Saturday, April 27, 2013

Is there a problem within the BC Conservatives? UPDATES

In the last week the BC Conservatives dropped three four of their candidates:
  • Jeff Sprague in North Vancouver Lonsdale on April 23rd about a drunk driving allegation
  • Ian Tootill in Vancouver False Creek on April 23rd for comments online
  • Mischa Popoff in Boundary Similkameen on April 25th for comments online 
  • Rob Herbert in Vancouver West End on April 28th for comments online
Back in March I quickly looked into Mischa Popoff because I recognized the name and know he has a history of some rather off the wall comments.   At the time I was very surprised that the BC Conservatives would take him as a candidate given the easy access there is online to rather extreme comments he has made.   Clearly their vetting process is not weak but fundamentally missing.   I have to wonder how many more land mines they might have because their attention to detail is seemingly very weak

What has also happened in the last two weeks is that BC Conservatives recruited several candidates that were running for BC Vision to run as Conservatives,  Raj Gupta in Vancouver Kensington who had been full registered with Elections BC as a BC Vision candidate and Rajiv Pendey in Vancouver Fraserview who was listed on the BC Vision website as a candidate for days after he surfaced as a Conservative.  Poaching candidates at the 11th hour from a new minor political party smacks of desperation to me and a sign that the BC Conservatives have no vetting process at all.  By the way, if anyone can make sense of what BC Vision is about please let me know, their leader Jag Bhandari (JB) is an "interesting" character.

Mischa Popoff was still listed as the leader for the Individual Rights Party of BC when the party was de-registered on February 13th of this year.  Poaching people from a minor party did not start with BC Vision for the Conservatives.

UPDATE at 6:45 PM April 27th - I have been told there is a glitch with Elections BC which relates to the next paragraphs.  I will wait to see what the story is because it seems to odd to me that it all happened to BC Conservative candidates.  When I learn more I will update again

UPDATE at 10:27 AM April 29th - as of this morning according to Elections BC the candidates below are still not affiliated to the BC Conservatives.  They released an updated list of candidates as of 9:45 am this morning.  If there was an error on the part of Elections BC I would thought it would been fixed by now.   I think Sacha Peter has it right that the party made an error on for 324a.  The BC Conservatives have as of now not made any public comment about this issue.

UPDATE at 10:30 AM April 30th - The Vancouver Sun is reporting that Elections BC will not change the non affiliated ballot status of the four Conservative candidates below.   It is clear now that someone in the office of the BC Conservatives make an error when submitting their list of candidates and because of that four of them will not have the party endorsement on the ballot.

The vetting problem and poaching from minor fringe parties is not everything.  Last night the full candidate list was released by Elections BC and five four candidates on the BC Conservative website are on the ballot without the endorsement of the BC Conservative party:
  • Bill Clarke in Vancouver Quilchena - he was a federal MP from 1972 ro 1984 for the PCs until he was one of two PCs defeated in the 1984 election
  • Christine Clark in Burnaby Lougheed - she ran for the party in the Port Moody Coquitlam by-election and has served on the party executive in the last year.
  • Mike Patras in Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows - he has been an annouced candidate for sometime and had been fully registered with Elections BC as a BC Conservative candidate
  • Rob Herbert in Vancouver West End dropped as a candidate over the weekend by the party
  • Wayne Marklund in Burnaby North - he had been their announced candidate for the riding since February 1st
Overall these things really make me wonder about the basic organizational skill of the BC Conservatives.


Unknown said...

The first and last 2 candidates are from ridings next to eachother alphabetically. The middle is from a riding with a similar riding name as another.

Looking at the actual form, maybe the party wrote the names into the wrong slots?

brtrain said...

Sunday's news had it that Rob Herbert has been fired, with no reason given.

News story also said that a senior volunteer in charge of vetting candidates has been let go also!

Anonymous said...

According to recent polls:

-Most Canadians believe we have too much immigration (including immigrants, who are actually more anti-immigration than non-immigrants).

-Most Canadians believe the federal government does too much for Natives, and that Natives have brought on some at least some of their problems.

Elucidating either of the 2 sentiments above would absolutely preclude any individual for running for public office for a major political party, and to a lesser degree strongly discourage them for volunteering in an election or even voting.

Who wants to volunteer or vote for a party which would distance itself from Canadians who hold popular, mainstream political views?

Think about the consequences of what I've just said: only a small minority of Canadians with views "approved" by what we call The Cathedral in my circles (academia, media, government) may participate in the political process. And people wonder why vote turnout is so low and apathy is so high.

It's actually gotten to the point where the former NDP candidate who resigned due to remarks on Native issues has hired a very large bodyguard to protect her - which would be understandable if she were a Nazi, but the fact is her views are broadly shared by a majority of Canadians.

I do sincerely salute you for being so involved in politics & your community Bernard but feel a bit of regret that I and a majority of Canadians who hold majority opinions are excluded from the process.

The comments made by BC Conservatives generally were not all that contentious to me and I suspect a majority of Canadians; the bigger question is not so much whether BCCP has a problem, but rather what are the consequences of such narrowly defined parameters of public discourse.