Friday, August 18, 2006

A good reason to hope for an early election

Given Harper's performance over the last few weeks and his handpicked Senator's failure to make progress at Public Works, here's the news that will hopefully end his dreams of an overall majority and send him to Opposition - proof positive that Reformer and other social conservatives are simply unable to co-exist with progressive Conservatives.

Halton Tory Youth have come out for Garth Turner's challenger (who isn't even admitting until recently he's running at all to keep things nice and secret). [Originally seen at Big Blue Wave] All this is being co-ordinated by Charles McVety and Rondo Thomas, and if you don't recall who these guys are then Zac at Behind the Headlines has some reminders for you. According to Turner the numbers turning out in public (via "Defend Marriage meetings") are small but not so small that he's ignoring it either - far from it.

James Moore, Gerald Keddy, John Prentice and John Baird are also believed to be on the hardliner hitlist for challenge to nomination or via independent candidates. In Moore's case he saw off Greg Watrich last time out who failed to stop Moore increasing his majority of the Liberal challenger and Baird did likewise with John Pacheco. Pacheco had previously run for the Family Coalition Party against Dalton McGuinty who noted "For the Family Coalition party to say it stands for inclusiveness is like Colonel Sanders saying he's going to look after the chickens".

Clearly CPC HQ in letting this go on has forgotten electoral mathematics - the Christian-Talibs have nowhere to go, whereas social liberals can just follow Brison and Stronach. Meanwhile Turner could "do a Lieberman"... (or to keep it Canadian, "a Desjarlais").

I hope progressive Tories are also keeping an eye on whether McVety is backing Tories AND independents running against Tories such as James Moore - that's the kind of thing that got Buzz Hargrove in hot water. That said, it's not all bad news - there's a challenger to so-con Rob Anders but since he wasn't given a heads-up by CPC HQ he's only got one week to apply, get all of sorts of forms filled and crucially - memberships signed up! McVety must have "had a visitation" or something to have Keene's process run so much more smoothly.

A Liberal slate with Ignatieff up front and Dion at Foreign Affairs as well as retaining most of the other challengers in key positions to keep the party united (except Fry and Volpe - let's not go mad altogether) could make back a lot of ground, especially with a cabinet commitment to start rebuilding consensus on what Canada should be doing in Afghanistan. This would be enhanced if the CAW's disaffiliation from the NDP has a substantial impact and the people who lent Jack their vote last time remember the kind of government that vote bought.
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