Well, it would appear that Mr. Chander has chose to respond to my post on his ouster here. I should probably clarify for his benefit. For the record, I do stand by my original post 100%... and it has nothing to do "with the air out here in Ontario", thanks. (but it's kinda funny that he should say something like that to me though... right off the bat, he confirms that he fits the stereotype of an Ontario hating Albertan!)
For Craig's benefit, I should probably clarify a bit. Craig, though you were the subject of the post, it wasn't so much related to you as you think... you just happened to be the inspiration. Your ouster occurred right when my thoughts were already considering the issues of nominations in general. Anyway, if there are issues regarding your removal that I am "misinformed" about, feel free to educate me in the comments.
So, what are my thoughts on nominations of conservative (both provincial and federal) in general? Well, I've been thinking about this off and on for quite some time, and my thoughts might surprise you a bit. Also, they're not fully defined and set in stone, so feel free to throw in your two cents... and maybe you'll even change my mind.
Honestly, in a perfect conservative world, our current system would be ideal, as is. However, in the real world, we, as a conservative movement, end up shooting ourselves in the foot sometimes with our nominations. We'll sometimes end up putting forward a single issue candidate, or someone with a history that ends up embarrassing us sometime down the road. Or, we'll pick a perennial favourite, who has no chance of winning, over someone who's eminently qualified who could win in an election, whom we may just not like personally. We often let our emotions get the better of us, and let them take priority over our reason... and when it comes to the ballot box, we get handed another loss. This is based totally on my own speculation, but I figure there's at least a couple of ridings we could take, IF, big if, we take a more strategic view in our nomination contests.
Now, I've probably raised the hackles of some of the purist Reformist and grassroots advocates, but that's what I figured I'd do with my views. Of course, I'm a hard-core advocate of the grassroots process, don't think for a moment that I'm not. My problem is, however, when it comes to things like nomination contests, etc., sometimes, leaving the decision in the hands of the "grassroots" isn't always the best move.
Why? Well, it's like I said above, I've discovered from living in various ridings, and being involved in nomination contests in various cities, is that the "grassroots" can occasionally make decisions based not on fact, or on real factors like who can win in a general election, but often making decisions on the basis of nostalgia, or things like who can sell the most memberships right before the membership meeting... which leaves smaller EDAs open to being taken over by a special interest group or a single issue candidate that resonates with the local conservative membership... often on an issue that will get them creamed at the polls. (then you hear the membership wondering on election night how we could have possibly lost)
So, how would I do it? Well, I don't know for sure how I'd do it, quite frankly. But I find it ironic that I, someone who was waiting during the 90's for the old PC party to finally die, would support a more old-school mentality, in that I'm more in favour of the old Progressive Conservative way of doing things. I like the idea of having the Party maintain greater control of the nomination process, and using it to appoint star candidates, or to overrule a riding that had put forward an unacceptable one... either by picking the old favourite, or through a riding takeover by any local single issue ticket. I personally think that it could be done in such a way that doesn't take anything away from the local EDA membership, but in fact helps protect them from things beyond their control. I mean, think about it... the Party would be stupid to do anything without some level of local input, so it's not like the Party could really take over things in the EDA.
Anyway, like I said, I'm torn on the issue overall. I like the idea of full membership participation, but sometimes, there can be unintended circumstances. Bottom line is that I'm an advocate of the Party having the ability for greater control over the nomination process, however, with the understanding that their power would be used sparingly, if at all.
The ideal solution is, of course, for the grassroots to better educate themselves on the issues, and make their decisions based on raw and accurate data, not just their single issues. I guess deep down, I'm really more of a pragmatist than I typically come across as.
So, that's my first feather ruffling post of the New Year... but don't worry, I'm sure there are many more to come as the year goes on.
Labels: CPC, election