Monday, December 7, 2009

Is there a "Dump Harper" Movement Brewing Within the Conservative Party?

Charles McVety is promoting Jason Kenney as the next Conservative leader. Jim Prentice has a website, run by some unknown Conservatives suggesting that he should replace Stephen Harper. John Baird too.

"A press release was sent out by the John Baird website claiming that it is supported by a "group composed (of) over nearly 100 members from across the country, including two (2) Members of Parliament and one (1) Senator - who have
requested (to) remain anonymous." The website claims to be under the copyright of an organization called Conservatives for Change.

The Draft John Baird site responded to Sunday night via email saying: "For the time being the identity of the founders is not being made public because of political retaliation concerns within caucus. I am sure you can appreciate the fact that, there would be significant consequences for those members and staff who are involved with this movement. "The Jim Prentice folks are already doing prep work behind the scenes, so we thought it was prudent to layout some initial groundwork, in hopes Mr. Baird runs."

And from another source:

A certain Globe & Mail reporter used to write columns about the "Dump Harper" movement building within the Conservative Party. She even had in her possession copies of letters by "top Conservative organizers from the Toronto area", from which she quoted liberally (no pun intended) to back up her claims.

And not just Harper but MacKay may be on the chopping block:

While everyone is focused on the campaign to dump Stephen Harper as leader of the Conservative Party, little attention has been paid to the growing movement to give Peter MacKay the old heave ho from the CP caucus.

The Conservative party faces a new crisis this week after a number of MPs signalled their frustration with Tory Peter MacKay, whom they feel is undermining Stephen Harper’s leadership to position himself as the party’s saviour-in-waiting.

Several Conservatives have told CanWest News Service that MacKay, the leader of the former Progressive Conservative party and a front-runner to succeed Harper, has rankled some of his fellow caucus members with comments made in the media that suggest he is distancing himself from the embattled party.

My point is that stuff like this happens all the time. It's called politics. I don't know what Angelo Persichilli was thinking. He must be getting really desperate. Colby Cosh weighs in:

And the Black Rod is made of chocolate!
by Colby Cosh
December 7, 2009

After some hours trying to decipher Angelo Persichilli’s column about the Château Laurier Conspiracy, I think I’ve found the key. One must disconnect Persichilli’s speculation about What It All Means from his actual reporting. It seems likely he overheard or was given access to audio of some genuine conversation, though the whole account is slathered in enough passive-voice sauce to turn anybody’s stomach.

Ignore the carefully placed buttresses to the story’s authority and importance, like “This was not an isolated meeting between a few MPs”, and what you’re left with is… an isolated meeting between a few MPs, who bellyache tipsily while Bob Rae listens politely and encourages frank discussion but strongly insists he is not interested in a coup.

One reader put it in perspective:

Thanks Colby Cash! Angelo Persichilli is the quintessential 'lazy' reporter/columnist who needs his chain jerked every now and then by his hard working fellow journalists. He is a closet small 'c' conservative who dresses up in old-fashioned liberal garb so he can earn his living at the Star.

Journalists and their readers have very short and very selective memories. It was not so long ago that the majority of central Canada's journalists, including Pershichilli, were hounding Harper and predicting that his Reform/Alliance/Conservative coalition would go the way of the dodo bird.

They forget to remind their readers of this important fact. Now most central Canadian journalists, having gambled that PM Harper is here to stay for a while, portray him as a political genius who needs to be pandered to so they can get access to his pearls of wisdom and the status the Harper government offers them ....

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