Thursday, May 01, 2008

CPC: Dupes and blind followers are IN, independent free thinkers are OUT

Another day, more interesting developments in the Conservative In and Out Scandal. Today we learn that Conservative candidates who were likely to say “hey, this allegedly sounds like a blatantly transparent attempt to circumvent our election laws, and enrich ourselves at taxpayer expense, and I question its legality” were pre-screened from participating.

Louise O'Sullivan, Conservative candidate in the riding of Westmount-Ville Marie and a former member of Montreal's executive committee, said her background in business and in municipal politics would have immediately prompted her to question the transaction.

"I don't think they would have done it with me because they knew that I was tied in to municipal (politics). ... They would have been afraid of me."

O'Sullivan described the other west-end Montreal Conservative candidates who agreed to the transfers as "all the 'yes' people."

"I was not approached and I wouldn't have accepted it," said O'Sullivan.

As Elizabeth Thompson writes in the Montreal Gazette, O’Sullivan’s campaign and riding fit all the criteria the Conservatives were looking for in In and Out participants:
In an email Dec. 15, 2005, Michael Donison, national executive director for the Conservatives, suggested the party look at some suburban Montreal ridings.

"I have been speaking to Paul Lepsoe," he said, referring to the party's lawyer. "He has suggested that surely there are contiguous ridings that we could include on the list - for instance what about all the Montreal South Shore? None of those campaigns can or will spend very much and could make their caps available."

Throughout it all, O'Sullivan and riding president Sean Ahern say they never got a phone call - even though her riding encompassed the highly visible western half of downtown Montreal.

Perhaps this riding was missing one key ingredient after all: a pliable candidate either willing to overlook the dubious ethic and legal status of the In and Out scheme, or one too daft to notice.

Lastly I just love the lame defence offered-up by Ryan Sparrow. You’ll remember him as the ringmaster of the top-secret roving press briefings. I wonder who was paying Ryan's salary when he coughed up this:
However, Conservative Party spokesman Ryan Sparrow said the fact O'Sullivan wasn't asked is evidence that there wasn't a grand plan.

"It continues to prove that the Liberal accusations that ridings were simply chosen to participate in order to receive a rebate is ridiculous. All the ads that aired were properly 'tagged' and all the rules were followed."
Grand plan? No way. No master strategy. No intelligent, rational thought and consideration. We just pulled it out of our asses and made it up as we went along, Ryan seems to say. That would seem to put lie to the Steve Harper, strategic genius myth, but I’m not buying it.

He also mangles the Liberal position but life is short and I'm voting no confidence in his communications skills. Besides, it’s a beautiful sunny day here in Los Angeles and I have a secret media briefing to get off to.

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Anonymous said...

Thank god there is a liberal who is willing to vote non-confidence in a Conservative.
Now if only the spine shown by the LPC activists would trickle up to the caucus and leader!

But, gotta say, that I worry about the blind followers of the LPC who seem unable or unwilling to consider a truly progressive party that stands up to the Cons and stands up for its principles. The NDP Caucus has been doin' their job every day in QP.

I mean this is way worse than the usual LPC blarney we get, the standard that the run left govern right adage conveys. The caucus has sat on their hands and given Neo-Con Harper a de facto majority and he has taken it and run roughshod over the economy, over Canadian institutions, over the Canadian film and television industry, over women rights (Bill c484 and c537), the list goes on. The LPC caucus either needs to step up or step down and let a party willing to oppose this government do so.

sharonapple88 said...

As for sitting on one's hands, there's James Laxer's advice to consider-- play Fabius Maximus to Harper's Hannibal. Majority governments have a tendency to follow after minorities (see Diefenbaker and Trudeau... and I guess pretend that Clark and Martin weren't PMs). A government that's routinely voted down by the opposition parties could turn to the electorate and then ask for a majority (see Diefenbaker's play against Pearson in 1958). Right now, the Conservatives can't hide behind the opposition parties. Canada's getting the chance to see the Conservative party in government. The fact that the Conservative's numbers have declined to the point where they're in a statistical dead-heat with the disaster that is the Liberal party may say something about their appeal to the general public.

The problem with the Fabius Maximus approach is it can lead up to playing rope-a-dope. If you're not Ali, you can get yourself seriously hurt by that.

... Sorry for going off-topic.

Mike514 said...

Any thoughts on EC apparently violating its own policies? I believe it's concerning informing a political party in advance before raiding their offices.

I know I shouldn't reference other bloggers on your site, but Steve Janke has some good posts on this.

Any thoughts?

Jeff said...

I'm not aware of any such story Mike. And, to be frank, Janke's record for accuracy leaves much to be desired, so I don't take his "scoops" too seriously.

Barcs said...

I believe this is the story he was referring to:

in the bottom dozen or so paragraphs Pierre Poilievre was waving around the Elections Canada Investigators manual in parliament.

Mike said...

Pierre Poilievre is my MP and he's a raving lunatic and a liar. Waving around the investigative manual? What's next, a list of Communists?