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Caught with your fingers in the cookie jar…

Enough outrage has been vented already in the progressive blogosphere about the blatant undemocratic attempt of the Conservatives to bypass NDP MP Nathan Cullen by appointing the local Conservative candidate as the “government go-to person”, claiming Cullen as a 4th party MP wasn’t able to get the same services a Conservative MP could for the constituents adequately without me being able to add too much more, but I’ll add a couple thoughts:

1) I feel bad for the 60+ Conservative candidates in the Bloc and NDP ridings (those “irrelevant 3rd and 4th parties” according to BC Conservative Caucus leader Dick Harris) who no longer have a job because of all the bad publicity this got (cough).

2) I will add a comment on this statement by government spokesperson Dick Sparrow:

“He just kind of did that himself,” government spokesman Ryan Sparrow said of Harris’s move

Really? If he did, this is a major breach of message discipline that Harper is (in)famous now for slapping on his MP’s and Cabinet Ministers. Either Harris is a rare example of a loose cannon in Harper’s caucus, or the PMO fully knew what it was doing and authorized Harris to do this stunt, and it backfired on them when it became public knowledge. Harper and this PMO are partisan enough, I believe, to try a stunt like this. I think the above statement might be just an embarrassed attempt to backtrack on what they were attempting to do.

4 comments to Caught with your fingers in the cookie jar…

  • Harris is the Conservative's BC Caucus chair, and he's tight with both Doug Finley and Jay Hill (Party Whip and the other Prince George MP). I don't buy the 'kinda did this on his own' spin.

    They might want to rethink Mayor Smith's candidacy, though. She's never going to shake off that particular monkey on her back. Either they didn't vette this properly or they just didn't care. If it's the former, that's just sloppy. If it's the latter then they be should be prepared for the 'Nekkid Mayor' story and picture to make the rounds again when the writ is dropped. And that doesn't even include the fallout from teh Ian Bush controversy up there in Houston. I'm not sure her hides tough enough to deal with all that. Cullen's fairly popular in the riding.

    As for Dion not speaking to the issue, I got the sense that all of this was targeting NDP held ridings (S-BV, Vancouver Island North, Western Arctic) and the NDP itself. Cullen was a bit too gracious and unwilling to hit back hard. Maybe they figured S-BV would be easy to work this way because Cullen woudl play nice guy. Going after a Liberal seat might have provoked a much quicker and stronger reaction.

    My question would be 'why hasn't Jack Layton said anything about this?'

  • L. emersonia

    I call BS on Scarey Conservative (his seppling).

    Harper just got caught. Now he’s going to set Dick out to dry, and throw in the towel on the Nekked Mayor cum “go-to” appointee.

    Who are these masked men? Who are the people distancing themselves from this fiasco? That one Sparrow guy? That’s it? Just him? One Sparrow out on a limb, and the people are going to buy it? Sounds more like Harper and his minions think Canadians are really stupid.

    I call BS.

  • Scarey Conservative

    Why isn't Dion pissed?  Cause he's not quite that stupid. No one ever noticed that sadly this is how the politcs has worked in this country for years and years? The simple reality is that in the past the governing party has rewarded the ridings that supported them. No one over the age of six is unaware of that.
    This guy is bucking that trend by providing a conduit to the governing party.

  • Joseph

    This is shocking – truly shocking.  I agree with blogger's worthy and somewhat successful efforts to get this into the MSM.  The only question I have is where are the other party leaders on expressing incredible anger about this?  Dion should be out in front of this as well, even if it does seem to be affecting the NDP more.  That really doesn't matter in this situation.
    Say what you will about the advantages of Canadian government versus the US (I often do), but this would NEVER be tolerated in the US – and there would be many party members speaking out as well.  I know that's a bit much to ask from this Conservative caucus, but this really does cut to the core of what a democracy is and it cannot be tolerated.  
    This should be the biggest story in the news right now.  We're talking about fundamental operation of a representative democracy.  Hopefully in the coming days it will be.  It will be if the three opposition parties presented a united front in highlighting this travesty.

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