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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED –- Getting rid of the minions, who party officers’ control, is not a solution to the internal competition for control among Party factions

Story Reference – Globe and Mail, December 12th:  Conservative Party’s national council rejects motion to remain neutral in Scheer leadership review”

There we have it – Conservative Party members should be alarmed and angry. The National Council is charged with overseeing operations of the Party including setting the rules for nomination contests and leadership races.
Candidates during the 2017 Conservative
Party of Canada leadership campaign
It is imperative that the members of the National Council, the Leader’s office and Election Campaign team remain neutral in these processes. The concept of Party officers interfering in our selection of candidates and leaders is repugnant.
Many party members were aghast at the discovery that the Party was funding a Political Operations Group who took over the election campaign in 2015, shutting out the National Council and dictating terms to candidates and electoral districts.
In the follow-up analysis of results, the Party announced that the Political Operations Group (POG) was disbanded and would no longer influence election campaigns. Results of the 2019 election raise strong doubts about the POG disbanding; actions during the election campaign suggest strong Party influences in candidate selections and campaign methods.
There is a lack of accountability for Party officials. Following disasters, everyone stays in place. Getting rid of the minions, who party officers’ control, is not a solution to the internal competition for control among Party factions.
The concept of choosing Party convention delegates based on equal numbers per electoral district, without respect of membership numbers, is not acceptable. Each district should choose members based on its membership numbers. Delegates must represent the membership, not electoral districts or regions. 

That would encourage Electoral District Associations (EDAs) to maintain contact and attract members.
The rules that provide all EDAs with 100 points in a leader selection is insane. The Leader is spokesperson for the Party and must be chosen by Party members, not by any artificial construct of members who that can be influenced by Party officials.

The 100 point per EDA system is a construct of Peter MacKay, which is one reason many of us will never accept him as Party leader. The 100-point system has been up for amendment at several conventions, and at each Mr. MacKay has appeared with enough support to quash the amendment resolution.

There are lessons in that for those who bother to pay attention.
The revelation that Mr. Scheer was being supported by the Party, over and above his Opposition Leader’s salary, should be no surprise to anyone.

Painting Mr. Scheer as a miscreant for accepting the Party offer is outrageous; it is the Party officers who should have known that they were in breach of their fiduciary trust of member donations. What is particularly disconcerting is that there is not requirement for a Party to make such arrangements public.

Public release of the internal arrangements was deliberate, slanderous and viscous   
The Conservative Party of Canada has much more to do than replace Mr. Scheer to regain the trust of conservatives. Without an overhaul of the party executive and its responsibilities, the CPC will remain a mainstream political alternative devoid of ethics and principles at best.
The Conservative Fund is seriously remiss in not being aware of the arrangement between the Party and Mr. Scheer. Claiming ignorance of the arrangement is an admission that internal auditing is dysfunctional. Irving Gerstein is a name and placeholder as Chief of the Fund. His reports to delegates at convention lack substance. Whoever acts as comptroller is not doing his or her job.    
We need a viable alternative to the Laurentian elite controlled Liberals. Perhaps Mr. Scheer’s greatest sin was to represent a Saskatchewan electoral district -- and owe no allegiance to the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal (TOM) elite.
Conservative members need to band together and force changes to the CPC constitution at the April convention, and demand accountability from the Party executive. We cannot continue to support a party that is oblivious to our desires.
The people who were working on dumping Mr. Scheer, without a clear plan to keep the opposition relevant, was not working in member interests.

If there is a planned replacement for Scheer, that is even worse.
John Feldsted
Political Commentator, Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


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