Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Um ... Stephen? Your thoughts?

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.


psa said...

that quoted piece uses the word tories four times. the last i looked there was no such thing as tories in federal politics. there are the conservatives who are more in line with and originating from the reform and alliance versions of the right wing movement. the tories were defeated, bought and dismantled. the use of that term to describe the harpercrats is both dishonest and misleading.

liberal supporter said...

Didn't Reformers promise to abide by MP recall during term provisions, even if it was not actually made law?

So we can expect the 18 Senators will never resign even if we changed to having an elected Senate.

Somehow though, this will be portrayed as being exactly like the Liberals "undemocratic" choosing a leader by acclamation.

liberal supporter said...

They are Tories of convenience. When they wish to don the mantle of being the successors to Sir John A.'s party, yes. But Mulroney was from a different party and Mike Harris was from the provincial different party.

Then we see neo moaning about provincial Liberals in Alberta or Ontario and claiming they are all tentacles of the same hydra.

M@ said...

Dave at TGB adds another interesting wrinkle here: the ballots were mailed out to party members, and unreturned ballots were actually counted as "no" votes.

So 66% of the party members in a given riding would actually have to return their ballots with a yes vote to start a nomination battle with an incumbent.

I wonder if that was indicated anywhere on the ballots that were sent out? And if so, how prominently?

b_nichol said...

Whether or not this information was printed on the ballot, at least one Con MP certainly knew how the game was rigged in his favour.

Larry Moran said...

I'm a member of the Liberal Pary in my riding and at our last meeting we were told that Liberal incumbents would also be protected. Sure, they had to meet some minimal requirements as outlined here but it was anticipated that every incumbent could easily pass the test.

In the case of the Liberal Party it's not just sitting members who are protected, it's everyone who stood in the last election and still wants to be the party nominee.

So much for my hope of getting a better candidate in my riding.

Somena Woman said...

Hmmm - a state of permanent campaigning....

What can we expect from a majority Con government?

At least with a minority govt -- in this "perpetual campaign" mode... the have to pretend to be interested in what voters want.

That all goes away - and the gloves come off if they ever get a majority..

and God Save This Country if that ever happens.

Romantic Heretic said...

The people currently masquerading as conservatives are actually much closer to Marxists.

They believe in economic determinism and they loathe democracy.

So this doesn't surprise me at all.

Ti-Guy said...

Tom "Old Man Smell" Flanagan pulled the "permanent campaign" bit directly out of his much-abused American arse.

No one asked the Conservatives to run a ridiculous personality-driven hate campaign against St├ęphane Dion or blanket the country with useless propaganda no one needs to read because it tells people absolutely nothing.

Do these people ever stop lying?