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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:35 am    Post subject: Ontario Tories have "lost" members Brown brought i Reply with quote

Reevely: Ontario Tories' voting turns up thousands of 'missing' members in just a few ridings
David Reevely
Published on: March 9, 2018 | Last Updated: March 9, 2018 5:31 PM EST

The Ontario Progressive Conservatives still have tens of thousands of iffy names on their rolls, with well under 10 per cent of their supposed members turning out to vote for a new leader in some ridings.

On Friday, party people were putting out total provincewide numbers: about 70,000 people had gone through the cumbersome process the party laid out for members to prove their identities and get online ballots to pick a successor to ex-leader Patrick Brown. About 64,000 had actually voted.

Rebecca Thompson

Update: the voting has now concluded with an incredible 64,053 ballots cast to choose a new Leader #Ldr2018 #onpoli

12:23 PM - Mar 9, 2018
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That’s a big number, a number any party would be proud of. It’s still way fewer than half the potentially eligible voters on the party rolls, and an internal party tally shows the missing members are not evenly distributed. More than half of them are in just a handful of ridings around Toronto.

Leadership organizers have produced regular updates on the number of people who’ve jumped through the hoops and cast ballots, broken down by riding. The Wednesday-night tally, with one day left in the two-week period members had to demonstrate they were eligible to vote, showed the Progressive Conservatives with 200,683 members. That would put the party back at the number of members Brown boasted about having shortly before his pants-driven downfall.

Patrick Brown

To our 200,224 Party Members, thank you.

The hard work is still to come, but together we're going to deliver change that works for Ontario. #onpoli #teampcpo

11:49 AM - Jan 13, 2018
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Tons of those members are concentrated in just a few ridings, mostly in the Toronto suburbs.

Brampton East is the standout across the whole of Ontario. The Tories claim 18,710 registered members there, a gobsmacking number in a riding whose total population is about 122,000. It’s a new constituency, being contested for the first time provincially in June, but in 2015 the federal Conservative candidate got only 10,600 votes there. And now the provincial Tories have almost twice that many paid-up members, apparently.

The average riding, according to the Tory document, had 1,605 members, a number pulled way up by a very few Brampton-East-type constituencies. The median (a tie between Hamilton Mountain and Mississauga-Erin Mills) had 921.

So Brampton East had by far the most official Tories of any riding in Ontario and it had the lowest verification rate as of Wednesday night. Just 811 people were verified to vote there, 4.3 per cent of all the purported Tories. Across Ontario at that point, the rate was 33 per cent, and again a handful of outliers skewed that number down. The median was 58 per cent.
[Emphasis added.]

Brampton East did have a knock-down fight for the party nomination at the end of last year, when the eventual winner Simmer Sandhu claimed to have signed up 7,000 members to defeat Naval Bajaj and Jarmanjit Singh.

Maybe there were that many real live Tories who signed up for the nomination vote, then immediately wandered off.

If so, maybe Mississauga-Malton, just south of Brampton East, had a similar problem. A four-person nomination race there ended with 12,467 members on the rolls. Hardly any of them seem eager to vote for the new party leader — only five per cent had verified themselves by Wednesday night.

In Brampton West, 4.9 per cent of 7,268 official members were verified by then. In Mississauga East-Cooksville, 6.5 per cent of 6,134 members.

It turns out, according to senior Progressive Conservatives, that under Vic Fedeli’s interim leadership the party has done almost no scrubbing of its membership rolls.

Shortly after taking over from Brown, Fedeli announced the Tories had about 133,000 members. That was a lot fewer than the 200,000 Brown had claimed earlier in January, and many people assumed Fedeli’s crew had gone into the databases with torches, burning out all the cobwebs and garbage.

In fact, most of the difference — as Brown loyalists complained at the time — was because of memberships that lapsed around January. The only real cleanup under Fedeli has been cutting duplicates and there weren’t that many.

The current 200,000 names on the rolls are real in the same way — they’re the 200,000 names Fedeli inherited from Brown, minus people whose memberships lapsed, plus people who’ve signed up to vote for Christine Elliott, Doug Ford, Caroline Mulroney or Tanya Granic Allen (or, for the short period he was in the race, Brown again). They’re not 200,000 audited, guaranteed-legit people.

We reached out to Fedeli and Hartley Lefton, the head organizer of the leadership race, but hadn’t heard back by Friday afternoon.

The verification process to vote for party leader is cumbersome. Members have had to wait for physical letters with unique codes, then upload the codes with identification documents to a website to prove they’re real people with real memberships. The Tories are making people go through it because, essentially, this is the audit. It’s not perfect but at least now the party knows where to look for trouble.

Thirteen ridings in all had verification rates under 20 per cent as of Wednesday night. Twelve of them are in the Toronto suburbs and the 13th is Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, where police are still investigating the possibility of fraud in the nomination vote. Between them, one day short of the deadline to verify, those 13 ridings accounted for 73,550 of the “missing” Tories.

The lowest verification rate in Ottawa at that point was in Ottawa West-Nepean, at 38 per cent of 1,832 members. That’s where the riding executive quit in protest over a nomination the party brass eventually overturned once Brown was gone. The voting rolls included dozens of purported members in one apartment building where riding president Emma McLennan’s private-eye work found almost none of their names appeared on the lobby buzzboard.

Ottawa-Vanier had a verification rate of 40 per cent. Kanata-Carleton, 50 per cent. The best Eastern Ontario performer was Carleton, with nearly 73 per cent of its 993 Progressive Conservative members verified as of Wednesday evening. Lots of ridings have very solid-looking numbers, but not all.

Fedeli said the other day he’s confident he’ll turn the party over to its new leader with a clean bill of health. That’s probably overstating it a bit. Sometimes even once a cold is gone, the cough sticks around a surprisingly long time.

So -- now we see the pattern. It's the people that were attracted the join the party in the Brown's years that are being stricken from the voters' lists. Many of them may have joined simply to get a local associate the candidacy. But it also seems to be aimed chiefly at making sure Brown's influence on the party was expunged, because ... why? Because it was a palace coup?

But one thing for sure -- we now know that this election is being manipulated and mismanaged, and is probably incapable of giving us a candidate that is supported by the most conservatives in Ontario.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More on the legitimacy of the PCP of Ontario leadership election ... this, from one of the 'mature' political journalists ...

Ontario Tories shouldn’t believe their party's ‘clean bill of health’

From the moment the results of the contest to replace Patrick Brown are announced on Saturday, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives' new leader will try to present that party's recent woes as firmly in the rear-view mirror.

Sure, Mr. Brown's sudden exit revealed a PC culture in crisis – not just because of the sexual-misconduct allegations against him (which he denies), but also because of the inflated membership numbers, the litany of lawsuits, the candidate nominations that had to be overturned. But, hey, Vic Fedeli cleaned all that up during a few weeks as interim leader and now the party is stronger than ever, ready to squarely focus on beating Kathleen Wynne's Liberals in June's provincial election.

It's probably the right message. Just so long as the new leader doesn't completely believe it.

Nobody should expect, or want, the Official Opposition to spend the three months between now and the election self-flagellating. There is a platform to be redeveloped, advertisements to be produced, debate prep to be done, a contrast with Ms. Wynne to be struck. Very few politicians have had to do all that in the time afforded to Mr. Brown's successor, and distractions need to be kept to a minimum.

That's also good reason to hope that a losing candidate doesn't question the legitimacy of Saturday's result, as Doug Ford has at points hinted at doing if beaten by Christine Elliott (or possibly Caroline Mulroney). Flawed though this campaign has been – its hurried timeline and pre-existing administrative problems helping explain the failure to get some party members the information needed to vote – there does not seem to be evidence that the problems have benefited one contender over another.

But if the Tories cruise to victory over the unpopular Liberals, it will only mask some of the issues that allowed the debacle with Mr. Brown to happen in the first place – ones that could come back to haunt them again if left to fester.

Give Mr. Fedeli his due. His pronouncement shortly after taking the helm of "rot" infecting his party, which initially seemed hyperbolic, appeared increasingly defensible as an array of new allegations emerged about matters ranging from the use of party funds to Mr. Brown's relationships with nominated candidates and staff. Under the interim leader's watch, there was decisive action on some of the biggest controversies he inherited, including an overturning of two contentious nominations, settling of an expensive legal battle between the party and a grassroots critic of Mr. Brown's and cancellation of contracts with vendors deemed to be of poor value.

But can even Mr. Fedeli quite believe his party now has the "clean bill of health" he triumphantly pronounced this week?

Speak to party insiders and you will hear a few common if broad assessments of perceived gaps or weaknesses in the party's rules and processes that may have been exposed while Mr. Brown was leader – including around how nomination campaigns are run, how contracts are awarded, how human resources are managed and how the leader's expenses are dealt with. There is also a sense that the party's executive committee and its role should be strengthened, so that it represents the interests of the membership rather than serving as crony-stacked validation for the leader of the day.

Among the leadership candidates, Ms. Mulroney has put forward the most detailed plan for addressing such matters, promising among other things new vetting processes, tightened rules around expenditures, the hiring of a chief information officer and a new sexual-harassment policy.

Realistically, even she might not focus on all that immediately after taking the job. And the others would be even less likely to spend much time on internal changes while doing general-election prep.

But it wouldn't take much for the new leader to send signals about taking seriously the need to modernize the party. That could include, for instance, appointing an individual or committee to review what went wrong under Mr. Brown's watch, and recommend specific changes to avoid it happening again – perhaps in time for the party's first convention after the general election, when constitutional changes could be made.

Getting that going quickly would seem essential, because if the Tories win in June, it will be much easier to consider everything about Mr. Brown's era ancient history. And they can't afford that.

Often, parties are galvanized to get their houses in order when relegated to opposition. The past couple of months have revealed that these Tories did not take advantage of 15 years' worth of that opportunity.

One shudders to think what government, with its temptations of complacency and excessive deference to the leader, might bring out in them if they completely lose sight of what is now behind them.

This is the considered opinion of someone who has watched Canadian politics for decades. It's an indication of what opinion-leaders -- not too friendly to conservative positions anyway -- are thinking about the events taking place in the leadership convention.

There is nothing good in all of this. The present chaos will generate precedents that could be activated later. The caucus stabbed their leader in the back and the general public probably feels there may be something wrong with Brown but he didn't do it ... so what do they think of the back-stabbers who remain?

"Legitimacy" means that the people willingly accept the authority over them. The process of competition gives legitimacy if the crowds decide. But when the process springs decisions on the crowd ... they can grow restive.

We don't have legitimacy here. We have a usurpation of power for no good reason.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the party needs to look into what went on in these ridings , if these members are "real" why did they not verify to vote in the leadership ?

perhaps these ethnic communities were not web savy and found the process too confusing , there could be language barriers , letters were only sent out in English , not foreign languages like Punjabi

maybe these ridings just prefer voting in person ? and the online thing just didn't work

it all leads to more uncertaintly as to the outcome in these ridings come election day , ridings that seemed poised to go pc and now more unclear as to who they might vote for

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps ... or maybe it's unnecessary baggage. As an example, consider what would be on the front page of newspapers and the electronic media if this story were not. What it is not on is Kathleen Wynne. She couldn't stay out of the news for so long if it weren't for the brilliant leadership of the usurpers. And just seeing her makes people want to hose out the barn.

But, secondly, look how the media are framing the story. The PCs are characterized as an embattled party, in the grip of turmoil, and the leadership in the hands of an unknown. It's perfect not-ready-to-rule stuff. Material that Wynne can use to justify herself.

It puts the party behind where it was.

Ont. Tories to reveal new leader who will take embattled party through election
By Paola Loriggio , The Canadian Press — Mar 10 2018

TORONTO — Ontario's embattled Opposition will reveal today who will lead the party through a spring election after weeks of unprecedented chaos that exposed deep rifts and tensions within its ranks.

Four candidates — former Tory legislator Christine Elliott, former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, Toronto lawyer and businesswoman Caroline Mulroney and parental rights advocate Tanya Granic Allen — are competing to lead the Progressive Conservatives.

Elliott has painted herself as the only one with the political experience to get the party election-ready in time, while Ford has said his business sense equips him to cut government waste.

Meanwhile, Mulroney — the only leadership hopeful already declared a candidate in a riding — has presented herself as a fresh face, and Granic Allen has emphasized her ties to the party's grassroots.

While all four have pledged to scrap a proposed carbon tax that formed a key pillar of the party's election platform introduced in November under former leader Patrick Brown, the race has focused less on detailed policy promises and more on the party's culture.

The Tories were plunged into turmoil when Brown stepped down in late January amid allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has consistently denied.

His abrupt departure uncovered issues with the party's structure, problems with its nomination processes, and discrepancies in its membership numbers, leading the Tories' interim leader to declare he would "root out the rot" before handing over the reins to a new leader.

The party has since reopened two nominations in contested ridings and abandoned a legal battle with a former party member who clashed with Brown over the nominations and other issues.

The Tories have also upgraded their IT system in response to a cyberattack last fall and cut undisclosed contracts in their effort to move past the wave of controversies that has drawn national attention in recent weeks.

But the leadership race itself has stirred strife and forced party brass to defend their decisions on a number of fronts. [....]

Nobody could call this a 'hit piece'. It's more like a mirror. But the narrative is wrong, just the opposite in fact. It's the governing Liberals who fret in their castle, watching to see if the enemy has any siege weapons. The PC support is staying together because it is so determined to get rid of Kathleen Wynne. Even with this circus in the party,

But the Progressive Conservatives will have only limited trust.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To say that Doug Ford is unpopular amongst the media would be an understatement.

However, as we move further away from the leadership contest and it almost pains me to admit it was the Doug Ford camp that was pushing to get the extension for the leadership vote.

Essentially he benefited from the parties arrogance indirectly because he won, but made every effort possible to try and remove the clouds from the issues surrounding the race and was shot down.
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Ontario Tories have "lost" members Brown brought i

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