Thursday, July 27, 2006

A lack of improvement

The Vancouver Sun reports the latest from Vancouver-Kingsway, as the Libs are apparently following up the Emerson debacle with a nomination mess:
So hasty has organization of the nomination process been that only two candidates have come forward to contest it, one having rushed mightily to meet the deadline for filing appropriate papers.

Manuel Pereda, who has spearheaded grassroots protests against Emerson, calls what's happening now in his riding "a travesty of democracy."

Pereda is not personally interested in becoming a candidate. But the Liberal party member wants to see clean politics returned to his riding. He tried for months to contact riding executives to learn when the nomination battle was to be fought.

"All my e-mails and phone calls have remained unanswered in spite of the role I played in the community since Emerson's defection."...

The party set the July 29 nomination date on July 17. Those interested in running had only until July 21 to be approved as party candidates. The cutoff date for selling new memberships was July 14.

Wendy Yuan, one of the two candidates vying for the nomination, looks to have benefited from the haste, as opposed to her competitor, lawyer Mason Loh. Yuan's campaign manager, Mike Hillman, is vice-president of national party and would certainly have been aware of the early date for the nomination contest...

Pereda asserts Yuan "has a huge advantage since her campaign manager knew of the plans well ahead of the association members. She sent her brochures to all members two weeks prior to the announcement and had more opportunity to sign new members."
The article goes on to conclude rather bizarrely that the Libs should enjoy a "cakewalk" in the riding - a conclusion which seems entirely unjustified given Emerson's fairly narrow win over Ian Waddell, the loss of their star candidate, and the fact that the Emerson fiasco has both undermined the Libs' core message ("vote for us to stop Harper!") and strengthened the NDP's.

But whatever the starting point for the riding, the lack of fairness and transparency in the Libs' nomination process can only make the party look all the less trustworthy in Vancouver-Kingsway and across the country. And it may not take long before Libs like Pereda who are still holding out hope of finding some principle in the party figure out they're better off turning their support elsewhere.

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