Monday, May 23, 2016

Are the Cons About To Tear Themselves Apart?

After more than six months of self imposed silence, Canadians are about to hear from Stephen Harper again.

When in three days time he delivers a speech to the Con Convention. 

But if he is expecting to be greeted with cries of "Steve we miss you." Or "save us Great Leader."

He may be rudely disappointed.

For as David Akin reports, the party leadership is facing a grassroots revolt. 

Grassroots Conservatives in Canada are angry at their party. They're angry at the way their party lost last fall's election. They're angry that former leader Stephen Harper abused the power of the leader's office. They're even angry that millions of dollars they donated were wasted on a computer system screwup at party HQ. And they're ready to do something about it.

And a lot of the Cons are angry at HIM. 

Not just because he led the party to defeat, and was humiliated by the guy he told them over and over again was "just not ready."

But also because of the way he ran the party, and the campaign.

"It is deeply discouraging to have any member see the policy resolution they worked hard on result in removal... because a select few establishment members of the our party deem it no longer relevant to Canadians," reads a joint submission from several EDAs upset about what did and did not end up in the campaign platform.

And of course by his decision to make his faithful flunky Dimitri Soudas the executive director of the Harper Party.

The same two associations were also sharply critical of Harper for naming one of his long-time aides, Dimitri Soudas, as the party's executive director. Soudas would end up getting dismissed for interfering in a nomination contest with this then-girlfriend and MP Eve Adams. Adams, too, would get disqualified by the party and she and Soudas bolted for the Liberals.

Which as we all know couldn't have ended more disastrously...

And if that Adam and Eve story riles up some of the Con rednecks.

Imagine what might happen when the party debates the fate of Adam and Steve. 

Because you can be sure that won't be pretty either...

But of course hanging over the whole event is the Con leadership race. 

Declared and undeclared leadership candidates have arranged for hospitality suites at downtown Vancouver hotels to dispense beer, wine and hor d'oeuvres in their name in the hope of winning support from convention attendees.

Where we get to see the ghastly Con candidates vying to see how many delegates they can ply with food and booze to try to buy their votes...

Which could also be ugly.

And best of all we all get to watch the Alberta Reformers take on the Red Tories for control of the party. Because after this recent story. 

Being a Calgary MP will be a huge handicap for those hoping to win the title of federal Conservative party leader, according to one Mount Royal political scientist.

Calgary Midnapore MP Jason Kenney and Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel are both expected to run, but political scientist Keith Brownsey says, Conservative party members will be asking themselves if they want another leader from Alberta’s largest city.

You can be sure that Rempel and Kenney won't be happy...

So that too could end badly. 

And the whole thing could cast a pall over Harper's speech.

The obvious frustration and anger from so many riding associations stands to make for a slightly awkward convention opening Thursday night: The celebration of the one and only leader the party has ever known, Stephen Harper.

Or make that a brawl...

You know, I almost wish I could afford the $1,400 it costs to be an observer.

But I can afford several large bags of popcorn.

And I will enjoy the spectacle of the Cons tearing themselves apart...

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  1. Anonymous8:49 AM

    "The divine Justin"? Get a room Simon.

  2. Unless Harper is planning to offer some Grand Mea Culpa above and beyond his mild taking of responsibility for the CPC election loss, then I don't see the point in having him address their convention. But then again, anything and everything that party does baffles me to no end.

    1. hi can be sure that Harper will offer no apology. It will be all about his dubious achievements, just a warmed up version of his campaign speeches, which as we all know worked so well for him. My guess is that the Cons needed him to sell tickets, because apparently they just weren't selling, even at a super discounted price.
      The only thing I'm interested in, is seeing whether it sounds like the beginning of his campaign to unite the right in Alberta, and maybe even the beginning of his campaign to create a provincial wing of the Conservative Party in that province, and maybe after being declared its leader run for Premier in the next election. Because I can tell you at this point that is his singular obsession...

    2. Anonymous10:20 AM

      It will be funny/sad to see Harper in 3 years running on the proven Conservative/Prentice platform.

      I disagree with your last statement there: I think Harper's singular obsession is to take western Canada out of Confederation. "The West wants in." was always code for "The West wants out". Imagine that... Canada elected a separatist Prime Minister 3 times and still held together.

  3. You stupid dumb Con, I didn't say that about Justin, I had Eve Adams say it, and it's called satire. Look it up in the dictionary you fool. You know there is something so primitive and brutish about you Cons it must have something to do with the enlarged fear gland in the amygdala that you Cons all share. (Google it if you wish if you know how to use The Google) We progressives are so infinitely superior to you slobbering cowardly slugs, I can only pity you. Life must be absolute hell, and you so richly deserve it...

  4. Yes, Simon......this will be interesting! After what happened at the NDP Convention......Nothing will surprise me!

    1. hi Kathleen...yes, I'm hoping that the CBC or CPAC does a good job of covering it. For while I would normally avoid a Con convention like the plague, this one could be quite interesting, for it will almost certainly reveal the divisions that sooner or later I predict will blow the Cons apart...

  5. Anonymous10:11 AM

    One wonders if The-Keepers-of-the-Flame will self-immolate in their pious purity policy fires at convention this week.

    "[The] Kitchener-Conestoga riding association had a few harsh words about how Dimitri Soudas, a former director of communications for the prime minister, became the party’s executive director.

    Harper handpicked him for the post — and under the terms of the party’s existing constitution, that’s how the position is filled.

    “The leader’s pick for executive director was an absolute disaster,” the riding association writes in its proposal to put the national council in charge of choosing the executive director’s job.

    With the party set to choose its next leader in 2017, the membership appears to be looking for more control of the process both before and after the vote.

    The current system sees leaders elected through a points system. Each riding is worth 100 points and how many points each candidate gets reflects their percentage of the vote in that riding.

    It’s an unfair system, one proposal suggests.

    “It renders the party vulnerable to a candidate leader who can concentrate his/her resources to gain support from relatively few people in arrangements redolent of the rotten boroughs of 18th century England,” two district associations in Thunder Bay, Ont., and Nepean write.

    The way the Tories choose their leader has been a recurring fight at conventions dating back to the merger of the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties in 2004. At the last convention, some tried to get the rules changed to reflect one member, one vote, but ultimately lost."

    Despite all their blathering the CPC apparently does support electoral reform... as long as they are the ones doing the unreferendumbed reforming.

    1. hi anon...yes, Rona Ambrose has ben trying to put lipstick on the Con pig, but you can't take the Reformers out of the Cons, and I'm pretty sure this convention will only tear the mask off, and reveal the ugliness within....

  6. Anonymous11:35 AM

    The fires in Fort Mac aren't even out and yet your back to your old Alberta bashing ways.
    But hey, your a decent person right? Believing in Justin must make that so.

    1. Anonymous11:26 PM

      I live in Calgary. Simon is bashing Kenney, Rempel, Ambrose, and Harper. When the hell did those buffoons become the embodiment of Alberta? People forget Harper was in fact a Torontonian, before moving to Calgary to work in the mail room.

      Simon is not bashing Alberta.

    2. hi anon am I bashing Alberta? For putting cowboy hat on Stephen Harper? Honestly you Cons are a paranoid lot, and no wonder you're such losers. You seem to resent that I called for solidarity with Alberta, and that's just crazy...

  7. Anonymous2:34 PM

    You wish you had $1400 to be an observer? Why not just take $1400 and burn it on a BBQ?

    It would take you about 2 minutes to regret pissing away $1400 if you were there.

    1. hi what I said, I wrote "I ALMOST wish" Because you're right, it wouldn't take long before I would I would be storming up to the box office, and demanding my money back..

  8. I wonder Simon, if Harper will also play the piano and sing? I think anyone with an ounce of self respect would not go near this reform/alliance party, let alone want to be its leader. This leaves those who do want to be the party leader. A group of buffoons whose greatest claim to fame is that they never tell the truth.

    1. Anonymous8:56 PM

      Pam, if they actually sit and clap like seals if Harper coughs up a hairball of a tune then they are truly insane.

    2. hi Pamela...please don't raise my hopes. For if Harper did sing I might be prepared to pay to see that. Not $1,400 but at least two bucks... ;)

  9. e.a.f.11:21 PM

    $1,400 to be an observer. they really don't want any new members that's for sure. Must want to keep out some of the smaller independent media types also. I would have loved to go see the show, but at that price I figure the food bank would prefer we give them the money.

    it maybe that the party see the time of the harpercons is over. At that point who knows we might see some real new blood, with some real values. It would be nice to see Red Tories rule once again in their party. It makes for better politics and a better country.

    1. Yes, I certainly am not a conservative but the country needs a responsible ethical conservative alternative to act as a balance to other parties (we can hope they never get elected) to make our government system work. It would be nice to get back to the days of Robert Stanfield or the equivalent.

      I'm actually nostaligic for the days of Bill Davis and John Robarts in Ontario. Things obviously are bad.

    2. hi e.a.f...I would love it if the Red Tories could reclaim that party, for although I would never vote for them, I think I could trust them to uphold our Canadian values. And for me that's what counts...

  10. Is Harper going to have a big sign in front of the podium that reads: DISPROVEN LEADERSHIP

  11. I think I'll ask 1400 of my friends to each send me a dollar so I can pay to attend this shindig. Then wear a hidden spy cam and record all the behind the scenes stuff. Then later post it to YouTube!

  12. Let's all guess what songs Harper is going to sing:

    1. Hey Justin (Hey Jude with new lyrics)
    2. Now you see me, now you don't

  13. Anonymous8:25 AM

    I wonder if some will jeer at the king of fear or will they bow to their former Dear Leader? I expect Candiss Bergen to be bawling like a baby and screaming "we are not worthy of you"!
    Simon, you couldn't pay me enough to attend this going away party for the worst PM ever. If there's a modicum of contrition left in this hollow shell of a man, he will take full responsibility for their loss and then hopefully allow himself to be used as a Pinata the rest of the night.

  14. e.a.f.10:30 PM

    it is always good to go to events like the Con convention. it reminds people of how far gone a country could go if they came back to power.

    yes, a nice leader like Robert Stanfield or Joe clark would be good over at the Conservative party and then we could have the Progressive Conservatives back. The P.C. have a place in our democracy and we do need them.