The fallout from Patrick Brown's disqualification from the Conservative leadership race continues. Kevin Philipupillai reports in the Hill Times that:
Supporters of ousted Conservative leadership candidate Patrick Brown, including new Canadians who were participating for the first time in a leadership election, say they are shocked by Brown’s disqualification. Some have not yet decided what to do next, even though Brown himself has endorsed Jean Charest.
Francesca Grosso, who purchased a membership in the federal Conservative Party in order to support Brown, told The Hill Times that many of the new members Brown signed up “come from countries in which freedom and democracy don’t exist.”
“This was their first taste of being part of a political process. And the party elite, quite deliberately it seems, has disenfranchised them, with no real explanation.”
Grosso said she and many other Brown supporters feel “disrespected and disregarded” by the federal party. “How am I taking this? I’m taking this quite personally. They don’t want us.”
The party proudly trumpeted its new members:
Bijay Paudel, the president of the Federation of Canada Nepal Chamber of Commerce, said in an email that he and his team had signed up “over 1,500 new members” from the community in support of Brown, whose campaign said it signed up more than 150,000 members. Front-runner and rival Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, Ont.) claimed his team signed up more than 300,000 new members. While both claims are unverified, the party confirmed last month that a record number of 600,000 members may be eligible to vote.
But now those numbers are suspect:
Paudel, a former candidate for the federal Conservative nomination in Mississauga-Malton, Ont., joined Brown’s leadership campaign in March as national campaign co-ordinator for the Nepalese Canadian community.
“Patrick is very close to our community so we decided to support him. However, after the news of the disqualification everyone is shocked,” said Paudel. “This is the first time our community took part in mainstream politics and we were excited about it.”
The Conservative tent keeps shrinking. And the party still hasn't figured out why it keeps losing elections.