Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mississauga Conservatives left hanging

First of all, let me say the OYL AGM was a blast, and congrats to all the winners, particularly our new Eastern co-ordinator, Krista Balsom.

John Stewart of the Mississauga News gives a pretty good summary of the MSCPC AGM the other day, and discusses some things I've mentioned in previous blogs:

President Don Plett of the Conservative Party, who was the special guest speaker at the agm, didn't make the announcement so many were anticipating.Instead he faced some pointed questions about why the five-and-waiting candidates in the race (Tom Simpson, Ryah Shadursky, Don Stephens, Hugh Arrison and Ted Opitz) must wait even longer for a date with destiny.

Hugh Brown, who is the campaign manager for Arrison, gently pointed out that the Liberal incumbent, Paul Szabo, is well-entrenched in the riding, has just received oodles of national face time as the chair of the Commons ethics committee looking into the Mulroney-Schreiber standoff, and is getting off to a nice head start.

...And, oh yes, Plett explained, Harper and the Conservatives are very interested in recruiting women and ethnic candidates, and even better if they come in one package.

...Plett took some umbrage at the suggestion that the fix is in, and pointed out that even a fresh, ethnically-pure, gender-correct superstar with a party-issue blue parachute would not be appointed because Mr. Harper is opposed to appointments.But, as one long-time Tory who attended last night's function said, "something really doesn't smell right here. Something's wrong."

I've long thought that Effie Triantafilopoulos, who would have likely gotten the provincial Conservative nomination had John Tory not appointed the floor-crossing Tim Peterson, might be a good shot to get appointed as the federal Conservative candidate, and I think Plett's comments, as well as the refusal to call a nomination date lend more credence to this. The appointment of Tory candidate Melissa Bhagat in Mississauga East-Cooksville shows that the Conservatives are definitely looking for female and ethnic candidates in the GTA West, although considering that riding is basically unwinnable for the Conservatives, as opposed to Mississauga South, which other than Oakville is really the only shot for the Conservatives in the region, it is unusual that the Conservatives would want to let Szabo get out to an unchallenged head-start, particularly at a time when his name-recognition has never been higher. I honestly thing Mississauga South Conservatives are being strung along by the central party, just another example of how fast Conservatives are to ignore residents of urban Ontario, even the party members themselves.

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