Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Poor Timing

Paul Wells has the letter from the dissident Quebec Tories up on his website, while the Globe & Mail covers the story in today's paper. For those who haven't read up on it yet, three former and current Conservative candidates in Quebec and one organizer have demanded that Stephen Harper step down as leader of the Conservative Party.

As putschs go, this one is pretty pathetic - for three reasons.

1. The Demand: It makes absolutely no sense for Harper to step down now. Yes, I know I said it would be in the best interest of the CPC if he resigned back in June, but that was then. Parliament will be opening in two weeks and there isn't time for the Conservatives to find a new leader before the next election. More importantly, it only makes sense to call for a leader to resign if you think there's a chance he will actually do so. Harper didn't step down over the summer so it's obvious that, rightly or wrongly, he's resolved to lead the Conservatives in the next election. Since Harper will stay on, public comments like this can only hurt the Party and have zero chance of accomplishing any good.

2. The Messengers: The four behind this admit they didn't support Harper for leadership so already this shouldn't be seen as a bold statement on their part. After all, 16% of the party voted against him in leadership review so it's not a miracle that four of those members stepped forward. Lucien Richard garnered a whooping 8% of the vote last election, slightly ahead of Payam Eslami's 6%, good for a fourth place finish. And I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Monsieur Remillard won't do much better. The fact is, these are people the Conservatives have put up as candidates in sacrificial ridings. If the CPC in Quebec is the same as the Liberal Party in Alberta, I imagine anyone who wants a nomination in a riding like that, gets it. If the Liberal candidates in Crowfoot, Macleod, and Peace River came out demanding Paul Martin resign, it would mean absolutely nothing. People who run in ridings like this aren't necessarily "key" members of the party.

3. The Message: To make matters worse, their letter isn't overly convincing. They claim that the Liberals would win a majority government under current conditions, bringing to five the number of Canadians who believe this (David Herle being the other one). They say that "we will never win the next election" and I wouldn't even be certain of that.


I'm not a fan of Harper and it likely would be in the best interest of his party if they had someone else leading them. But no one should put any stock into a letter from four nobodies in the CPC.

11 Comments:

  • This part made me think of Werner Patels, and his aspirations to be an Alberta Liberal candidate.

    If the CPC in Quebec is the same as the Liberal Party in Alberta, I imagine anyone who wants a nomination in a riding like that, gets it. If the Liberal candidates in Crowfoot, Macleod, and Peace River came out demanding Paul Martin resign, it would mean absolutely nothing. People who run in ridings like this aren't necessarily "key" members of the party.

    By Anonymous Crazy Liberal, at 5:20 PM  

  • No stock, except that it further indicates the inability of the Conservatives to actually unite behind the leader.

    It's not important whether their timing makes sense, which it doesn't, or whether they are important figures in the party. What matters is that the Conservatives are the only party showing such signs of infighting, which should tell us something.

    By Blogger wonderdog, at 7:08 PM  

  • And what exactly does it tell us?

    By Blogger Escott, at 7:38 PM  

  • Anyone who can't figure that out needs a brain transplant.

    By Blogger wonderdog, at 8:19 PM  

  • Stephen Harper's a chump and only Ted Morton can save Canada! Canada is the dying fish that Alberta needs to kill to save! It's the only solution!

    By Blogger tedmortonslovechild, at 8:34 PM  

  • I sort of think these guys might be a cut above Werner Patels. If nothing else, they have signed the letter and are willing to enter argument with a reasoned position. I just happen to think it is wrong, and that the overhaul of the Quebec wing was desperately needed. They loved Vecino(fired QC organizer), but he never connected with West Quebec at all.

    Patels would be more of a foaming at the mouth, hanging up on journalists kind of guy.

    There was a lot of Liberal infighting earlier this summer in Quebec in particular, but for some reason the coverage of it has been muted.

    By Blogger OttawaCon, at 9:01 PM  

  • OK, so I need a brain transplant. Now why don't you answer the question? It's one thing to snark, quite another to actually say something meaningful. I notice that you're quite useless when it comes to the latter.

    By Blogger Escott, at 9:27 PM  

  • Let me spell it out for you, Escott, and I'll write very slowly.

    While there is always infighting in political parties, it usually does not spill out into the open. It usually does not involve people writing open letters, leaking to the press, or openly criticizing the party's leadership in the national media.

    What we're seeing, no matter how conservatives try to deny it, are clear indications that the marriage of convenience between the old PCs and the Alliance is not going so well. The dissidents may well be in the minority, and they may well form a fringe element, but to mangle a cliché, where there's smoke, you're probably looking at the tip of the iceberg.

    Nobody should be surprised by this. Did anyone think the merger would be painless?

    By Blogger wonderdog, at 11:42 PM  

  • "Conservatives are the only party showing such signs of infighting..."

    I take it you don't read much of Mr Kinsella's writings, then?

    Dean

    By Blogger deaner, at 12:50 AM  

  • "If the Liberal candidates in Crowfoot, Macleod, and Peace River came out demanding Paul Martin resign, it would mean absolutely nothing. People who run in ridings like this aren't necessarily "key" members of the party."

    or two disgruntled young liberals...

    By Blogger daveberta, at 1:33 AM  

  • "While there is always infighting in political parties, it usually does not spill out into the open. It usually does not involve people writing open letters, leaking to the press, or openly criticizing the party's leadership in the national media."

    Ya wonderdog, it usually involved sitting MPs quiting a party over the leader and/or an mp being booted out of the party because she can't keep her mouth shut about her criticisms of the leader. This clearly shows that the marriage of convenience between the Chretien Party of Canada and the United Martinites is not going so well. I'm sure they even fight in the NDP if anyone actually looked in on them once in a while.

    By Blogger "Expert" Tom, at 2:49 PM  

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