Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tory Turmoil In London

A fight among Conservatives in the federal riding of London-Fanshawe has prompted a wannabe candidate and some supporters to jump ship to the Christian Heritage Party.

What's happened in London has played out within a number of Tory riding associations in the last couple of years, notably Halton after Ms. Raitt was parachuted into the candidacy: the local Tories have a process, sometimes even a candidate, in place, and CPoC central pulls the plug on them, (in the case of London's Gilles Rancourt, because the Tories wanted to avoid nominating an unelectable SoCon, I imagine).

McLelland thinks this indicates the Tories are "crumbling from within". Well, I'd like to think so, but shared power is the social equivalent of crazy glue. Nevertheless, McClelland is right to note that:

The growing sentiment from the grassroots that they no longer matter to the party should be of great concern however, to a party built and funded almost entirely by grassroots support.

It will be a matter of great concern once the party is back in opposition again or, perhaps, after Harper decides to throw in the towel.



Tom said...

Yes the Conservatives should take lessons from a party who listens to the grass roots, Like the Liberals!

Ti-Guy said...

Liberals complain about this kind of thing as well. Unlike the Conservatives though, they're not big fat, bloated hypocrites.

Terrence C. Watson said...

If the guy feels more at home in the Christian Heritage Party, it's no wonder the Conservatives wanted nothing to do with him.

When I was in high school in London, we got to hear from the local CHP candidate... CRAZY!

Ti-Guy said...

I spent almost a decade in London and I now know why I never felt like I really lived there. Local politics and civic life were really small town despite London being a decent-sized city.

Omar said...'s no wonder the Conservatives wanted nothing to do with him.

Perhaps someday they'll cast the same critical eye on their evangelical leader.

Terrence C. Watson said...


You really think Harper is a sincere evangelical? I've heard from a few sources that he only pretends to be religious.


I have to wonder if we were in London at the same time. For me, it was late 80s to late 90s.

Ti-Guy said...

I left London in '91, so yes, we were. Haven't been back since.

I don't have any bad memories of the place, just not any memories, really. But then, I pretty much lived in the DB Weldon Library the entire time.

Top Can said...

Strange that you would bring up Halton, since Iggy recently appointed a woman there without any nomination meeting also. And last time I checked, Lisa Raitt ended up winning Halton by almost 8000 votes.

bigcitylib said...


I am not saying the Liberals are any better in this regard. Just that I don't think there's ever been the same regard for the grass roots so nobody gets too ticked when the grassroots get abused.

Ti-Guy said...

Yeah, but this is more interesting, since it reveals the underlying ideological fracture that's present in the Conservative Party.

I frankly don't care at all how local candidates are chosen (as long as it's legal). Anyone who's ever participated in the process usually comes away totally sickened by the process, if not democracy altogether.

Unknown said...

Re: Embattled Rancourt Quits Tories by Chip Martin

In response to Chip Martin's recent article on my quitting the Torie Party allow me to correct three (3) facts that should have been verified in advance of publication. Let me also "unspin" the fiction of Mr. John Brotzel.

First of all, there were not two failed attempts to represent the Conservatives - just the one. This one attempt failed, I was told by Party Brass in Ottawa, because of the "cloud hanging over my head" as result of an "an informal investigation" that was prompted by 15 false allegations. These allegations were fabricated by those displaced former directors who were not happy to have lost their former seats on the Board to new ethnic members who had been democratically elected at the May 15th Annual General Meeting.

This was no "coup" as Mr. Brotzel would like you to believe for how can a democratically held election be considered "a coup"? In fact, had not Mr. Brotzel's name been placed on our Slate of Directors, he would not be a director today much less the President.

Secondly, the membership applications were taken on the basis that new party members would participate in a Nomination Meeting where they could vote for the candidate of their choice, but alas, and true to form, the Conservative Party once again usurped member's rights by eroding democracy through the appointment of the candidate. Why take risks with democracy when an appointment provides a great degree of control? The Candidate’s greater allegiance then is to the Party who appointed him and NOT the members!

Need we wonder why 45% of eligible voters believe that their vote no longer matters?

As a result of not having a Nomination Meeting, we were faced with a decision: should we send these applications in for membership or should we first ask each new member what they would have us do with their application? In order to maintain integrity, our group decided to contact all the applicants.

Two months later, after we had completed our phone calls, we submitted the balance of applications to the Regional Controller, Marion Meinen but she promptly rejected them! We then bypassed this most difficult local board by sending them directly to the Membership Department in Ottawa, where they were immediately accepted into membership.

Thirdly, and for the record our resignation letter read as follows:

…We…(resign) “in protest” of the racial discomfort shown locally by London-Fanshawe EDA. We also object to the Conservative Party of Canada’s disregard of grass roots membership—with the sole exception of using the membership for constant solicitation of donations. We are tired of “top-down democracy.” We further object to the CPC’s undemocratic and unjust practices.

I have always admired Mr. Chip Martin's long term involvement in local party politics. I am now left in awe at his ability to write fiction.

bigcitylib said...

Yeah, my wife did a bit of riding level politics for the provincial Libs. People arguing furiously over bylaws to determine whether memberships were submitted correctly and on time. Kill me.

The MPP BBs were okay. Libs are usually pretty mellow. Not alot of ideas perhaps, but mellow.

bigcitylib said...

I am hoping that is indeed Mr. Rancourt, as I am elevating this comment to a post.

Ti-Guy said...

I am hoping that is indeed Mr. Rancourt, as I am elevating this comment to a post.

I wouldn't bother unless Chip Martin cares to respond.