I try to be fair and even-handed and call them as I see them, so I'd be remiss if I didn't point out this story in the Vancouver Sun today about the process around the selection of a Liberal candidate in Vancouver-Kingsway, Dave Emerson's stomping grounds.
The column raises the possibility that the nomination process has been rushed (the meeting is Saturday and was announced last Monday) with the possible intention of ensuring the selection of a favoured candidate, Wendy Yuan. The implication is she got a head start, and with her campaign manager also being an LPC VP for BC, also has the establishment backing.
At least one competitor has emerged, Mason Loh, who apparently is scrambling to catch up.
This isn't news to regular readers of Public Eye Online where Sean Holman has been reporting on the situation for a few weeks, most recently here, here, here and here.
Now, I should say at this point this is all just unsubstantiated innuendo, and I don't have any inside information or insight here. I know nothing about any of the potential candidates. This does, however, potentially look a little fishy.
As I wrote previously I'm in favour of getting a candidate place in this riding sooner rather than later, because of the unique situation with Emerson having crossed the floor. Getting a candidate nominated as a Liberal spokesperson to keep that issue alive and act as an MP in exile alive is great political strategy.
However, if the nomination process is seemed as tainted or rigged, that's doubly bad. Usually the trigger isn't pulled on a nomination meeting until at least a few quality candidates have been recruited; it's unclear in this case if there was more than one. Also, why only 12 days notice? Yes, there is a constitutional bare minimum but this isn't an emergency meeting, we've got a little time. Why wasn't it scheduled for a month away, to give potential candidates a more equal footing to sign-up members and organize? When notice of the meeting was given, the backdated membership deadline was three days earlier.
For a race in a riding where ethics is going to be a huge issue, this doesn't seem to be an encouraging start.
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