When the ballots are finally counted on May 27, the most important factor in deciding who will be the next leader of the Conservative Party might not be which candidate has the most votes. Instead, it could be where those votes are from.
Although there are 259,010 members eligible to vote in the Conservative leadership race, all votes will not be counted equally.
The party gives equal weight to each of Canada’s 338 ridings regardless of how many members that riding has. Each riding will be worth 100 points, distributed proportionately according to each candidate’s share of the vote.
This will make members in some parts of the country far more valuable than others. There are more than three times as many members in Alberta as in Quebec, but less than half as many ridings — and points.
An analysis of donations provides an indication of just how significant the effect of this disparity could be.