they agree, a “good actor”.

"The sanctimony is as galling as it is instructive.

"But, these days, you won’t hear so much as a whisper about Canada’s not-so-secret record on the “interference” score since a capital city and newsrooms filled with amnesiac, spy-adoring hypocrites are too busy pointing an accusatory finger at China."

Today's tonic: "20 years after the Iraq War, it’s clear our elites learned no lessons"

Today's tonic from Taylor C. Noakes is a public historian and independent journalist: "20 years after the Iraq War, it’s clear our elites learned no lessons...Two decades on from the deceit and disaster of a war that claimed as many as one million Iraqi lives, no one has been held accountable...

"...If there were any justice in this world, Bush, Cheney, Blair, Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz (and 100s more) would have been tried — and likely convicted — of war crimes."  

"...In his recent retrospective on the Iraq War, former Bush speech writer David Frum claimed in The Atlantic that an arsenal of chemical warfare shells and warheads were found. In truth, no arsenal of chemical weapons was found in Iraq. What U.S. troops discovered were 1980s vintage, largely U.S.-supplied, chemical munitions so degraded they couldn’t be safely moved out of the country for disposal, and so were sealed up in bunkers back in the mid-1990s, under U.N. supervision.

"...If those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, I fear for those whose past is actively being rewritten. What fate awaits us?


#Iraq20YearsOn #uspoli

Saturday, March 18, 2023

I'm starting to think Justin Trudeau needs to retire in order to stave off the regressive threat of Pierre Poilievre

This article, "Neither Trudeau nor Poilievre is shooting straight these days", by Shachi Kurl, President of the Angus Reid Institute, made me think a lot about the next federal election in Canada.  It lays bare the many recent mistakes and inherent flaws of Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre: "The prime minister is always his own greatest asset and worst liability. And the Official Opposition leader can't resist scorching the earth, no matter the issue."  

My take: we are stuck with Poilievre as Conservative Leader due to that party base's bad instincts around what constitutes good leadership in today's Canada.  Poilievre won by such an overwhelming margin last year despite his enormous flaws as a leader and politician.  After previous similarly flawed choices like Erin O'Toole, Andrew Scheer and even Stephen Harper, it's clear Conservative Party members aren't interested in making nice with Canada's progressive majority.  It's a recipe for frequent defeat, as long as the progressive coalition that keeps electing Liberals holds up.  

Poilievre's nastiness on its own is not going to sweep Canada anytime soon.  However, his strategy, in my mind, remains not to boost Conservative support by reaching out to moderate Canadians, but instead to deflate and degrade support for all other parties and to push down voter turnout.  He wants Canadians to become cynical and feel hopeless about their democracy, so they decide not to vote.  His attacks on the alleged foreign interference in recent Canadian elections are designed to do just that.  Poilievre hopes that Conservatives will still turn out in droves to give his party enough seats to form a government.  

This was Doug Ford's strategy in 2022, done to great success with the inadvertent help from mediocre opposition leaders Andrea Horwath and Steven Del Duca. Of course, Ford's brand of conservatism is more mainstream and moderate than Poilievre's and an easier sell in Ontario.  Poilievre meanwhile still refuses to publicly condemn his own MPs for flirting with hard-right fascists.  Poilievre clearly thinks motivating his Conservative base plus some wing nuts from the People's Party/convoy movement is all he needs to win in Canada, provided progressive Canadians are divided or not voting.   

Justin Trudeau, while on a bit of a roll late last year and in January, is once again showing his more usual bad instincts with his handling of the recent controversy over alleged foreign interference in Canadian elections.  We may have hit a point when Canadians, progressive Canadians included, decide they've had enough of the Justin Trudeau show.  That dislike or fatigue with Trudeau could drive down progressive turnout and make it impossible for the Grits to hang on. 

I am starting to believe that Trudeau may no longer be the Liberals' best bet to take on the threat posed by Poilievre's regressive Conservatives.  It might be better instead for the Liberal Party to seek renewal and change within and find a new leader and team to take them into the 2025 election.  No doubt, Canadians would give a new leader a new look, hoping for something better than what we've gotten since 2015.   Against the unknown horrors that Poilievre might bring, Canadians might give the new Liberal leader a chance.  

But if Trudeau remains, I am starting to fear he's not going to be able to stop Poilievre.  And that would be horrible for Canada. 

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Ontario Liberals embrace change and open up their party's leadership process

What a thrill!  Yesterday, I was so happy to be there when Ontario Liberals at their Annual General Meeting in Hamilton voted overwhelmingly to change our party's leadership election process to allow every Ontario Liberal member a say in the final decision who becomes leader. 

It was a truly momentous day and so rewarding for the hard-working activists who've been championing this cause for years, myself included.  

Under the new leadership election system, Ontario Liberal members will directly cast their votes for their preferred leadership candidate using a ranked ballot.  To ensure no one large riding or region dominates the provincial results, each constituency association (currently there are 124 across Ontario) shall be allocated 100 points, to be awarded to leadership candidates based on the proportion of support they receive. 

Party members yesterday also recognized the unique and important roles youth play in our party by voting to allocate 50 points to each accredited Ontario Young Liberal student club (I believe there are about eight of these all associated with post-secondary institutions including Queen's University).  In addition, members chose to allocate 5 points for each accredited Women's Liberal Club.  Young Liberal student club members and Women's Liberal Club members will have to choose whether to vote in those clubs or in their riding associations, but they like all members will only get one vote.  These point allocations are very similar to how the previous convention system awarded delegates: each riding association used to get 16 delegates, each student club 8 delegates, and each women's club 1 delegate.  So no one lost anything in this modernization. 

And all members have gained so much! Now we all will have a final say about who will be the next leader. 

Annual General Meeting delegates braved the winter storm Friday night to make it to Hamilton in record numbers - about 1,300 total delegates registered, as well as dozens more volunteers, the biggest Ontario Liberal AGM in 20 years! 

It's been a busy several weeks organizing and working with volunteer Ontario Liberal activists getting ready to try to change our party's leadership process to a more open, democratic Direct Voting system.  

I want to thank the hard-working Liberal activists in the Scarborough Guildwood riding association who sponsored the amendment that ultimately became the basis for the new system, especially Mary McDermott and Jan Rowan.  Scarborough Guildwood Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter also played a big role promoting this cause, and was a big help this weekend getting it passed.   

In addition, potential leadership candidates Nate Erskine-Smith, Ted Hsu, Yasir Naqvi, Stephanie Bowman, and Dr. Adil Shamji really stepped up, promoting the cause among their supporters and speaking in favour of the resolution during the final debate to get us over the top.  Party presidential candidates Natalie Hart and Fadi El Masry also pushed hard for the change, which was also supported by our new president Kathryn McGarry.   Congratulations to Kathryn on her victory!   Other party activists running for executive also officially supported One Member One Vote including Jeff Rybak, Damien O'Brien, David Farrow, Tariq Khan and Ibrahim Daniyal.  I'm probably missing some names, so my apologies if I did.  

I worked the last several weeks with longtime activists Omar Ha-Redeye, Qadira Jackson Kouakou, and Gloria Reszler McKeigan on what became dubbed by the party's Constitution Committee as the "Guerin group" to submit our proposal for change.  (Some of us chuckled about the moniker, thinking we'll now need to trademark the group name.)  Our proposal had been worked on for several weeks with fellow activists Elizabeth Betowski, Devon Monkhouse, Corinne Muccilli, Kelly Foote, Michael Miasek, Umbreen Akhtar and many others. 

We joined forces with activists Pat Sorbara, Quito Maggi, David Valentin, Liz Davidson, Brendan Knight on a team that tried to bring organization to the reform efforts.  We also teamed up with other activists who supported the cause including former leader Lyn McLeod, David Campbell, Alex Mulligan, Dan Foster, Bob Wright, Mohammed Patel, Karen Somerville, Kelly Lynne Ashton, Richard Irving, Jane Veit, and many others. 

Together, we formed a united team that reached out to party members and delegates, made our arguments and ultimately won the day yesterday.   

I do want to communicate a special thank you to the volunteers on the party's Constitution Committee who shepherded all of the proposed amendments through the AGM process including Milton Chan, Kate Julien and Simon Tunstall.   

To all supporters of change, congratulations!  We changed our party for the better!  Great job, everyone!  Now let's keep up the momentum to make sure the Ontario Liberals continue this path toward renewal and becoming again a party that speaks to all Ontarians in every region, promotes just and progressive causes and issues that make the lives of everyone better and pushes Ontario forward.   Together, we'll be able to bring a better government to Queen's Park in 2026.   

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Dalton McGuinty could've easily won the Ontario Liberal leadership through Weighted One-Member-One-Vote

Former Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty
Ontario Liberals meet this weekend in Hamilton for their 2023 Annual General Meeting to again consider whether to open up and reform their party's leadership process to end archaic delegated conventions and bring in a Weighted One Member One Vote system for electing the leader.  

The Ontario Liberals currently use delegated conventions to finalize their leadership races.  Most party members vote only at local election meetings where they elect 16 delegates per riding to those conventions, who promise to support certain leadership candidates at the convention on the first ballot. (They are free to vote how they wish after that.)  The leadership candidate who wins over 50% support on a ballot at the convention wins the leadership.   

In practise, these conventions tend to be intense pressure cookers where secret backroom deals made between losing candidates and those still in the race along with their senior advisors tend to determine the outcome.  Losing candidates often cross the floor in dramatic fashion to endorse another candidate who may have secretly offered them a future senior cabinet position.  Delegates tend to follow their leaders like sheep until one winner emerges.  It's a little sleazy, elitist and outdated.  

What is Weighted One Member One Vote?

Weighted One Member One Vote, or Direct Vote, would give all party members a preferential ballot which would allow them to directly elect the leader rather than leave it up to a group of party delegates at a convention.  Each riding would receive 100 points, which would be divided up based on the percentage of the votes won by each leadership candidate from members in those ridings.  Provincial counts of members' ballot preferences would be counted until one leadership candidate receives over 50% of the points and wins the leadership. 

I view this change as crucial for the party's reform and re-engagement with the grassroots.  Delegated conventions are only typically attended by about 5% of party members.  The other 95% of members are forced to watch from the sidelines as the biggest decision the party can make - who leads it - is left up to an elite group of delegates as well as ex-officio party operators who don't even have to declare how they're voting.   

Some proponents of the status quo have been arguing lately one reason to keep delegated conventions is they believe Dalton McGuinty, the esteemed former Liberal leader who won a delegated convention in 1996 and eventually became premier and led a progressive government from 2003 to 2012, would never have been able to win a Weighted One Member One Vote leadership election.   

Nonsense, I say!  First, these folks must've seen the recent movie hit Everything Everywhere All At Once a few too many times as they're now claiming they can jump back and forth through time, into alternate realities and make claims they know what would've happened had history been different.  

No one can know how the 1996 leadership race would've turned out had it been fought with a Weighted One Member One Vote system.  

But I'd like to suggest in fact it's very possible that Dalton McGuinty would've won that race too, had it been fought under the system that Ontario Liberals are considering this weekend.  

Let's go back to 1996 and review our history: 

Going into that delegated convention, Gerard Kennedy led with about 28% of the vote, but he was considered a flawed frontrunner with limited growth potential.  Dalton McGuinty, Joe Cordiano, and Dwight Duncan were all clumped very close to each other in second place.  Further back, John Gerretsen and Annamarie Castrilli trailed with about 10% each.  Greg Kells had about 1% support.  

Leadership candidates change their behaviour based on the rules and how the race is played.  

In 1996, Gerretsen and Castrilli made the decisions to endorse McGuinty after the second ballot, which was crucial for McGuinty's momentum to move up and eventually win.  

But with a preferential ballot system, as we've seen in other jurisdictions where they already exist, candidates can announce their second preferences, or their campaigns can encourage their supporters to give their second choice to particular candidates before the vote is finished.   Considering that Gerretsen and Castrilli did both endorse McGuinty, it's possible they or their campaigns might've told their supporters to mark Dalton McGuinty as their second choices on their preferential ballots.  

Since McGuinty was very much in the second place tier of candidates, those second preferences would've pushed him up considerably over subsequent counts.  And considering Kennedy's weak growth, I suggest that McGuinty could've easily been able to beat him.  

Of course, like I said, this is conjecture.  No one can know what would've happened in 1996 with a Weighted One Member One Vote system.   

But considering the facts I've outlined above, I do believe it's very likely Dalton would've pulled off a similar victory with the overall membership too under Weighted One Member One Vote.  

For some Liberals, that point may be important to note, as many consider the progressive reforms McGuinty brought in like phasing out coal, instituting the Greenbelt and many other policies as deeply important.  I'd like to tell those Liberals that I do believe McGuinty would've won the leadership under either system.