With the economy teetering on the edge of recession, government finances in the red, raunchy deli meats flooding the store-shelves of the nation, and even staunch Tories criticizing Stephen Harper's apparent decision to turn his back on his own promise of fixed election dates, the last thing the CPoC needs on the brink of an (alleged) election call is dissatisfied rumblings from the grass roots.
But that appears to be what they're getting!
Charles Conn-- a one man fount of dissension and one of the guys who tried to derail the nomination of the talented and voluptuous Melissa Bhagatt--is now reporting dirty goings on in the riding of Halton! Take it away Charles!
Halton riding has a consistent and active membership of around 550 and a significant amount of money in the bank. It has always had a healthy riding association active in many community events and experienced at winning elections. There have been at least three very well-qualified members who have announced their intention to seek the candidacy for the same two years. All the requirements for holding a candidate selection process have been in place. It is axiomatic that the longer a candidate has to work the riding the more likely he/she is to have a positive influence on the outcome of an election.
However, PoliOps has decided to appoint Lisa Raitt as the Tory candidate in Halton.
Lisa Raitt at least lives in the riding. She is the CEO of the Toronto Harbour Commission. Formerly, she was chief counsel for the THC and was responsible for extracting the $35M penalty from Toronto City Council for their holdup of the Island Airport. Clearly a "Star" candidate!
As an aside, Mr. Conn casts a harsh eye of Ms. Raitt's time at the harbour commision, and suggests that "[i]nvestigators might possibly find it useful to also probe Toronto city councillors and mayor Miller about Ms. Raitt's tenure at THC". (Note: a quick GoogleNews search for "Raitt" and "Toronto Harbour Comission" yields nothing even slightly scandalous. Oh well!)
However, most interesting is Mr. Conn's account of how PoliOps plans to execute its screw-over of the CPoC grassroots. Apparently, Lisa Raitt was presented to the riding BOD early this year as the de facto candidate, but because of the controversy stirred up by L'affaire Bhaghat (partly by me, I'm proud to say!), PoliOps was forced to back off for the time being. However:
The membership in Halton will not be allowed to choose their own candidate. Whenever the writ is dropped for the next federal election, the cover of the call to arms will be used to sneak in Lisa Raitt as the official Party Representative.
Talk about abusing the membership!
Personally, I find it instructive to observe Tories abusing their Members. But whatever. Conn concludes by alleging that similar take-overs are going on all across the country:
National Councillors know full well what's going on....
...they can read the media accounts that relate the destruction being wrought, not just in southern Ontario, but also in Quebec, the Maritimes, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C. just in the last year. And probably three time as much damage is being done in ridings lacking the juice to fight back or get media attention.
Has the CPoC abandoned its grass-roots in the raw pursuit of power?