Thursday, January 10, 2008

NEWISH YEAR RESOLUTION #7...


Silence here at RKO Rosebud, thanks to a new baby daughter, a wicked virus and general seasonal laziness. But well before groundhogs' day, we're ready to pop back into action with some cheap comments from the over-inflated cheap seats.
Our faithful leader has been getting broadsided fairly heavily, at least from some inside corners, for his appointment of Joan Beatty, current NDP MLA in Saskatchewan, to run in the upcoming byelection.
Some people have qualms over the mere idea of 'appointing candidates' and robbing the local members from having their vote. It is a little troubling, but I've been involved in a similar situation where the candidate was head-and-tails the best person for the job, and while he didn't win, brought us closest to a victory that we've seen in this riding in decades (and since then, the NdP candidate who nearly won that year has since joined our party -- Nah-nah-nah-nah!)
Others are not pleased that we've accepted another 'turncoat', even though as a party without an ideology and expected to survive with the 'big tent' mantra, it makes sense to welcome and entice members from all parties at all times. Naturally, I was a Bob Rae supporter during the leadership race, so you can guess my opinion.
However, I'm not one to say there isn't reasonable qualms to this act.
Beatty was just elected to the Saskatchewan legislature barely two months ago, but now sees fit to leave before they even sit for greener pastures. That does seem a tad 'Emersin-esque', an opportunist with self-interest at heart.
Perhaps that's politics.
But without David Orchard coming out and standing behind Ms. Beatty, this has become an internal quagmire that the media will play with until the votes are cast. And that didn't work out so well in a riding where we had a fairly comfortable edge last time. Here we are holding on to a 67 vote margin.
Still, I'm impressed with Beatty's credentials and wish she would have taken out her membership before running in the provincial election. Then I could have swallowed this a whole lot better.
So I'm going to hope that our fearless leader decides to withdraw his decision and let democracy back into the fold for the people of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River.
Let the CONs have their Mark Warner moment, the NdP their Micheline Montreuil hypocrisy, and lets get back to basics, shall we? We've already got possibly the best team of potential cabinet ministers ever to hold and run for office in Canadian history.

6 comments:

Marg Bedore said...

All this talk about democratically elected candidates. My riding has only 350 members. Does that ensure that we will choose a candidate that suits the entire riding?

Ron said...

There may be only 350 members but many of them have been hard working, loyal supporters and volunteers for years. To have a party leader step in and say that their opinion and efforts are not valued because he has a different agenda is totally disrespectful and, quite frankly, scummy. If Dion had made it known that this is what he wanted to do, long in advance, and gotten the local executive and membership on board in advance, there wouldn't be such an issue. He didn't. Worse still he screwed over David Orchard, a known problem maker; now all the Liberals who chuckled at the problems MacKay had with Orchard can sit back and eat crow. I am sure the conservatives are chuckling at the problems Orchard is (and most like will continue to) cause Dion.

burlivespipe said...

Marg - It's true that some ridings' don't have the membership at election time to sustain a 'real run'. From my limited experience, the true battle of a nomination race, where 2 people are competing to be the candidate, typically builds and inflates membership rolls. That can be good -- prior to the 2006 election, the nomination race between 2 solid women candidates got our membership over 1,000. However, once the dust settled it was clear that at least on one candidate's side (the loser), many names were not interested in participating or even voting Liberal.
It can be a connundrum, but going thru the democratic process like a fair nomination race is more times than not a good thing.

burlivespipe said...

Ron - that this apparently was handled so ham-fisted, with less finesse than a Marty McSorley end-to-end rush, is just another reason why these things should be done rarely. You have a fairly prominent name clearly going for the nomination -- and here in my BC suburban riding we have Orchardites who have been fairly active to date -- and then stories of an MP trying to scuttle a fair nomination, it all looks so sordid. It really didn't have to happen, and once you had 2 candidates going full-bore I think Dion should have told Beatty 'next time.'
And it doesn't sound like this is going away quickly, either.
I agree with Dion's intention here, but not with the execution. Chalk this down as a riding we most likely won't retain, unless some amazing Lester Pearson-like peace treaty can be signed soon between the warring parties.

Anonymous said...

It's apparent that Ralph Goodale felt threatened. Ralph has always considered himself to be the godfather of the Liberal party in Saskatchewan ...how DARE this Orchard...this upstart take over...Ralph put a stop to it right quick...

Anonymous said...

I think what is important here is to realise who is keeping the liberal party down in the polls, hopefully they are the same as the clinton disaster, nevertheless, dion lost outremont, and his meadling is going to loose this one, orchard is not the problem, dion is, he is going to be preceived as more of a control freak as harpy, and thats bad, voters never replace a freak with another, they have to be different, I am a liberal and always will be, I will never vote otherwise, but I will stay home, if not happy...and anyway, so orchard is a nut, he can be our nut, look at the other side, they are all nuts, I say we are ahead, and look democratic doing it..hate to say it, but i am starting to believe dion has to go....and if I think that, then the party is in big trouble...