Saturday, November 03, 2007

Making Inroads

The Conservatives have done a horrible job of marketing their brand in Ontario, with the ill-conceived decision to turf democratically elected candidates. The message to Ontario, there is nothing Progressive in this new Conservative party. Blowback, in both ridings:
Hal Jackman, the former lieutenant-governor of Ontario and a long-time Conservative supporter, fundraiser and sometime candidate, is outraged that the party has ousted Mark Warner as its next candidate in Toronto Centre.

Jackman called the Star yesterday to register his anger.

"I'm so mad at someone in Ottawa telling us, the party in Rosedale, who their candidate should or should not be," Jackman said.

"I think that is offensive, it's offensive to the constitution of the party, to the whole tradition of responsible government in Canada. We in a riding pick members of Parliament and the members of Parliament pick the prime minister."

Former PC federal cabinet minister in Guelph:
Barr, who told reporters he wouldn't rule out running locally as an independent in the next election, was accompanied at the news conference at the Holiday Inn by his wife Sheila and by William Winegard, a former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister and local MP who'd nominated Barr as the local candidate in March and was his senior adviser in the 2006 campaign.

Barr said Winegard sent letters to the party after Oct. 19 trying to resolve the situation, but party officials "didn't even have the courtesy to respond to a former cabinet minister."

Barr also said the local Conservative riding association had been sent copies of the exchanges of e-mails since Oct. 19, but it had been "surprisingly silent throughout this process." He said he didn't know why.

Winegard told reporters that "unknown people" had accused Barr of not doing enough for the party.

"How would they know?" he asked. "Is this the way the Conservative Party operates, by unknown people making an accusation that he hasn't been working hard enough

"So I think democracy has gone wrong in my Conservative Party," Winegard said. "Something has gone wrong."

The funniest part of the story, Stephen Harper distancing himself, as though we are all fools and really believe he has no say:
"Frankly, I'm not involved in those kind of decisions," Harper said. "The National Council is democratically elected and makes those decisions under the constitution of the party."

The biggest control freak in Canadian history, who micro-manages everything, has no input with the National Council. Yep, sure, okay. The interesting part, Harper references "democratically elected", which serves as a nice contrast to head office usurping the democratic wants of the locals. Surely, somewhere, there is an old Reformer shaking his head, as the new Conservative Party has morphed into the anti-thesis of a grassroots, bottom up organization. People in Ontario are seeing the fraud first hand, and these two minor stories are joining to form a distasteful theme, that resonates with people already weary of the Harper brand.


Anonymous said...

Everyone in both constituencies will forget about this by the election. It will be a non issue. Kovachs will be nominated. She was always Harper's candidate and is the most likely conservative to win Guelph.

Greg said...

One theory going around is that Warner was too good a candidate and the Tories want to throw the byelection to Rae -- on the theory that Rae will help destabilize Dion's leadership. Normally, I would consider that tin-foil hat territory, but with Harper anything is possible.

ottlib said...

This actually indicates that Mr. Harper and the Conservatives have accepted that they are not going to have an election any time soon.

This is the second time that Mr. Harper has failed to trigger an election they so desperately want.

Wow, what a leader.

Steve V said...

"Everyone in both constituencies will forget about this by the election. It will be a non issue."


Anonymous said...

A test to fairness - I wonder if Mike Duffy will have Jackman on like he did Ray Heard. will be more proof that Duffy is Harper's newest strategist if he doesn't.

northwestern_lad said...

What's interesting about Mr. Jackman's comments is when he said "the party in Rosedale"... hmmm... Rosedale is only one part of the riding of Toronto Centre, and not the largest part of it might I mention. But it is by far the most affluent and well-to-do part of the riding. Words like that from Mr. Jackman just go to show that while Mr. Warner might have been talking about those living in the poorer parts of the riding, his supporters sure as hell aren't concerned about them.

Anonymous said...

The guy they punted to the curb was a complete socialist nob, better suited to be running under the DP (time to ditch the N your old and boring now) Can't blame them for prefering that a conservative run for the Conservative party.

Tomm said...

Interesting Comments.

This is not a riding or a circumstance I know much about.

It appears though that there is interesting dynamics in both ridings that certainly show a rip in the Tory fabric in Ontario.

I wonder where other tears will occur?


Red Canuck said...

Manuel - Can't blame them for prefering that a conservative run for the Conservative party.

Way to miss the point entirely, you harebrained twit. They can prefer whomever they want. But the National Council of a so-called "grassroots" party has no business turfing democratically elected candidates locally, or they run the risk of being called...let's say...hypocritical.

Get it, lab partner?

burlivespipe said...

Countering Greg's theory is that the CONs know that the only threat to a Liberal win -- along with Mount Vesuvius erupting -- is a surprise ndP vote... By cutting a reasonably astute and local candidate from the ballot, he opens up the opportunity for a 'Anybody but Rae' rally... Rae isn't going to lose this, but anything that applies pressure so that he has to attend to this riding for half a campaign would be a dent for the Liberal party, and a plus for both Harper and Layton.
Rae's background makes it possible that traditional CON voters may just plug themselves behind an NdP candidate to oust the former premier of Ontario...