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September 08, 2015


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Don Morris

Instead of raising the Party membership fee,which would make it financially difficult for many Seniors on a small pension, why not simply make it a rule that members have to have been members for at least two years before the election?

Everybody who has ever worked in an EDA knows of the dirty politics played with ethnic communities, but no one does anything about it,as THEY intend to use the same tactics if possible next time around.

Two years paid membership paid yearly before you can vote,or you don't vote.


Hi Don:

That's another option. The main thing, a $10 membership with only a two-week membership requirement is too low a bar for voting.


I find it hard to believe the CBC sat on this dirt. You would think they would have used it last election or the one before that. What's different about this cycle that makes it more juicy?


Hi James:

The difference is they didn't have it the last time Bance ran for office, which was in 2008. The vide was made in 2012. The next time Bance ran again was now. He was nominated in the spring.




Dear Stan:

I agree that this reflects poorly on the Conservative Party as a whole, but you must acknowledge, Bance was not chosen by Harper. He was chosen at a huge nomination meeting, where over one thousand of his supporters came out to vote for him. Are you saying that Harper should have overridden their votes?

And would you then call him a dictator for overriding the will of the voters? Or worse, a racist (because the vast majority of Bance's voters were Indian)?

D'Arcy McGee

Interesting article. Conservatives normally have a solid vetting process, in order to "weed out" undesirable candidates. It would seem in this case, the vetting was not as rigorous, given that he had been a candidate on 2 other occasions.
Furthermore, given that this riding, like Toronto Danforth, was not likely winable, there may have been less scrutiny.
Lastly, interesting to note the strategy he employed, was similar to that used by Patrick Brown to win the P.C. Party leadership


Good points D'Arcy.

With regard to Scarborough - Rouge Park, if the poll-level results are the same this time around as the last, then the Conservatives win by 52% of the vote. So it is a winnable riding.

The real issue comes from your second point. The reason Patrick Brown employed Bance is that, in our system, men like Bance are very powerful. He is (or was) capable of mobilizing thousands to boring political meetings. Somebody like that is feared and respected by those in charge. Which, I suspect, is why the Party did not try to replace him with somebody more presentable.


This is the necessary downside to having true grass roots participation in the nomination process. Ugly but necessary.


Having stumbled across this post and having been the Ontario Campaign Chair for the Liberals in 2004, I can tell you that the Hamilton East-Stony Creek story isn't quite as depicted.

The new riding of Hamilton East drew almost evenly from the two old ridings that had existed pre-redistribution.

Tony Valeri has served as MP for 7 years and was the Government House Leader. Sheila was of course a 20-year MP and an icon.

Sheila, in particular, was a polarizing figure and there were lots of organizers on both sides but in the end, the meeting was about who could pull more of their constituents out.

Valeri pulled very heavily from among Italian-Canadians and Copps pulled very heavily from the Sikh community but the numbers were bigger than that and no community was monolithic in its support. The meeting was held on neutral ground despite requests from both Copps and Valeri to hold it in places that would have favoured one or the other of them.

The Chair ran the meeting evenhandedly but with 5000 people it was hard to marshal. There were some shenanigans on both sides but the outcome was a fair one in that the winning candidate was the one with the best get out the vote operation.

Do I regret not trying to persuade Stan Keys to run where he lived in ADFA, freeing up Hamilton Centre for Sheila Copps? Sure. Stan might have gone for it and it would have been hard for Sheila to turn down Hamilton Centre as it contained almost half of her old constituency. Then again, she turned down the offer of an uncontested nomination in Hamilton Mountain where Beth Phinney had agreed to make way for her.

The problem was that they were both absolutely certain that they would win and hence not inclined to compromise.

And on the core point of your post, I agree that there should be a longer term requirement for membership in order to vote in Party nominations.


Thank you Karl for your illuminating comments on the Hamilton East - Stoney Creek nomination battle.

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