« Dead squirrel later tale on weird animal beat | Main | Hiring integrity commissioner overkill »

May 24, 2007


Andrew Keyes

Joan, as a member of the Oak Ridges-Markham Ontario PC riding association I read your post with interest. Also, having recently been involved in two political nominations myself I’ve gained a fairly practical perspective on the competitive dynamics that evolve over the course of a nomination contest, particularly when that contest involves more than one nominee. And for anyone who has followed politics in this country it’s obvious these dynamics are not exclusive the PC Party. Perhaps the most famous example of “inside mud-slinging” was during the federal Liberal “Martin vs. Chretien” battle. At the riding association level we can recall the spirited Ignatief nomination, the Copps vs. Valeri battle, and the ongoing Liberal debate regarding the appointment of candidates without any nomination process.

I don’t mean to pick on the Liberals exclusively, but you seem to be suggesting its only Conservatives that have had these issues.

Now, back to the local level. In defence of Sue Sherban’s campaign team and the comments that they may have made. It’s important to understand that during a hotly contested, and very short nomination campaign emotions do run high and competitive instincts sometimes set in. As you yourself have acknowledged, misinformation does circulate, and team members will often pass that information along. Passing it along is not always malicious, it’s often simply “mistaken”.

Having said that, I do agree that we all need to be prudent when making claims that are not substantiated, but democracy at the grass-roots level is often conducted by folks with a bit more enthusiasm than restraint – and I do not want to discourage that enthusiasm.

Kurt Christensen

The Oak Ridges Markham Nomination Meeting on Saturday was one of the most exciting I have ever attended and four worthy candidates - D'Arcy, Guyani, Sue and Phil all presented themselves to party members with excellent speeches and the Auditorium at Brother Andre High School in Markham was "standing room only" with the outside halls holding even more people.

The registration in the extreme heat took twice the time predicted as several hundred committed and serious Ontario Progressive Conservatives stood patiently in line to be registered to vote for their favourite candidate for the upcoming election in October.

All candidates had elaborate hospitality rooms and each had a large following of supporters who packed the rooms between the two ballots cast.

From an informal survey taken I understand that D'Arcy Pigott had the best food and rumour has it that Joe Li brought in several trays of it. If anything, D'Arcy and his group did not go away hungry. They had so much fooe left over that they left a large tray of chicken behind for everyone else to share. To those who enjoyed your hospitality, thanks D'Arcy.

The Provincial Party President Blair McCreadie and Paul Calandra, local party President as well as Marjorie Nielsen, local Conservative President and organizer of the meeting and others too numerous to mention, including Steve Gilchrist, former high profile MPP, were present to ensure everything went smoothly, which it did aside from the heat and frustration of waiting for over an hour for some to be registered.

Paul Calandra is the Federal Conservative nominee for Oak Ridges Markham and his leadership over the past year as PC President resulted in a huge turnout and a well organized meeting which would not have been possible without Paul's commitment and involvement.

The organization at all levels - PC party and that of the candidates' teams - was superb and it was fascinating to see the democratic process in full swing.

The Liberals had better watch out since the Tories are hungry for a win in this riding and this could be one of the biggest electoral wins in the province based on this meeting.

The elected nominee, Phil Bannon, who is presently Deputy Mayor of Stoufville had almost the full
Stoufville Council, as well as the Mayor, out to support him as well as hundreds of his loyal constituents. They came out in appreciation for the excellent way he has represented them locally and were there to see him succeed and continue to represent them at the provincial level. They ensured that he would win the nomination in a walk due to the outstanding support they gave him. The superb organization put together in three weeks by party veteran Fitz Matheson, not to mention a host of other experienced party members who jumped in at the last minute, clinched the nomination for Phil against initially insurmountable leads by the other candidates who had laboured for over six months to sign up members and prepare for this day. Phil Bannon will be a formidable candidate and a solid addition to the John Tory team. He is one to watch in the new Ontario government.

The only sad part of the entire day is the fact that there can only be one winner - any one of the four candidates would have made a great representative for the PC party in Oak Ridges Markham.

Kurt Christensen,
Past PC Candidate and
Oak Ridges Markham resident.

malcolm francois simpson

hey grandma. i found you on google

jordan 8

Towering genius disdains a beaten path. He seeks regions hitherto unexplored.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Joan Ransberry


Veteran reporter Joan Ransberry has seen and heard it all in the many years of covering municipal, regional, provincial and federal politics. Not afraid to blow the whistle, poke fun or venture where others won't go, her blog takes a peek at the human, the stupid and goofy side of government.


LEGAL NOTICE: Copyright Metroland York Region Newspaper Group. All rights reserved. The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Metroland York Region Newspaper Group or www.yorkregion.com. Distribution, transmission or republication of any material is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of the York Region Newspaper Group. For information please contact the BLOGmaster