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.
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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.