Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Problems In The Wildrose Nomination Process?

  I had a good chuckle on Twitter over the past few days while watching some Wildrose supporters go bonkers over yet another riding nomination fiasco.  Over the past year, the media has reported that  some angry WRP supporters have taken issue with a few local riding association nominations, including Calgary McCall, Stettler, Little Bow and Cochrane-Banff.  The latest controversy appears to be coming from Calgary Hays Candidate, Dennis Young.

  On Tuesday, the Tweets were fast and furious from Dennis's supporters, crying foul that he was abruptly removed as a qualified candidate, prompting some Wildrose supporters to question the party's nomination process.  Mr. Young ( and campaign worker Craig Chandler) where visibly upset about this development as they felt they had no clear understanding about why this was happening.

 Here is a copy of the letter that Dennis sent to the Wildrose Executive committee, which he posted on Facebook.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mr. Shane Saskiw,
Executive Director, Wildrose Party
408, 919 Centre Street NW
Calgary, Alberta T2E 2P6

Dear Mr. Saskiw,

I was somewhat startled to receive your letter of October 3rd advising me that I was disqualified from the nomination race in Calgary-Hays.

Firstly, there was no reason for the disqualification mentioned in the letter.

Also, I was not advised that my candidacy for the nomination was in question, nor was I given an opportunity to defend myself against whatever accusations may have been brought against me.

Further, I had had my interview with the Local Candidate Nominating Committee roughly six months ago, submitted my paperwork and my nomination fee. If I was going to be disqualified, I would have expected to be informed of it at that time. Since that time I have spent over $30,000, dropped two separate pieces of literature to every home and have door knocked 25% of the constituency resulting in many members for the party that I have yet to hand in. Out of the current members in Calgary-Hays 75% of them were signed up by my campaign. In addition to the memberships sold my team has also received full information including names, address, postal codes, phone numbers and even email addresses from hundreds more who wish to keep in contact.

Since I was not informed in your letter for the reason of my disqualification we contacted former leadership candidate Mark Dyrholm for advice. Mr. Dyrholm contacted Danielle Smith in regards to the situation. After some phone calls, she told us that the problem related to my military career: Specifically when I was a private soldier. I was once put into the stockade for fighting. This, however, stretches credulity: I was not charged under the Criminal Code and do not have a criminal record. In my nomination form I went above and beyond to tell you my entire life story, I guess I should not have been so detailed.

Such incidents amongst soldiers (who truly are fighting men) are foreseen in the National Defence Act, and are specifically not criminal matters. I went on to an exemplary career as a military policeman, which is not permitted in cases of serious mis-behaviour. If this is truly the reason for disqualification as Danielle Smith informed Mr. Dyrholm, I cannot help but wonder if I am not suffering discrimination because of my military background.

I therefore wish to appeal the disqualification, on the grounds I have listed above. I look forward to being able to defend myself to the Committee.

Looking forward to your prompt response.

Dennis Young

Committee To Elect Dennis Young – 87012, #160 – 11520, 24th Street SE, Calgary, Alberta

Earlier this week, Dennis had a tweet confirming that he had sold over 500 Wildrose memberships, which is an amazing figure if true.  I live in Calgary Hays and I am shocked that his team has been able to sell this many memberships in the riding.  In the above letter, he also states that he has dropped two pieces of lit to every house ( I have not received one....) which is amazingly expensive.  I also found it funny to see that the literature is the standard carbon copy wording that the Chandler team fact, they even missed removing Mark Dryholm's name from the copy/paste campaign materials! ( h/t @waptopstory)

While I believe that there are two sides to every story, I have a hard time imagining that any party would remove a candidate without a justifiable cause.  It just seems to point out the growing pains that the Wildrose is having in attracting quality candidates in their fledgling party.  I will keep watching to see how this one plays out with interest.

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  1. Two sides to every story.

    I heard it was the local committee not the party that recommended he be disqualified. Sounds more like "grass roots in action" than anything else.

    And judging by the response and behaviour from Young & Chandler they made the right decision.

  2. Ha! Nice catch on the Mark/Dennis thing. :)

  3. You biases are showing.

    This latest episode is not about Chandler.

    Your implication that Party is always right is a bit disappointing, too.

    The point is, WRP does not permit local democratic selection of candidates. They privilege some candidates, smear others, and outright disqualify more, without warning or stated cause.

    That this is the same sort of BS WRP charges PCAA with, is telling.

    That any of the above should shock anybody is ridiculous.

    The issue is, WRP brands and markets itself in a way designed to attract maximum numbers of small-c, populist conservatives, especially rural: by allegedly respecting grassroots, local, (hyper) democracy. This is a patent fraud.

    That an alleged small-c, populist conservative party would cut loose a small government, pro freedom, combat veteran and businessman proves the degree to which HQ is made up of dumb-as-hell, hypocritical technocrats.

    As for "Anonymous" above...really? Hearsay from some typical political coward unwilling to sign his or her own name to a post?

  4. As a Harper Tory, your objectivity on this story cannot be relied upon.

    CPC long ago patched WRP over. It owns and operates it. Danielle campaigned -- needlessly -- for Harper.

    Harper's original goal was to kill WRP in its crib. Failing that, he wanted to raise it as his own. Which he is doing, and will do, until his boy, Taser lobbyist Ken Boessenkool et al, can merge it with the conservative wing of the PCs.

  5. "I have a hard time imagining that any party would remove a candidate without a justifiable cause."

    If that isn't the most naive statement in your post, or indeed among anything you have said recently, I don't know what possibly could be.

    Yeah -- political parties never act unjustifiably or irrationally. Words to live by.

  6. I seem to remember the PC's disqualifying Craig Chandler from a nomination some time ago.... so those 'problems' you quote are something that every party experiences.

    Parties have the right to vet candidates based on what is best for the party. If there are serious issues about a candidate that could cause harm to the party, the party has a right do step in and take action.

    Member driven is important, but we know that not everything comes out in an election. The rules Wildrose uses are no different than the rules used by the PCs, the Libs, or the NDP, and canddiates agree to them when they enter the race.

  7. Speaking from experience, having resigned as a CA President and cancelled membership in the party, the Wildrose routinely breaks CA bylaws and the Party Constitution to pull strings. To sell your party as "big tent" and "grassroots driven", then pass internal policy to forward that image while paying no attention to it when the "need" arises, speaks volumes of the actual status of the Wildrose.

    Parachuting candidates with no history in the party, over-riding CA boards, leading potential candidates on to extract their donations and forcing nomination contests have happened. And will continue to happen. If this is how members are treated who volunteer their time and money, how can we be expected to trust the Wildrose with the levers of power?

  8. Craig Chandler posted on Twitter that he chatted with the PC party who has welcomed him back with open arms and a big embrace.

    So Craig Chandler is back in the bosom of the PCs, Gary Mar is off on another tax payer funded adventure, Ron Leipert has responsibility for spending tax dollars and the Premier is making huge spending commitments.

    Please, please please tell me PC party: what exactly has changed??

  9. Craig Chandler posted that on Twitter, huh? And you believe him? If you do, then I have a bridge I would like to sell you...

  10. No posts on PC Calgary Mccall Shane?

    No ranting about PC Calgary West?

    These things happen in all parties and if you're going to flog one party for some bad things in a single nomination, perhaps you should write about other serious issues too.

    By the way, because of Calgary Shaw, Craig Chandler is now back with the PCs and you are most welcome to him

    And, above all, you're welcome to the most left leaning Premier we've ever had. She has been an absolute disaster for you guys, unless you count shoring up the teachers union vote as a success.

    Her deal breaker today on refusing to investigate physician intimidation may very well be the straw that breaks your back.