Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More on Jane McKenna and the Burlington PC nomination process

I wrote recently of my concern that the local Burlington Progressive Conservative riding nomination process has been hijacked by PC headquarters in Toronto, which, apparently, they have a constitutional right to do. (See Tim Hudak and Jane McKenna: I’ll hang onto my money and sit this one out.) Such is the state of what passes for democracy in my riding.

Following my article, I’ve received two comments from an anonymous “PhilC” who has taken me to task over my disappointment that Jane McKenna was, apparently, the only PC candidate qualified to represent Burlington in the upcoming Oct. 6 Ontario general election. PhilC wrote:

“It is gotcha journalism like this that discourage Canadians from running for public office, which they have every right to.”

PhilC then went on at great length to tell me Ms. McKenna is “a passionate community advocate,” among other things.

In my essay, I expressed concern regarding Jane McKenna’s suitability to be a candidate. The relevant quote from my essay follows:

“As far as I could tell, McKenna had no previous political experience other than losing badly in the 2010 municipal election—she ran as a candidate for Ward 1 City Councillor against winner, Rick Craven, and placed a poor fifth out of five candidates. I was shocked for I thought that surely the we PCs could do better than a candidate that could only garner 565 votes for a fifth place finish in the Ward 1 race.”

To that, PhilC wrote, “Who cares what place you come in?”

I wrote a comment of my own to answer PhilC, but decided to share the debate with others. So, here is a more complete response to PhilC.

* * *


Of course we should care how McKenna placed in her only election. Did you miss the point that we PCs want to “win” the Burlington riding.

As to your comment: “That's why she won the nomination.” Nonsense. McKenna won nothing; she was acclaimed—there is a big difference.

Your words: “Heagle and Papin, on their own accord dropped out because people started to support the better candidate.” Again nonsense. I know both of those candidates, and your claim is far from the truth, but I think you know that very well. According to Mr. Papin’s—a former president of the Burlington PC Riding Association—media release at the time of his withdrawal:

“I have been advised that my candidacy, at this time, does not fit the strategic direction of the party, and that it would be in the best interests of the party if I were to withdraw.”

This sounds nothing like your claim he dropped out on his “own accord.” When you make such outlandish claims anonymously though they may have been made, you could at least offer a reliable source or two.

And this silliness: “Even though everyone thinks this election is about Burlington and that’s all that should be discussed, it is really about Ontario.” Nonsense! Wherever did you get the idea that “everyone thinks this,” I don’t. I would remind you, however, that to win Ontario, we Burlington voters have first to win Burlington riding. Voting for a dud does nothing for the residents of Burlington.

And finally: “Jane McKenna is by far the most qualified candidate for the job… .” Bollocks! Give a single scrap of evidence to support this outrageous claim.

The purpose of a nomination meeting is for voters in a riding to select the person they want to represent them; not to rubber stamp some candidate selected for them by PC headquarters.

Why not try the democratic way, you may like it.

By the way, do you even qualify to vote in Burlington? If so, why not give your real name instead of hiding behind anonymity. In other words, have the spunk to identify yourself and own your words.



© Russell G. Campbell, 2011.
All rights reserved.
The views I express on this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or positions of political parties, institutions or organizations with which I am associated.


  1. Phil: Where to start? In the interest of brevity, I'll stick to just one of your points.

    Your assertion that Jane is more qualified that either Brian Heagle or Rene Papin are laughable and betray a very telling lack of knowledge and understanding of our Burlington community.

    Brian H has put in many years of of public community work, many in leadership positions (YMCA, Joe Brant Hospital, Sound of Music Festival and more. Look it up. No wonder he was elected Burlington Citizen of the Year. Rene Papin was President of the Burlington PC Riding Association. I've met him and would have gladly campaigned for him. Both are savvy Burlington people.

    Now, back to Jane who you champion. What LEADERSHIP roles has she held (any charities, committees etc) in Burlington? What and how has she contributed to our community? Is she a talented business leader who can have an impact in Queen's Park? I believe that she once ran a dating agency. No other contribution that I can see. So tell me again why would I want her representing Burlington and Burlington's interests?

    I'm with Russ. I'm sitting this one out. I hope one day we will find out more of the PC Riding Ass'n subterfuge that forced out both Brian and Rene and discouraged others from coming forward.


  2. Hear, hear! I echo your sentiments Mr. Anonymous B.J. Phil is sorely misguided and vastly uninformed. A party that discourages full democratic participation in the nomination process, is not a party with which I want to be associated. I will definitely NOT be voting PC anytime soon. Very sad for Burlington's interests.

    Turbo Barbo