Democracy in Canada takes another swift boot to the happy sack:
Sitting Tories to be automatically renominated
Party says repudiation of populist roots necessary to ease stress on MPs in minority government
OTTAWA — The governing Conservative Party has moved to shield its 143 sitting MPs from grassroots challenges to their right to run for the Tories next election. This means incumbents will be automatically nominated as candidates and spared riding-level battles.
The move came after the Tories polled members by mail in the 143 ridings and found that support for opening up the nomination process did not reach a relatively high bar - 66 per cent - in any of them.
It's a repudiation of the party's populist roots in the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance. But Tories say it's necessary to ease stress on their MPs and allow them to stay focused on the onerous demands of a minority government.
One wonders what Blogging Tory co-founder and "Manning Centre for Building Democracy" fellow Stephen Taylor thinks of this. One suspects we're never going to find out.
OH, THIS IS DELICIOUS: As M@ points out in the comments, Dave over at TGB explains that, of the ballots mailed out to determine if incumbents should be open to challenge, unreturned ballots were arbitrarily tallied as "no" votes.
I dearly want Stephen "I'm all about the democracy" Taylor to explain in what alternate universe that constitutes "democracy." Can someone ask him? Please?
THE PANTS-PISSING HILARITY: You have to love this bit from that original link:
University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Mr. Harper, said he can recall the Calgary MP speaking vigorously in favour of nomination races.
But he said nobody in the Alliance at that time could have foreseen the "state of permanent campaign" that's yielded three minority governments after three elections in five years.
Yeah, all those Con MPs don't have time for open nominations since they're just too gosh-darned busy being in a "state of permanent campaign." I'd point out whose fault that is but if you can't figure it out, you're too stupid to be reading this blog. Or you're Twatsy.
But I repeat myself.