Tuesday, May 5, 2009

“The party of the grassroots just dug up the lawn.”

This just has to be the quote of the day, offered in a comment to this article dig up lawnin the Globe and Mail about the Conservative Party’s latest affront to democracy whereby sitting MP’s are shielded from nomination challenges unless a minimum of 2/3 of the members of a riding association call for a nomination race in their riding.

According to the article, Tories claim the change is “necessary to ease stress on their MPs and allow them to stay focused on the onerous demands of a minority government.”  Yes, that would be the onerous demands of jeering and clapping in the House like a bunch of trained seals (By the way, where is the seal hunt when we could really use it?), memorizing and parroting back PMO-provided talking points, and staying well out of sight (and sound) unless trotted out by his Harpiness to answer legitimate but potentially embarrassing questions directed at any sitting Cabinet Minister. I can see why they need all their energy for that.

Of course the big winner in all of this is Rob Anders of Calgary-West. When Don Martin, writing in his home town paper, The Calgary Herald, says this about Anders, “Raise his name with Conservative MPs and they wrinkle their noses like they've just taken a big whiff of the stuff spring uncovers in an off-leash dog park.”  you’d think the Cons would be desperate to dump him. But no, this ruling assures him of yet another run at representing the fine folks of Calgary-West who clearly would elect a stump if they painted it blue and stuck a Suncor sign on it.

However there is a small glimmer of light in all of this as apparently the change has pissed off at least one well known grassroots nutbar. Chuck McVety is not happy, claiming “The democratic deficit in this country is already large enough. We don't need the governing party to be sinking deeper into ... a culture of entitlement.”  Uh, yeah.


Patrick Ross said...

Allow me to apologize in advance for effectively spamming your blog.

I'd just like to point out that not everyone within the Conservative party seems to be in agreement on this move.

For example, Vegreville-Lloydminster MP Leon Benoit is at no risk of a nomination challenge. Yet that riding's RA President opposes this move by the party.

Just like I'm certain that a lot of Liberals opposed short-circuiting the leadership campaign.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we may not like the decisions being made in either party, but I don't think all hope is lost.

Canajun said...

No need to apologize - comments always welcome.

I sure hope you're right. The last couple of decades have seen a serious erosion of democracy in Canada, and it's not going to be easy to turn it around - and that's assuming that anyone in power (now or in the future) even wants to!

Patrick said...

You've made it pretty clear comments are welcome -- I just don't want to abuse the privilege b being a shameless self-promoter.