In any delegated political convention, you need to elect delegates in each of the districts who will vote for your candidate at the leadership convention.
CBC’s On Point featured three individuals last weekend who were touted as being key players in each of the camps. David Brazil was from the Kent Krew. Paul Oram was there as a Paul Davis supporter. Shawn Skinner was John Ottenheimer’s man.
After the break, David Cochrane asked about the delegate selections. Brazil acknowledged that Kent was organizing slates of delegates because it was a numbers game. Oram said that his people didn’t feel the need to do that sort of thing.
And then Shawn Skinner said that Ottenheimer was running a slate of delegates. Instead they were working from “lists” of people they felt “would be supportive” of their candidate, especially on the second ballot.
Brazil seemed to be both honest and credible. What he said made sense. Oram was vague, which is much as he was while a cabinet minister.
And Skinner seemed to be full of copious amounts of bullshit. Well, full of it, at least in that he tried to pretend that a list of supportive individuals in each district who were selected as delegates, as if by some magical process, did not constitute a slate of supporters.
Further evidence of Skinner’s crapola is in James McLeod’s report on the delegate selection held in Skinner’s old district:
Ottenheimer also said he wasn’t planning on running slates of delegates, but that didn’t match up with the facts in the room at the Hub.
As Tory voters filed in and registered, they were each given a ballot and waited for the meeting to start at 8 p.m.
At one table, voters passed around a ballot which had already been filled out with several names. Other people at the table copied the names off that ballot onto their own.
All of this was done before the meeting started, and before candidates were formally nominated, so some sort of organization must have happened in advance if they knew who they wanted to vote for.
Under no circumstances it is it ever good for a candidate and his key supporters to be found engaged in an activity and then claim they were only there to play the piano.
Leadership contests are fundamentally about trust and credibility, something the Conservatives failed at utterly in the first go-around. They can scarcely afford to do it again.