Mark said in an interview that he purposely announced he was leaving a year early, so that the party would have time to hold a competitive nomination process.
Instead, only a single nomination contestant — Robert Sopuck — was ever recognized by the party, despite other local Tories wanting to run.
Mark said he complained about irregularities in the process to his Manitoba caucus colleagues at least twice.
"After spending over 13 years in the riding, not allowing the membership base to have a say in who should replace me is just not right, and not one of (my fellow MPs). . .would utter one single response," he said.
Inky is hardly the first to complain, though. Every since they came to power in 2006, the Tories have been wrestling where their Reform Party instincts in regards to local democracy.
For example, most of the Calgary West riding association quit after CPoC Central quelled their attempts to replace Rob Anders with someone less embarrassing.
Gilles Rancourt complained about the "Party Brass in Ottawa" stifling his bid for the federal nomination in London-Fanshawe, and eventually left the CPoC.
And then there was The Blue Network, a short-lived reform movement within the CPoC that worked towards restoring "grassroots democracy" to the party. It went nowhere.
Opposition to Lisa Raitt's parachute candidacy among Halton Tories was legendary. Local Tories even whomped up an anonymous website urging her defeat in '08. She won anyway.
Ken Epp refused to endorse Tim Uppal in 2008 when he was parachuted into Epps old (Edmonton) riding. Uppal won the seat regardless.
But perhaps most tragically, nine directors of The Mississauga East-Cooksville Conservative Party executive quit when smoking hot Melissa Bhagat was selected by the Tory braintrust in Ottawa to run in that riding. She lost.
That's all I can remember; I'm not sure the protests against Julian Fantino count because I'm not sure the opposition comes from local Conservatives. But here's a link anyhow.
PS. I think this is the only website on the planet that still has this particular picture of Ms. Bhaghat. I believe she had it pulled from the original source after she was nominated.