Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ignatieff shows, Conservative legions AWOL

When it was announced a few weeks ago that Liberal deputy leader Michael Ignatieff would be giving a speech at the University of Alberta, in that most Conservative of provinces, you may recall it was noted at the time that CPC officials sent out a call to the party loyalists: pack the meeting, and hold this dastardly Liberal to account!

Like this call to arms from the party's national policy director:

In an e-mail sent to the presidents of 14 Conservative riding associations in Alberta, Vitor (Victor) Marciano says the lecture was arranged by Anne McLellan, the former deputy leader of the Liberals who is now a distinguished scholar in residence at the same institute.

"We need a skeptical, questioning audience for this hypocrite - especially after his recent performance in Afghanistan," wrote Mr. Marciano, referring to the trip Mr. Ignatieff took this month to the war-wracked country with Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion.

"Hopefully many of you can make it out to this lunch time session. Please circulate."

And a party spokesperson at CPC head office in Ottawa:
Ryan Sparrow, a spokesman for the Conservative Party, said there is nothing untoward about a member urging other Conservatives to ask hard questions of Liberals.

"Canadians should be questioning Mr. Ignatieff's and St├ęphane Dion's constant flip-flopping on key issues such as Afghanistan," he said.

Well, Ignatieff's speech was Friday. And what happened? Did the Conservative army heed the call to arms, did the keyboard legions leave their basements, give up their lunch-hours for leader and county, and pepper Ignatieff with questions on his “hypocritical” ways?

Yeah, apparently not so much:
There had been some curiosity about whether local members of the federal Conservative Party would show up to question Ignatieff about his "flip-flops" on Canada's mission in Afghanistan. An Alberta Tory had sent an e-mail to riding presidents asking that Conservatives attend the lunchtime session to provide "a skeptical, questioning audience for this hypocrite."

No such inflammatory exchange developed during the event, even though Ignatieff touched on Afghanistan at several points in the speech and the subsequent question-and-answer session.

Quite the mobilization of forces there, Mr. Marciano.

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Gauntlet said...

I had the pleasure of attending the speech. It was packed to the rafters, and the audience was not uncomplimentary. They repeatedly broke into spontaneous applause.

But it is even worse than you make it seem, Jeff. The speech was immediately following - as in "they passed each other in the hallway" - a speech by Stockwell Day on international security.

So they couldn't even get conservatives to come see Day, and just stay in the room to heckle Iggy.

The Rat said...

Or maybe we conservatives have slightl ymore class that, say, you guys who send Ministers out to heckle Conservatives at campaign events. Just saying . . .

Walks With Coffee said...

The CPoC messaging machine is breaking down.

When they can no longer scam the media, then the field is clear for honest debate.

That is the point I've been working for these past few years.

Enjoy. Make the most of it.

Red Tory said...

Yeah, nice try there, Rattie. As if Conservative supporters are noted for their "class"... Gimme a break. Shouldn't be out harassing women at an abortion clinic or putting the boot into some homeless person. That's more your style.

ottlib said...

Hey rat:

LOL. Conservatives having class. Now that's comedy.

What you and your fellow Conservatives should be worried about is the fact a call went out to Conservatives to descend on this speech and nothing happened.

When Conservatives who live in the Conservative heartland will not answer the call from Party HQ that does not bode well for Conservative fortunes in the rest of the country.

Devin Maxwell said...


Is there anyone in the Consevative Party capable of questioning Ignatieff effectively?

Mike said...

devo has it...

Once heckle from the peanut gallery and I'm sure Iggy would have broke into all sorts of stuff about secrecy, Afghanistan, AECL...need I go on.

They not only don't have class (as the Ryan Sparrow email shows) they are cowards.

Not that I'm a big fan of the Liberals - indeed as a libertarian I don't like any of them - but I especially despise the lying Cosnervative authoritarian creeps.

Of course, I live in Pierre Poilievre's riding, so I may be biased.