Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bad Spin Meet Reality

Everyone plays the expectations game, and the Conservatives are predictably downplaying their chances in the looming by-elections. The media will largely frame what constitutes success or failure for the various parties, but through the fog of posturing, let's hope that reality pierces through. The Conservatives are making a MAJOR play in Guelph, and the proof is everywhere. In fact, the entire Conservative national appartus is focused on this riding, and has been for months. So, to the people in the media, come September 8th, don't allow the spin to undermine the real.

A quick recap of the big push. A who's who of major Conservative figures to visit Guelph in the past weeks:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan

Environment Minister John Baird

Health Minister Tony Clement

Secretary of State Jason Kenney

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley

Oh, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper

All this prior to the by-election call. How can anyone take the downplaying seriously??

The local candidate also had a campaign office open months ago, from a good source, apparently funded by the national party.

Further evidence of a national push to win this riding:
More than 50 youth volunteers from ridings across Canada will be in Guelph this weekend in support of candidate Gloria Kovach.

This is the second time that the group has been in Guelph. They were first in the City in mid-June.

The Conservatives can say what they like, but what we are seeing in this riding is actually unprecedented for a by-election run up. The Conservatives will pour money, volunteers and energy into Guelph, which rightly makes this a "litmus" test for them, as much as the onus is on Dion. You don't get to fight this hard, and get away with "we don't expect to win". Actions speak LOUDER than words, so the media needs to keep perspective.

On a side note, I had to drive through Guelph last evening and the amount of signage present on the streets, only hours after the announcement, was staggering to say the least. All the campaigns look ready to go, this will clearly be anything but your garden variety by-election.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

The NDP is also making a major effort in Guelph and had a BBQ there recently that attracted 800 people. I wonder what the Liberals are up to. I know that they had a very divisive nomination meeting where a progressive woman of colour was narrowly defeated by the current candidate who look to be an old-fashioned rightwing Liberal cut from the same cloth as Pat O'Brian and Paul Steckle. We know that the outgoing Liberal MP Brenda Chamberlain was viciously homophobic and voted NO to every single bill on gay rights - I can only assume that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree with the new Liberal candidate.

Steve V said...

Now it's 800 people? Reminds me of Obama in Germany, every day the tally rises, probably will reach 1 million by Monday ;) I was going to mention the NDP, in fact yesterday the riding was bombarded with robocalls from Ed Broadbent. The NDP seems to be trying a "Mulcair" in Guelph, the amount of signage already out is quite noteworthy. The NDP has much at stake in this by-election too, particularly in light of their poor showing durng the last round of by-elections.

As for the Liberals, important to remember that the "divisive" nomination say the biggest turnout for any riding in Canada, I believe close to 2000 people. That turned some heads, and I think it speaks to the strength of the Liberals there. Besides, if you want controversy, just look at the Cons turfing their grassroots elected candidate in favor of Kovach, which has caused great bitterness, partially explains why she needs to bus in help.

I think Guelph is relevant because all the parties are making a serious play, nobody can fail and say it means nothing, as far as by-elections go.

Anonymous said...

Big turn outs at hotly contested nomination meetings don't always mean much. Didn't something like 5,000 people come to the Liberal nomination/riot in Hamilton East when Sheila Copps lost to Frank Valeri - and today Hamilton East-Stoney Creek has an NDP MP.

I'd still like to know whether the new Liberal candidate in Guelph is another ultra-rightwing homophobe like his predecessor or whether he has denounced the voting record of Brenda Chamberlain. If I were a Liberal in Guelph I would hang my head in shame over having had a bigot like her representing me all these years.

Steve V said...

anon

It's not an issue, at all, but if you want to believe that, go for it.

Anonymous said...

Its an issue to some people (maybe not to you). If I lived in Guelph and I was gay or lesbian or had any friends or family who were, or if I was even just a very socially liberal person, I would be deeply offended by the voting record and views of the supposedly Liberal ex-MP Brenda Chamberlain. I would want IRONCLAD assurances that the new Liberal candidate would totally reject everything that the bigot Brenda Chamberlain represented. If she hated gays and lesbians so much - I wonder what other minority groups she also hated???

Aren't we entitled to know beyond a shadow of a doubt whether the new Liberal candidate is a Chamberlain-clone? If he is then a lot of people need to know so that they don't accidentally vote for him.

Steve V said...

I'm pretty sure Chamberlain isn't running, so all your bitterness is OLD news. From everything I can gather, center-left would be the best way to describe the Liberal candidate.

Anonymous said...

Then he needs to denounce his predecessor and declare her to be "persona non grata" in his campaign.

If the Liberals want to "rally progressive voters" they can start by taking steps to expel regressive people from their party. Dion should announce that he will refuse to sign the nomination papers of anyone who isn't enthusiastically pro-choice on abortion and unswervingly supportive of gay rights as well.

Steve V said...

Okay, okay...

Anonymous said...

If Dion loses in Guelph, it'll be the beginning of the end for him.

Westmount will stay in the Liberal column being one of the safest Liberal seats in the country (this was Donald Johnson's old seat).

I am puzzled that all the Liberals could come up with is a western canadian to run in Saint-Lambert which is overwhelmingly francophone. This is Jacques Saada's old riding and the Liberals have been competitive here in recent years. Unless I'm missing something, it looks like they're throwing the towel on this one. I don't get it because the party that wrested that riding away from them, the Bloc, has been leaching support since the 2006 election.

Joseph said...

I do appreciate a person's desire to see the new Liberal candidate condemn the policies and beliefs of the old candidate if they were personally hurt. As a gay man, I particularly appreciate their emotions on this issue.

But that is an emotional reaction, not a rational one. It sounds like anonymous needs a personal message and outright condemnation from the new candidate, which is a hurdle that won't be crossed.

It would be totally bizarre for the new liberal candidate to focus campaign efforts on publicly denouncing the former MP of the same party. Talk about attracting all the wrong attention to your campaign.

On second thought, even the desire to want that seems a bit bizarre.

I take it your supporting another candidate in this race?

Steve V said...

It is curious, although the Bloc candidate had double the support of the Lib in 2006, so it's not hard to see why the riding might be considered out of reach. That said, if the Cons could snag a second here and the Libs fall to third, it would be a slight negative.

Joseph said...

Talk about building up expectations in hopes of failure . . . why exactly does the NDP see the Liberals as the enemy while giving the conservatives only passing notice?

I know it is an oft-discussed topic, but I still find the ferocity unbelievable and almost irrational.

RuralSandi said...

Anon - Chamberlain is a EX-Candidate...doesn't matter anymore.

This rant about an EX candidate is a real stretch to bash.

Why not email or phone or something and ask the new candidate his position before jumping to conclusions.

Steve V said...

joseph

I've never been big on guilt by association, the new candidate doesn't have to apologize for the past. If we are to make all people responsible for the actions of others, just because they share an affiliation, then we enter the realm of the absurd. Plus, as you say, any public reputidation could derail a campaign, just because of the controversy. I know the candidate has a good record on social issues, including a very active role in dealing with violence against women. Just highlight yourself, and let voters judge, it isn't anyone's baggage.

Anonymous said...

Joseph - because the Liberals and the NDP are fishing in the same pond. There was some similar ferocity when the Reform/Alliance fought with the Progressive Conservatives.

As for irrational, what about Elizabeth May spending her time and political capital supporting Dion when she should be building up the Green party as a viable political alternative. That has got to be getting the Green operatives muttering under their breath - but it's good for the Liberals

Anonymous said...

"why exactly does the NDP see the Liberals as the enemy while giving the conservatives only passing notice?"

I might ask a slightly different question. why exactly do the Liberals see the NDP as the enemy while giving the conservatives only passing notice? All through the blogosphere I see Liberals who seem to have an obsession with blaming the NDP for the fact that they ran a dreadful campaign in 2006 and lost the election. I also see the Liberals trying to dig up supposedly one-time NDP or Green luminaries who are willin to sing the praises of the Carbon Tax. Why aren't they displaying any ex-Tories who support Dion's policies???

In Guelph, the Liberals are the incumbent party so its natural that all the other parties will see them as the main target. In St. Lambert, I suspect that you will see the Liberal, NDP and Tory candidates taking aim at the BQ.

Steve V said...

"I also see the Liberals trying to dig up supposedly one-time NDP or Green luminaries who are willin to sing the praises of the Carbon Tax. "

Well, at least they were members of the NDP, well respected one's at that. Quite different from the NDP supporters trumpeting Mulcair as a former Liberal, despite the fact it was a provincial minister.

You are right to say that the Liberals, as incumbent, will be the target. That's entirely fair and expected, it would be the same if the roles were reversed.

Steve V said...

"As for irrational, what about Elizabeth May spending her time and political capital supporting Dion when she should be building up the Green party as a viable political alternative. "

Unlike Jack, Elizabeth seems to realize that she will never become Prime Minister, hence the "endorsement". A breath of fresh air, not to mention REALITY. Gee, do you prefer the most right wing PM in Canadian history, or a center-left Liberal? That should be a real tough choice for NDP supporters, this guy isn't Martin, and Harper isn't Clark.

Joseph said...

Well, good to say we laid to rest the illusion that you were just concerned about whether the liberal candidate would heal your tortured soul of the hurtful comments you endured from the former liberal MP.

Next time just type "TIAP" at the beginning of your post (this is all politics), and I won't waste any time trying to feel any empathy.

Rieff's Riffs said...

I don't think Paul Martin knew who Paul Martin was.

Steve V said...

joseph

I had it pegged with the 800 supporters at the NDP BBQ. Even the partisans in town said it was 500, which was a stretch to begin with. It's ALL politics.

Steve V said...

riff

True enough, which is why I never voted for the man.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame Liberals for wishing that Jack Layton were more like Elizabeth May. If you're a Liberal, what would be not to like about an NDP leader whose "talking points" were as follows:

I have no chance of ever winning an election
I think Stephane Dion was the greatest Environment Minister in Canadian history.
The Liberal Carbon Tax is a fantastic idea and I just wish i had thought of it first.
Harper is the devil incarnate and we need to defeat him, therefore I don't REALLY want anyone to actually vote for me - people should vote Liberal instead...

Not surprisingly, the Liberals would love it if the leader of the NDP was willing to parrot Elizabeth may and say all those things and essentially drink a large glass of Kool-Aid mixed with cyanide before their eyes. Not surprisingly, the NDP doesn't feel like playing along and committing suicide in public.

I kinda wish Stephane Dion would admit that he is a terrible leader and tell people to vote NDP instead - but I'm not holding my breath.

Scott Tribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Tribe said...

Well.. I haven't seen NDP trolls before. That usually gets associated with Con. supporters, so this is a first.

The other parties can try to make it a referendum on the Green Shift and Dion all they want. The real issue is a referendum on the Harper government and its neo-conservative policies.

IF Guelphites really approve of what direction they've taken and are taking the country, then they can vote for another Harper parrot like Kovachs (who needed to be installed via coup-d'etat from the national Conservative office. Ask Brent Barr how he feels about that).

If not, and you want to send a message the people in this riding oppose the direction, then vote for continued representation by the Liberals and for Frank.

ottlib said...

What I find interesting is the Conservatives are poring all of these resources into this riding and they are still trying to downplay the implications of a loss for them.

It seems to me that they do not expect to win despite their efforts.

Anonymous said...

Its Politics 101 to always play down expectations as much as possible - that way you have less egg on your face if you lose and it looks more like an upset if you win. Look how the Tories were very careful to play down their chances in Vancouver-Quadra and then BOOM they came within 100 votes of winning.

I agree that these byelections should be a referendum on the Harper gov't - but the best way to express opposition to Harper is to vote for parties that have opposed him on every single parliamentary vote for the past year. If people vote Liberal - they are only showing support for having the official opposition abstain on every bill and let Conservative policies get a free ride.

Blues Clair said...

Its Politics 101, to pick the time when you think you can actually win an election and not lose it. Hence abstaining on a clever and well-financed opponent's abuse of confidence motions.

Beside that it is comical that the Conservatives claim the Guelph by-election as a referendum on a opposition leader. Will certain folks in the press be spun again?

Joseph said...

I suspect the Harper conservatives are trying to build upon their strategy in Vancouver Quandra, which clearly consisted of a lot of behind the scenes efforts in getting out and growing their base in hopes of a surprise win.

It seems textbook at this point. I even suspect the London North by-election was an early attempt at the strategy. Yes, they faired badly in that one, but they were still trying to push social values in that one (there is a reason the "revisit same-sex marriage was scheduled for when it was."

Vancouver Quadra faired better with a focus on crime, especially near the end, so I expect the same here. I witnessed that one first-hand. Note there were flaring nostrils around that one at the time too, though the parties had already all passed the legislation - essentially twice due to the parliament break.

I expect crime will be front-and-center in this one as well, but the card up the sleeve I see in this one is Harper and Baird may well announce yet another initiative on the environment with a "conservative" philosophy bent to it, along with relentless attacks on the Green Shift plan.

As for today's comments, more than anything I feel foolish I was suckered in thinking someone had a legitimate personal concern. But, yet again, the NDP swings - and misses - at me, who ought to by all rational measures ought to be a potential target.

But I just cannot support a party who absolutely refuses on any level to acknowledge they might share common values with other parties on progressive policies.

The voting block happens to be the entire citizenry, not some narrow slice of idealogues who would rather eat each other. You can compete in the world of ideas and still acknowledge basic shared values. In most segments of society, that is considered "acting like an adult."

Though, I have to admit, the more I see of it the more I understand the strange affinity that leads to amazing tag-team matches with the NDP and the Conservatives playing together. It's more of a personality thing, I guess.

Anonymous said...

The Liberals won this riding in 2006 with 38% of the vote to the Conservative's 30%. That's pretty close. But I agree that unless Dion maintains that margin it's not good news for him. My sense is that it'll be tighter this time around like 34% to 32% for the Liberals.

Joseph L. Angolano said...

Listen, the choices are very clear in Guelph. They can vote Liberal, or they can choose to stay home. The other options are simply non-starters for the community.

The Conservative government told investors not to invest their money in Ontario. Guelph has been very hard hit by job losses in manufacturing. Voters in Guelph must punish the Conservatives for the harm they caused the community.

And let's get real about the NDP. They can talk about "good opposition" all they want. But how many jobs has Jack Layton created? How many millions of dollars in investment can he generate? The answer is he can't.

Guelph needs action,not nice little poetry or empty promises. It is time to make a real change in government, and send Frank Valeriote to Ottawa helps do just that.

Scott Tribe said...

anonymous (before Joseph Angolano's comment)

Gee.. you folks really are trying to raise the bar.. NOW if the Liberals win the riding, but by a reduced margin, it's still not good news for Dion? I cant' tell which partisan you might be - be it NDP or Cons, but whatever you are, you need to stop spinning so hard. A win is a win... and if we manage to win 3 narrow victories in these, that would suit me just fine.

Blues Clair said...

Mr. Tribe, more Politics 101 by anon, even if Dion wins he will be seen a loser. Kind of like Obama's recent international tour, now deemed too successful by some of his opponents.

That being said, Steve V, you say the Liberal Guelph candidate is center-left? Some speculate more of center-right variety. Just curious.

cheers

Anonymous said...

Scott - methinks that you Liberals are trying to change the whole focus of what by-elections represent: they are supposed to be a mini-referendum on the government. Oh, wait a minute, that was Scott Tribe's view as well, at least at 1:43 p.m. this afternoon - "The real issue is a referendum on the Harper government and its neo-conservative policies."

If that is so, and that has been the traditional view, and also I think the correct one, then how on earth is an increase in Conservative support, albeit short of a victory, somehow a thumb's down to the government? In order for the Libs to claim victory they at least need to increase the margin over the Conservatives.

"Gee.. you folks really are trying to raise the bar.." No - but some Liberal operatives are trying to lower it. And frankly, based on the pasting the Dion Liberals have taken in the last two rounds of by-elections, I would be tempted to do the same, if I was a Liberal operative. For those with selective memories, the Liberals lost their bastion of Outremont to the NDP, and lost a seat in northern Saskatchewan and came within a whisker of losing Vancouver-Quadra, John Turner's old seat.

Sorry to say this folks, but so far the Conservatives have been winning the by-election as referendum test.

Anonymous said...

From today's G&M article on the bye-elections, the NDP are running a CBC radio host and an es-CBC radio personality in Westmount and Guelph:

"But the NDP's Anne Lagacé Dowson, a CBC radio host campaigning heavily on the environment, has borrowed some of Mr. Mulcair's tactics,..."

"The NDP's Tom King, another CBC alumnus, could make it a closer three-way race than in 2006 - and the Tories are counting on that pulling votes from the Liberals if they are to win."

Does anyone else find it a coincidence that 2 of the 3 NDP candidates running in the three by-elections are CBC or former CBC employees? My take: the CBC is the left-libs farm team, not an objective broadcaster.

Blues Clair said...

"Sorry to say this folks, but so far the Conservatives have been winning the by-election as referendum test."

That could be true and it wouldn't come of much of a surprise to me. In reality the by-elections results can be seen as a referendumb on all the parties.

Matt Guerin said...

As a gay man who knows Brenda Chamberlain well (helped her win in 1993) and still considers myself a friend, I want to correct the record posted earlier by anonymous (who brave of you to put your name next to your erroneous suggestions.)

While Chamberlain chose to vote against same sex marriage, she had a good record voting on other gay rights issues. I know she voted to include "sexual orientation" in the Human Rights Act in 1996. I imagine she also voted for federal spousal benefits, etc. She simply chose the socially conservative route on SSM, which was her choice and I respected her for that, although I totally disagreed with her.

To call her a bigot is way over the top and unjustified, though. I also agree with other posters that it's ridiculous to hold the new candidate to account for the previous MP's voting record.

Anonymous said...

It's fun watching the Liberal spin on things... especially when it involves complete fabrications on truth. ;-)

"The local [CPC] candidate also had a campaign office open months ago, from a good source, apparently funded by the national party." - WRONG... you're not the only one with sources inside the campaigns.

"[the CPC candidate] needed to be installed via coup-d'etat from the national Conservative office" - WRONG AGAIN... love how that little lie keeps popping up... funny thing is that it's the former candidate who keeps spreading it, when he knows it's not true.

Try sticking to the truth for a change Steve, your posts are more informative and worthwhile when you do.

LoB

knb said...

Matt, thanks for clearing that up. I know nothing about her, but it drives me mad when distortions are put forward when in truth it should be kept in the category of disagreement.

knb said...

Anon, LoB...if the second point is incorrect, what is your version of the truth?

It's amazing how you guy's eat your own.

Tomm said...

Scott, You said:

"...The other parties can try to make it a referendum on the Green Shift and Dion all they want. The real issue is a referendum on the Harper government and its neo-conservative policies."

You are only right for a narrow portion of the electorate. If Dion had not put policy options on the table, than perhaps the situation you describe might be broadly true. But he has recently put on the table a multi-billion dollar functional change to our tax system that also re-distributes wealth in innovative ways, and changes the whole path for Federal powers and relationships with provinces.

That being the case, The Green Shift has to be a major player in this election or the media isn't doing their job.

Don't spin this unless you see Scott Reid as your mentor.

Tomm said...

Steve,

Excellent post.

Good idea, and good comments. Even enjoyed what Anon brought to the table.

It sure looks like Guelph is going to be a dog fight.

If the CPC fails to win this riding, the optics don't hurt them nationally. They don't have the seat. But given that, it sure looks like they would love to steal this one.

Westmount is likely safely Liberal, but Garneau strikes me as a strange candidate and he may not have the coat tails that we would all suspect given his huge national profile. If Mulcair and Layton have coat tails, this may be a difficult situation.

If the LPC doesn't keep their two seats, they will not be looking for a national election (unless they have decided to turf Dion).

The CPC can likely forestall a federal election for a full year, just by getting 6% more votes in Guelph than they did in 2006.

Mushroom said...

Steve,

As an aside but a related issue, has the fundraising numbers for the second quarter of 2008 turned up yet?

Anonymous said...

"She simply chose the socially conservative route on SSM, which was her choice and I respected her for that, although I totally disagreed with her."

I'm not sure what to say to a gay man who "respects" someone for voting to strip gay people of their human rights. Do you also respect J. Edgar Hoover??

Tomm said...

Anon,

I find your comments interesting, but please, let's not get a little weird on us.

Have you ever respected someone who doesn't agree with you 100% of the time?

Have you ever voted for someone that doesn't agree with you 100% of the time?

If the answer is yes, then don't be so quick to type.

I can respect a devout Catholic but disagree with their views on gay marriage or chastity of priests.

Same Sex Marriage, like abortion, are areas where reasonable people can have differences based on moral precepts.

Anonymous said...

"Have you ever respected someone who doesn't agree with you 100% of the time?"

Yes, many times. If someone told me that they personally didn't think it was right to enter into a same sex relationship and get married and therefore they personally were never going to do so - I can respect that. If Brenda Chamberlain doesn't want to marry another woman - I have no problem with that. But as an MP she was voting to impose her views on other people who don't share those views. I'm not Catholic - so why right does she have to try to impose the laws of the Catholic church on sexual matters on me???

Similarly, I can respect someone saying they personally don't agree with abortion and therefore they personally would never have one - but when they then try to criminalize abortion, they have crossed a line and are now trying to impose their views on others - and that is something I cannot accept or respect.

Anonymous said...

Prediction...guelph easily in the win column for the Conservatives. Left splits their vote and high profile candidate Ms. Kovach wins handily.
Mr. Garneau loses to the N.D.P. candidate. She has a lot wider base of support because of her time with the local CBC morning show.
Third riding is a toss-up. If Bloc support crumbles CPC may slip in. Liberals and N.D.P. DOA there.

Hurt feelings here there and everywhere...grow up children.

Steve V said...

anon

Prediction. You will be eating mountains of crow come Sept 9th. Too funny.

mushroom

I think the last quarter numbers came out about 6 weeks after it ended.


Drove through Guelph yesterday again, and on the sign front, I would say Libs slightly ahead of the NDP, Greens and Cons slightly behind that. Kovach might want to truck some of those non-riding volunteers again :)

Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting that there is little or no mention of the Greens in this comment parade. In the provincial election just finished the GPO managed to get 19% of the vote. The second highest in the province I believe.

This makes Guelph a four way race. Clearly the Greens are organized and ready to go in this riding. Greens may actually win this one. Green support is strong during by-elections and Greens may pick up support from all parties as the comprimise non of the above candidate.

With Greens you get to support the Green shift, they were the originators of it. With Greens you get to vote for progressive causes. With Greens you get to support fiscal conservatism.

Greens will get help from all over and have been working hard for some time. Mike Nagy is well known and just might do it.

Don't count this one until September 8. There could be four parties in the twenty something percentages with who knows who on top.

Steve V said...

anon

Fair point, and it is a slight not to acknowledge the Green strength in Guelph, particularly in light of the last provincial result. To be honest though, I see the Greens as more potential spoilers than anything, dividing the environmental vote to the Conservatives advantage. However, I must say, I was pretty impressed to see how quickly the Greens reacted to Harper's announcement, their presence visually is a good indicator of readiness and organization. I've said this before, but there is the potential for the NDP to finish fourth in this riding, despite all the expectations.

Mark said...

"[the CPC candidate] needed to be installed via coup-d'etat from the national Conservative office" - WRONG AGAIN... love how that little lie keeps popping up... funny thing is that it's the former candidate who keeps spreading it, when he knows it's not true.

That 'little lie keeps popping up' because the large majority of voters in Guelph believe it, including many conservatives. We've been given no convincing reason to believe otherwise. Anon, if you are so in the know, why don't you set the record straight for us without trying to claim that Barr was not working hard enough.

Like many, I'd really like to know the facts behind the spin.

Steve V said...

mark

It's not a lie, it's a well known FACT. And, if these people want to delude themselves into thinking it's just the musing of a candidate, they don't acknowledge the reaction from many in their own party, to the decision. People were rightly pissed, because after all, Barr was elected via democracy, the locals picked him, that's the bottomline. If Harper's stooge wanted to run, then she should have won the nomination, the fact that never happened, says something about her local support. People can spin it all they want, but it's actually a pretty simple reality, not to mention a partial explanation why Kovach needs to ship in volunteers to do the most basic of consistuency work. If she had such widespread grassroots support, why the need? I don't see other candidates doing the same, again that's just a fact.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Steve, I strongly suspect you are correct, although I would not go so far as to claim it as fact. Only the CPC riding executive and national executive could likely confirm our suspicions, and they obviously never will, especially if we are correct.

The other interesting Gloria mystery is her claim that Dion pressured the FCM to give her the boot. Here is an interesting thread I've been contributing to on the matter. To make things even more interesting, here is the Q&A that a Guelph Mercury reporter had with Dion on Thursday.

My own personal take is that while Gloria may have been ousted for partisan reasons Dion did not intentionally intervene to have her removed, as Gloria seemed to suggest.

ottlib said...

Wow Mark, yet one more Conservative blaming the Liberals for something.

Quel surprise.

Steve V said...

mark

You're hilarious here. You downplay an objective fact, and then you introduce some other partisan nonsense. Dion's reaction to the question SAID IT ALL, he just doesn't play that way.

Anonymous said...

"If Harper's stooge wanted to run, then she should have won the nomination, the fact that never happened, says something about her local support."

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. If the Liberals are so committed to local democracy and letting local members pick candidates, why is Dion prancing across the country hand-picking grade Z hacks Like Jocelyn Coulon or Joan Beattie as Liberal candidates and essentially telling the local Liberals in those ridings that they are irrelevant.

I prefer parties that insist that ALL party nominations be done by a democractic vote of the party members. Period