Eighty percent higher than it was for the contest that elected Stephane Dion two years ago, the price to get a word in edgewise in the decades old grudge match between Michael Ignatieff and Today's Bob Rae is what your financial advisor might call "dangerously overvalued."
Which brings us back to Stephen LeDrew's point. The affect of the 80% increase is to keep the Hedy Frys and Martha Hall Findlays -- or even people who, God forbid, aren't one of the 77 remaining Liberal MPs -- off the stage.
Despite having called more leadership contests in the past four years than the Conservatives, Bloc and New Democrats combined, the Liberal Party is still struggling to renew itself for 2008. In terms of its fundraising, its membership and its policies, the Liberal machine is still humming the Macarena and fretting that its Tamagotchi may have died overnight.
Guaranteeing that the coming Liberal leadership race is a do-over of debates begun 40 years ago on the campus of the University of Toronto between two head-strong self-aggrandizers is sure to help the party through the relevance problem LeDrew has identified.