06/10/2011 01:59 EDT | Updated 08/10/2011 05:12 EDT

Conservative Party Convention: Tories Divided Over Leadership Voting Rules, Youth


THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA -- A high-stakes fight over how the next Conservative leader will be chosen is unfolding on the floor of the party's convention.

Delegates are wearing buttons supporting either the party's current system for leadership races or a new one proposed by Ontario MP Scott Reid.

Reid's amendment to the party constitution would give more weight to riding associations that have more members.

That would theoretically give more power to future candidates from western Canada or Ontario, where riding associations are typically larger.

Reid collected enough signatures to get his proposal sent directly to the convention floor for a vote Saturday.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay and many of the delegates from Atlantic Canada and Quebec are fighting the proposal, saying all ridings should be treated equally, just as they are in the Canadian electoral system.