Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Harper's backroom boys and another disgruntled ex-Conservative

We heard yesterday how Garth Turner has some issues with the Conservative Party of Canada hierarchy, and he's not the only one. And much of it seems to be coming back to Harper's backroom boys.

There's the guy that wanted to run against MP Rob Anders for the CPC nomination in Calgary-West. After all, Harper and co. promised that unlike those dastardly Liberals the Cons were all about open nominations. Well, turns out that really was a con. A nomination challenge wouldn't be permitted, no reason given, and the whole mess is before the courts with the CPC refusing to hand over documents that would be "embarrassing" for the party.

And the party is in court again with another former wannabe nomination candidate, Alan Riddell in Ottawa-South. It's a long story, so for background read this and this.

The latest this week is his filing an action in Ontario Superior Court to get back his CPC membership card. He's also seeking an injunction to stop any Conservative nomination meeting from happening in the riding, and apparently he has some of the riding executive on his side.

In a separate lawsuit he's also looking for the $50,000 payoff the party promised him for stepping aside in favour of sponsorship whistleblower Alan Cuttler.

And these three cases are far from the only examples of the supposedly open CPC nomination rules being bent or ignored by the party hierarchy. MPs like Nina Grewal, James Rajotte, Laurie Hawn and Mike Lake were also protected.

Now, I know the Liberals are far from saints here (Kingsway comes to mind) but threecourt cases and Turner-gate within mere months? And this, from a party that likes to preach about their grassroots commitment and high ethical standards?

As Dr. Phil would say, Don't spit in my face and tell me it's raining.

Dissident Tory plans court action over his expulsion from party
Jim Brown, Canadian Press
Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2006

OTTAWA (CP) - Former Conservative fundraiser and organizer Alan Riddell, tossed out of the party in a bitter dispute earlier this fall, is planning to go to court to challenge his expulsion.

It's the latest skirmish in a long-running battle that began when Riddell was elbowed aside as the putative Tory candidate in the riding of Ottawa South in the last federal election.

It's also part of a wider clash that has pitted grassroots Conservatives in several constituencies across the country against senior party officials with close ties to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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Monkey Loves to Fight said...

Did you notice almost all those protected from nomination challenges including Rob Anders all come from the right of the party and the Reform wing, while those turfed or disqualified are always from the PC side. My suspicious is Harper doesn't like moderate Conservatives who are willing to challenge his brand of neo-conservatism, whereas he wants to keep the hardliners on.

Anonymous said...


I suspect it has less to do with ideology than personal loyalty to Dear Leader, though the two often seem to go hand in hand.