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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