Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Illustrated Guide To Tory Turmoil

OTTAWA - A former MP says he and many other Conservatives in his Manitoba riding are upset with how the party handled finding his replacement, calling the nomination process there undemocratic


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.


Tof KW said...

Ah but all will be forgiven because Harper is a winner. You know, unlike those other Tories like Joe Clark or Robert Stanfield ...the ones with integrity, intelligence and were democrats of the highest order.

CanadianSense said...

Interesting post. How did the liberal leader secure his riding?

Why was he parachuted in a safe seat? J.T. earned his seat and beat out the Bloc.

Warren Kinsella and some insiders have raised the issues about locking the doors early from other candidates.

Reminds of another time in 2008 Bob Rae protesting how insiders were not allowing a leadership contest to select their party leader.

A wee bit hypocritical?

Gayle said...

Speaking of hypocritical, maybe CS can refresh our memories. How did the CPC react to Ignatieff being "parachuted" in again? What was their response to Dion's idea of appointing women candidates? What was Harper saying about grassroots democracy and accountability?

Just wondering.

CanadianSense said...


You should ask those questions directly to our PM.

I was asking a fellow blogger who was being inconsistent.

Gayle feel feel to publish your own blog and share your wonderful ideas from the left.

Obama, Smitherman could use a lefty pillow to cry on.

bigcitylib said...


The LPoC is not committed to "grassroots democracy" within the party to anywhere near the same extent as the CPoC has claimed to be in the past. THEY are the ones committed in theory to a principle that they ignore in practice. Hence they are the hypocrites.

Tof KW said...

Obama, Smitherman could use a lefty pillow to cry on.

As irrelevant and off-topic as usual.

BTW, what would you call a Canadian Conservative if they were parachuted to run in a US congressional district?

A Democrat, and a pretty liberal one at that. Think about it before you disagree with my analysis. Our two nations don't compare nicely politically speaking.

dizzy said...

And don't forget that Ezra Levant was the duly nominated con candidate in a Calgary riding until some guy bumped him off.
He coulda been on a leash all these years.

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