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RCO





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:11 am    Post subject: Sitting Tories to be automatically renominated Reply with quote

Sitting Tories to be automatically renominated
Party says repudiation of populist roots necessary to ease stress on MPs in minority government
Article Comments STEVEN CHASE

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

May 5, 2009 at 3:52 AM EDT

OTTAWA — The governing Conservative Party has moved to shield its 143 sitting MPs from grassroots challenges to their right to run for the Tories next election. This means incumbents will be automatically nominated as candidates and spared riding-level battles.

The move came after the Tories polled members by mail in the 143 ridings and found that support for opening up the nomination process did not reach a relatively high bar - 66 per cent - in any them.

It's a repudiation of the party's populist roots in the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance. But Tories say it's necessary to ease stress on their MPs and allow them to stay focused on the onerous demands of a minority government.

"In a minority Parliament situation, our MPs were forever looking over their [shoulder] to try to figure out whether they were going to be challenged in a nomination and couldn't properly do their job they were elected to do," party president Don Plett said.

One MP who benefits from this turn of events, Conservatives said, is Rob Anders of Calgary-West. He's faced organized opposition to his candidacy, but disgruntled Tories in his riding failed to register two-thirds support for a nomination race.

By comparison, all incumbent New Democratic Party and Bloc Québécois MPs are required to fight fresh riding nomination battles to carry their party's banner next time. The Liberals will shield sitting MPs from nomination fights if they can meet a modest threshold for memberships and donors in their ridings.

But the Tories protest against any comparisons with the Liberals, whom they've previously criticized for protecting candidates from democratic challenges.

Mr. Plett said Tory members in all 143 ridings held by incumbents were given several weeks to vote in favour of opening the nomination process. Ballots were mailed out in late March and members had until April 30 to vote.

The Tories proposed to open the nomination process for a particular riding only if two thirds of the Conservative membership of that constituency mailed in ballots calling for this. None of the 143 ridings met this threshold.

"We sent out 94,000 ballots asking, 'Do you want a nomination race?' How could anybody even think of levelling a charge that we are like the Liberals?" Mr. Plett asked.

NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis said the Tories seem frightened of letting their MPs face grassroots Conservatives. Nomination races can be costly and divisive. But, she said, they're a first hurdle that MPs should be required to pass.

"Every nomination race is a challenge to the sitting MP to prove that they've still got the support of their riding's members," she said.

University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Mr. Harper, said he can recall the Calgary MP speaking vigorously in favour of nomination races.

But he said nobody in the Alliance at that time could have foreseen the "state of permanent campaign" that's yielded three minority governments after three elections in five years.

Evangelist activist Charles McVety, a Conservative, said he's disappointed. "The democratic deficit in this country is already large enough. We don't need the governing party to be sinking deeper into ... a culture of entitlement."

It's the first time the Tories have sheltered MPs from nomination challenges while in government. While in opposition, they shielded caucus members from nomination races before the 2006 election.

Mr. Flanagan says it's a practical decision in an era of frequent elections. "Politics isn't like mathematics ... [it's] not a realm of eternal truths. When circumstances change radically you may have to change some of your organizing principles."


http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....itics/home


Last edited by RCO on Tue May 05, 2009 8:16 am; edited 1 time in total
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

party members had a chance to vote for a nimination meeting if they wanted one but there was very little interest in one even in ridings where there had been controversy . the fact it didn't even reach the 60% mark in calgary west is an indication that some of the members there are not as upset with anders as his haters like to claim . as for the other ridings i didn't expect there to be much interest in a new nomination meeting in them .
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are career politicians. To avoid disillusionment in the future, remember that. For all practical purposes, there is not much difference between "our" politicians, and "their" politicians.
RedBull





Joined: 19 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Career politicians ?

http://www.canada.com/have+stu.....story.html
Mac





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't sound like a wise move from here. Is a nomination race such a trial?

-Mac
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you were really upset with your MP, you could try to get a nomination battle going. Otherwise, apathy seems to rule the day.
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
It doesn't sound like a wise move from here. Is a nomination race such a trial?

-Mac


well i think the party though nomination meetings be unnecessary in ridings with incumbents as they have allready seen several nomination meetings in recent years such as last election or 2006 election and 2004 as well . so going thru the whole process again be a waste of party resources when the real fight should be with the opposition not pointless internal battles . and also the parliament could fall at anytime so they have to ready for anything and mp's need to be able to focus there time on important issues , a nomination race be a considerable distraction in a minority parliament .
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don’t know where I stand on this. I see both sides of the argument. It must be gruelling for a sitting member to worry about nomination meetings, but at the same time, that’s democracy.
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the mail in ballots asking members if they wanted nominations was a fair compromise.
Ardvark





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I think the mail in ballots asking members if they wanted nominations was a fair compromise."

I agree and if some think that 2/3 is too high a number perhaps they should make sure to sell more memberships so that the next time the ballots come out........
fiscalconservative





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
It doesn't sound like a wise move from here. Is a nomination race such a trial?

-Mac


Remember Chuck Cadman ? He was a popular sitting MP who was unseated by a bus loads of people of a particular ethnic origin. Those people were not really long term members of the party, they were just brought in to vote.

This sort of tactic is very effective in "safe" seats because most conservative party members don't bother voting because everybody assumes the MP will win. The handful of people who do show up are drowned out by the bus full of people recruited to hijack the democratic process.

The Liberals have had this problem too.
SmartCon





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been blogging about this for a while:

http://www.bloggingtories.ca/forums/topic7505.html

I have stated that this new rule and the process they used is in breach of the CPC Constitution, the argument is on the link above. This is soooo bad for the party as a whole. It really takes away a reason to even have a membership.
Mac





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fiscalconservative wrote:
Remember Chuck Cadman ? He was a popular sitting MP who was unseated by a bus loads of people of a particular ethnic origin. Those people were not really long term members of the party, they were just brought in to vote.

This sort of tactic is very effective in "safe" seats because most conservative party members don't bother voting because everybody assumes the MP will win. The handful of people who do show up are drowned out by the bus full of people recruited to hijack the democratic process.

The Liberals have had this problem too.

Good point. Similarly, Russ Hiebert ousted Val Meredith back in 2003 (I think) and Val complained Russ used similar tactics (only the members were socially conservative caucasians) but Val didn't run indy and Russ got elected...

So why not make a rule to the effect that new members can't vote for the first six months or a year. That way if someone start loading the riding association up, there's sufficient forewarning that the MP (or his team) can mobilize before any voting takes place.

-Mac
fiscalconservative





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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:


Good point. Similarly, Russ Hiebert ousted Val Meredith back in 2003 (I think) and Val complained Russ used similar tactics (only the members were socially conservative caucasians) but Val didn't run indy and Russ got elected...

So why not make a rule to the effect that new members can't vote for the first six months or a year. That way if someone start loading the riding association up, there's sufficient forewarning that the MP (or his team) can mobilize before any voting takes place.

-Mac


I think the bottom line is money and memberships. The Conservatives and Liberals tend to get a lot of new members during nomination battles. How many members being brought to the party is a metric by which some candidates are judged.
Most of the time these members are good. They generally hold conservative views and support for a particular candidate pushed them accross the line to join the party.
Not allowing those people to participate until after the nomination meeting would mean fewer might join up.

I think all the memberships outway the occasional hijackings.
Entropy Johnson





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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
It doesn't sound like a wise move from here. Is a nomination race such a trial?

-Mac


Some MP's, like the article says, just didnt have the time to be taking care of constituency business while trying to take care of a minority government. This includes trying to be present for fundraising efforts, membership retainment efforts, etc. And are at threat of losing just because of that. In a few cases, there were unsupportive boards.

But in many cases, the membership that originally nominated the current incumbent for his/her first election, simply are not around anymore. Although its true that the party membership has stayed steady or has grown depending on the year for the past decade... The members are not enthusiastic, and in many cases, it doesnt have anything to do with electoral exhaustion. Yeah, they'll resignup again in the future, and yeah, they'll donate again in the future, but the party has to hunt them down now, and waste a lot more effort and expense then they used to. People are not eager anymore not because they have electoral exhaustion, they just seem to be coming to the conclusion that not much is gonna change.
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Sitting Tories to be automatically renominated

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