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Monday, October 22, 2007 

Conservative Party National Council SUSPENDS Nova Scotia Riding Executive

No one knows authoritarianism like a right winger and Stephen Harper knows how to use the heavy hand of authority when he wants to be a political bully. To prove my point, the Conservative constituency executive in northern Nova Scotia has been suspended by the party's national council because of its ongoing support for MP Bill Casey.

The Riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has been notified that they must resign or they must select a candidate acceptable to Mr. Harper. Bill Casey was ejected from the Conservative caucus for defending Nova Scotia's financial interests in offshore oil.

But the riding executive decided to do neither of the choices given to them, and have decided to hold an annual general meeting in November to let local members decide what action should be taken.

Globe & Mail

The riding executive is standing up and fighting back.

But I thought there was a culture of defeat in the Maritimes.

Seems Harper underestimated Bill Casey's constituents.

So, no culture of defeat. Maybe fewer Conservative seats next time.

- I had completely forgotten about the 'culture of defeat' handle that Harper had bestowed on the region!
The chicken have come home to roost.

. . chicken have come home to roost.
I rather think you mean that the Turkey has laid an egg.

Bill Casey voted against his own party’s budget. In every single BPD (British Parliamentary Democracy) country on planet Earth a vote against the budget is a vote of non-confidence in the government. This means he voted that he has no confidence in the ability of his party to form the government and run the country. No party would allow a member to stay in caucus who did such a thing: not the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, the Green Party, the BQ, the NDP or any other party. If he has no confidence in the Conservative Party’s ability to govern, he can’t be a Conservative. It’s just that simple. The riding association has no authority to re-nominate Bill Casey and if they won’t choose someone else then the party has a right to overrule them. It works this way for all partys.

This issue has nothing to do with Harper’s temper: it has everything to do with how BPD has worked for hundreds of years.

And Mr. Zeppo, in BPD is it NOT the duty of a committed and informed opposition to scream 'bloody murder' in the hopes that just maybe .... a new precedent will be set (!) as does happen in the BPD from time to time!!

in BPD is it NOT the duty of a committed and informed opposition to scream 'bloody murder' in the hopes that just maybe .... a new precedent will be set

The subtext running through many entries in this blog indicate that the vast majority here (except me) believe that this Casey issue is Harper's unique failing. It is not Harper's failing. Every single party would operate the same way if they were in power. The other partys (the loyal opposition) are complaining about this for partisan reasons, not because they would, or would want to, change anything if they were elected.

The reason the system has evolved the way it has is because it is successful in the long run vis-a-vis the electorate. A party can have a good platform but if it doesn't have message discipline it will be fired. If back-benchers start saying things contrary to government policy then the opposition and the media will club the party over the head with those statements and the polls will show the party's numbers descending. Like it or not the electorate punishes partys that don't have a clear message; ergo the need for message discipline. Voting against one's own party on a matter of confidence is even worse. Leaving a member in caucus who is privy to the governments plans and who is against the government is suicide.

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