04 January 2011

Connie leadership rigged?

The fix is in and it must be getting really smelly and obvious if VOCM – aka voice of the cabinet minister  - is reporting it:
A man claiming to be contemplating a run at the Tory leadership doesn't like the process. The potential candidate, who prefers to be unnamed for the time being, says he has as much or more experience than Kathy Dunderdale. The man cites a lack of public notice and public disclosure as reasons for his displeasure, and goes so far as to call the process "rigged" and "perverted."
Nominations opened December 30 and will close on January 10. The potential candidates point out the Progressive Conservative office was closed for several of those days because of the holiday schedule. He also says there is a $5,000 fee and a requirement of fifty party signatures to seek the party's top spot. All this, he suggests, makes it virtually impossible to apply for the PC leadership, unless they are already in.
VOCM got a comment from convention co-chair Shawn Skinner to the effect that “he arbitrary timeframe for party nominations had to be set based on the party's constitution, and that everyone should have known from the time Williams announced his resignation on November 25 that the party would be seeking another leader.”

Some observations:

1.  Where is the party constitution?  If, as Shawn Skinner claims, the whole process is dictated by the party’s constitution surely he and his mates could have posted the constitution for all to see.  It’s called being transparent and open.

As it stands, the Conservative Party website doesn’t give any information on the constitution at all.  Anyone checking the website wouldn’t even know that there was a constitution.

2.  The news release announcing the nomination process gives absolutely no details on the requirements.  It doesn’t give any links to go to find information.  This 5K and 50 signatures would come as a complete surprise to anyone who had a week or so to scrape everything together.

In fact, here’s the complete news release, as issued December 30:
Progressive Conservative Party President John Babb and Convention Co-chairs Minister Shawn Skinner and Minister Joan Burke announced that nominations for the leadership will open at 12:00 noon, today, Thursday, December 30, 2010, and will close at 12:00 noon on Monday, January 10, 2011.
Delegate selection meetings to commence after the close of nominations. Details related to the date and location of the leadership convention will be announced at a later date.
There’s a contact name and number on there as well but other than that information – nominations are open and that they close with more information to follow there is exactly zilch in the way of meaningful information.

Well whaddyaknow Update: Turns out there is a link in the upper right hand corner that gives a bunch of forms.  Essentially, the information there is the same as the stuff in the VO stuff:  a 5k deposit and 50 party members in good standing.

If you want the constitution you have to contact the office.


3. “fifty party signatures”  WTF?  This is a party that has open nomination meetings:  anyone can go and vote.  So how exactly does one find out who are “party” people to contact so that one could collect signatures?

- srbp -

20 comments:

Jerry Bannister said...

Well, it didn't take long for the story to be redacted.

VOCM has posted a new version of the story (with a snazzy new title, "Assigning Premiership a Matter of PCs Avoiding Conflict: Liberals"), scrubbed clean of any reference to the rogue anonymous Tory.

The comments section, which was chock full of venom towards the anonymous source, has vanished, too.

For the two hours the story was online (and number 2 on their Top 10 hits), it was an interesting moment in NL journalism. What's surprising is not that the story vanished down the memory hole before suppertime but, rather, the fact that it appeared in the first place.

By the way, the original title of the story was "Tory Nomination Process Rigged: Potential Candidate," and if you google it, you can still find the original text, though the link now brings you to the cleansed version.

Strange days indeed.

WJM said...

Not the first time the news has been enhappificated, either.

Ursula said...

If VOCM claims to be a credible news source ,can they just redact a story and any comment on that story , without some sort of explanation ?

Serious questions have to arise from this .

(1) Was the story some sort of hoax ?

(2) Did this story point out a dangerous precedent setting practice in our political system ?

(3) Can news stories be "molded" to satisfy a fixed pattern or framework of assumptions , especially when regarded as restricting ?

(4)If the original story was wrong , why were they so ineffective ?

(5) If the original story was right , why wouldn't they stand behind it , and not bend to outside pressures to "cleanse" it ?

Edward Hollett said...

Ursula, I posted something a little while ago about the ethical issues raised by unpublishing.

Essentially, these stories are disappeared but without - apparently - legitimate reason. If this was happening only once in a while one might put it down to simple mistakes in the editorial process.

As it happens regularly at VO, it seems to be some sort of corporate policy to eliminate certain stories from the mix.

if I might venture an answer to your questions I would say that it goes like this:

1. No.

2. Not sure what you mean but I don't think so. it is confined to the Conservatives and there is no obvious reason for others to follow suit.

3. I would say sarcastically "D'uh!" but please take that in humorous way I intend it. Self-censorship exists. it is the most effective and the most insidious form.

4. Not sure what you mean.

5. See the answer to #3 although i doubt it was a case of outside pressures.

Wm. Murphy said...

Lets not have details get in the way of Bond drama.....maybe you should check the news release a little more clearly before stating that there are absolutely NO details on the nomination process.

The download link on the release seems to lay out all of the information for this round.

Maybe you don't have MS word

Edward Hollett said...

Well what do you know.

That must be some kind of place where only Tories would go to look for an attachment.

Bless your troll-eyes, Murph.

So there I find a few sheets that do a bunch of things including telling me that I must hold the Tory party harmless, pay 5K and identify (by some means) 50 people with Tory membership cards.

That clears up everything.

Not.

Wm. Murphy said...

That must be some kind of place where only Tories would go to look for an attachment.

Yea sure Ed...I just clicked on the link you had in the Post. Didn't realize that clicking on those types of things made one a troll, let alone a Tory. Who knew?

Why don't you contact the contact on the release for the information. Seems to me if anyone was interested in this...that would be the first call. While you are at it why don't you check out the the recent Leadership "how to" put out by the Libs. Brilliant piece of communication work that was.

Btw, what was the nomination cost for the Liberal nomination?

Edward Hollett said...

None of that changes the fundamental point though: the whole thing is just going through the motions for a deal that's already been cut behind closed doors.

Wm. Murphy said...

i agree completely...the same was also done when Tobin rolled into town. If the people of the province don't like the process or the lack of process... they can tell the Tories how they feel during the upcoming byelection or the general election in October

Just imagine if the Libs had a leader ready to be Premier...I wonder what tune you would be singing then?

Simon Lono said...

Interesting. I checked the page earlier and I never noticed that link. Could it be a late addition. . . ?

And by the way, since the PC Party is like the Liberal Party (mass party with no membership established or required for voting in nominations etc), how can you round up nomination signatures from "members"?

Edward Hollett said...

Well that isn't what happened in 1996, Murph, so you are agreeing with your own completely false statement. Another shocker!

If you'd actually read the post earlier today you might have learned something. Wells announced his retirement on December 28 and then left it to the party to establish a process to replace him.

Wells also announced that he would remain as Premier until the party sorted out the succession. It stands in stark contrast to the current lash-up.

What's more, there were plenty of people looking at running in 1996 or whose names got tossed around. In the end, John Efford was a major contender who opted not to run because he felt he couldn't put a campaign together in time. Others backed Tobin.

That is distinctly different from what is going on right now in the Conservative camp in just about every way imaginable.

Wm. Murphy said...

so what if it was a late addition...only interesting for those that are fixated on something making noises under the bed.

I guess the issue of what constitutes a "member" could be answered with one quick call to the contact on the news release.
Give her a call Simon and let us know what you find out. The suspense is killing me!

Wm. Murphy said...

In the end, John Efford was a major contender who opted not to run because he felt he couldn't put a campaign together in time. Others backed Tobin.

How this different today Ed?..By the way, why wasn't there enough time provided by the Party at that time? Could it be that there was something hatched in a back room.

A stark contrast hey?

Edward Hollett said...

I dunno Murph. How is it different in your world where nothing is real and even the name you write under is made up?

Wm. Murphy said...

What's more, there were plenty of people looking at running in 1996 or whose names got tossed around

another winning statemment that things are different in 2011. Didn't you toss around quite a few names for those looking at running this time?
Another stark contrast he cried!

I know I have hit a nerve when you refuse to answer a question. Let's try again. Why didn't the Libs give more time for the nomination process in 1996? Was there something hatched in the backroom? How is this different today?
Seeing I didn't learn anything earlier when I read your post...please enlighten me

Edward Hollett said...

How is it different in your world where nothing is real and even the name you write under is made up?

WJM said...

so what if it was a late addition...

So what? Well, for starters, if they only got around to posting such information later today, AFTER the airing of the grievances on VOCM, then it would tend to lend credence to the airer of the grievances.

Wm. Murphy said...

if they only got around to posting such information later today, AFTER the airing of the grievances on VOCM

Oh my God...we may have lost 6 hours of democracy. Let's have an inquirey shall we

WJM said...

Oh my God...we may have lost 6 hours of democracy. Let's have an inquirey shall we

Did Danny Williams only resign today?

Simon Lono said...

@ Murph. . .

It just interests me the degree to which flat-footedness reigns.

And the membership issue is just fascinating. It's a real ticking time-bomb if an alternative pops up. I've got too much to do these days so you can make the call on my behalf; you seem to have the free time.

I guess I should be heading home now. . . .