I know and respect a number of principled Conservatives. Their wheat has been separated from the chaff through a number of events, including their anger over the Emerson defection, which suggested that Harper had all the political principle of Paul Martin and Belinda Stronach. Other miscues in the implementation of the Accountability Act have left some wondering if they defeated the Liberals, only to replace them with the Liberals. I’m not a Conservative, but I feel for those who find themselves disappointed today. It is always discouraging when you see certain ideals, hyped during the campaign, dropped once your party gains power.
So, it is with sympathy to the principled Conservative party supporters out there that I link to this story from the Calgary Sun. This development in the Rob Anders saga raises a number of questions. Such as what happened to Harper’s commitment to democracy and accountability, and just what sort of blackmail material does the Calgary MP have on his political superiors.
I admit, Rob Anders is something of a lightning rod for non-Conservatives out there. He was the only MP who voted against giving Nelson Mandela honourary citizenship, calling him a “terrorist”. His buffonery continued when he refused to even pick up the phone when Mandela called to try and address Anders concerns. These and other antics forced the creation of a non-partisan campaign to Vote Out Anders, which gained national attention.
Anders is the Conservative MP for Calgary West, a riding that has only voted for somebody other than the Conservatives or the Reform Party exactly twice in its history. The previous incumbent in his riding is none other than Stephen Harper. There is a fair argument to say that Anders is getting an easy ride here; you could run a dead dog in Calgary West, and it would win if it had a Conservative badge on its collar. It certainly seems possible that the only venue for change in this riding is the Conservative riding association nomination meeting. Assuming the Conservative Party doesn’t step forward to protect its incumbent MP.
And while Rob Anders hasn’t attracted much negative attention recently, that hasn’t stopped Conservatives from trying just that. Former riding present Walter Wakula mounted a strong challenge to Anders’ candidacy, but was suddenly stymied when the party leadership disqualified him without reason, giving him little time to launch his appeal.
Rob Anders has since been acclaimed as the Conservative candidate for his riding. And Conservative supporters demanding an explanation for the party leadership’s decision have been rebuffed to the point of having to go to court. In court, the Conservative party’s lawyer asked that the party documents which might explain the reasons behind Rob Anders’ acclamation be kept from the public eye.
Publicly disclosing party documents relating to MP Rob Anders’ acclamation in Calgary West would “irreparably harm” the federal Tories, its lawyer said today.
So, let’s some up: some Conservatives have criticized the Liberals for stifling the party grassroots, for “protecting” sitting MPs from challenges, and for summarily parachuting star candidates into key ridings over the objections of the local riding associations… …and now the Conservative party effectively stifles the grassroots movement in Calgary West to protect the sitting MP there.
Some Conservatives have criticized the Liberals for making decisions behind closed doors and for keeping key documents secret. They criticized the Liberals for obscuring the process and reducing accountability… …and now the Conservative party has effectively asked the courts to keep the process of its party nominations a secret.
And, finally, the Conservative party leadership is resisting publishing its reasons for protecting what some Conservatives see as a fairly ineffective (and at times embarrassing) backbench MP because “irreparably harm” the federal party?
Well, if you’re going to leave me with a juicy tidbit like that, of course I’m going to get interested.
But to principled Conservative supporters like Andrew and Greg who thought that defeating the corrupt Liberal government would bring about something different. To principled Conservatives like Candace who say this:
This is just BS and I’d like to know WHY Anders was acclaimed. He’s a twit, and there was a contender. Hell, my dog would be a better MP.
I offer my condolensces. We had the same hope that this government would do better as well.
Energizer Bunny Abducted by Aliens
Is it my imagination, or have the Energizer battery people retired their go-go-going bunny with their latest commercial? This one has aliens using the ubiquitous bunny’s ears to jumpstart their stalled spaceship, and the final few seconds have them snatching the bunny off Earth with their tractor beam. There seems a definite sense of finality in this commercial.
Well, if true, it seems a fitting end for the bunny that kept going, and going, and going.