Friday, January 10, 2014

A Reliable Stooge

One of the reforms Michael Chong wants to implement is open riding nominations, free from the interference of party leaders. That proposition is currently being tested in Calgary West, where Rob Anders is being challenged for he nomination. The riding's recent history is interesting. Lawrence Martin writes:

Mr. Harper represented Calgary West from 1993 up to 1997, when he stepped out of politics and Anders, then only 25, took over the riding. Before Harper, Jim Hawkes, a Progressive Conservative, held the constituency. Harper worked for Hawkes but then abandoned him, ran against him on the Reform ticket and won.

It was a bitter family feud and animosities between moderates in the riding and core Conservatives remained. Harper wants the riding to stay out of Red Tory hands and has gone to great lengths to make sure of it.

In the run up to the 2011 election, Donna Kennedy Glans -- a feminist lawyer -- challenged Anders for the nomination:

Kennedy-Glans and her supporters won control of the riding executive. They planned a referendum at the next general meeting to show that Anders no longer had support.

It all sounded democratic enough — until party central in Ottawa got into the action. It disallowed the annual meeting and seized control of the riding membership list, of the funds, of the offices. The Kennedy-Glans bid was crushed.

By way of explanation, the party said she was too liberal. She was very moderate, more moderate than Jim Hawkes. But did that mean it was okay to resort to an anti-democratic, banana-republic operation to get her out of the way?

For Mr. Harper -- who preached Reform in his youth, but who even then suffered from a garrison mentality -- that wasn't and isn't the issue. Anders may be a stooge. But he is a reliable stooge.

He is precisely the kind of supporter Harper seeks out and then protects.


bcwaterboy said...

harper will seek out those who resemble him the most, and Anders fits the bill. Only real difference is Anders will shoot his mouth off a little more than harper's tightly scripted sound bites.

Anonymous said...

I am unconvinced that getting rid of Anders would be an improvement for the non Cons voters either in Alberta or the ROC.

At best, we will be replacing a "reliable" stooge with perhaps an unreliable stooge, but a stooge nonetheless to Harper's Alberta friendly, big oil policies.

I think this is a civil war we should watch, and enjoy, from the sidelines.

Owen Gray said...

The only person Harper is really comfortable with is himself, waterboy. If he could fill his benches with clones he'd be happy.

Until such time, Anders is the best he can get.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Anon. And the civil war could get nasty. Harper thought he had a reliable stooge in Mike Duffy.

Such was not the case. And the fall out keeps coming.

Anonymous said...

This country is, corrupt to the core.

Rumor has it, Nigel Wright won't even be charged. Harper very badly wants to keep Wright. Harper as a dictator controls absolutely everything, judges, courts and the Police.

Harper's team are, useless, spineless, gutless wonders. How anyone with honor, decency, ethics and morals, could ever support such as Harper, totally boggles me.

We went to war so we wouldn't have such as Harper, running this country.

Owen Gray said...

And people like Anders support Harper every step of the way, Anon.

The Mound of Sound said...

Interesting. If Wright is off the hook that means Duffy is too which opens the rumour mill of who knew what about whom and who flinched first? Harper isn't courting Wright. He set fire to that bridge long ago. Wright, however, had more friends inside the Conservative establishment than Harper. Some of them must have given Harper one upside the head. No wonder my Conservative sources inside Ottawa have dried up recently. That's a tap that's either all the way open or shut tightly.

BCW is right, though, Anders and Harper are ideologically joined at the hip. Harper's success is in no small measure due to his ability to blur the resemblance with appearances of moderation.

Owen Gray said...

I will be deeply disappointed if Harper has managed to staunch the bleeding, Mound.

I was looking forward to the Conservative Civil War.