Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"No humanity, no soul"

Those words come today from a Conservative candidate exiting the scene of an oncoming federal election, more on that below. They might also speak to Mr. Harper's performance this afternoon, weaving into his response to a reporter on the Japan situation this gem:
"I don't want to predict how it's going to unfold, I think the Japanese will find their way of coping but the fact of the matter is this should be a wake-up that we can't afford to take our focus off the economy and get into a bunch of unnecessary political games or an opportunistic and unnecessary election that nobody is asking for.''
Politicizing the Japan earthquake for his own domestic political messaging, that's got to be a new benchmark in self-centeredness for the PM. What are people thinking and feeling as they watch the Japanese situation unfold? Likely it's all about concern, horror, empathy. Empathy in particular seems to me what Canadians would want to hear from their Prime Minister on our behalf. Not self-interested political contortions like this.

Continuing on with our theme, here's the view from the inside of the Conservative party from newly departing Conservative candidate Rachel Greenfeld in Vancouver:
She also believes she was regarded as a “loose cannon” because she spoke to the media when she felt like it.
Ms. Greenfeld, who started up the trendy Campoverde Social Club in Vancouver and is now the head of a personal coaching firm, said she's put off by the treatment she got from party officials. She wasn't impressed when Jenni Byrne, the Conservative party's director of operations and national campaign manager, assigned an underling to deliver the ultimatum.

“She didn't have the respect for me to make the call herself. And I found that to be very unfortunate.

“They've got the right person in the right job for the way that they need to run their organization, it's just that there's no humanity, no soul, there's no kindness, there's no femininity – the things that give people the greatest pleasure in life are absent.

“Feeling acknowledged, feeling understood, feeling respect, they're just not there.”
“We're very concerned with our environment here, we care about the homeless situation, we care about the mental health issues that we see people suffering from in the downtown east side,” she said.
Clearly not Conservative party machine material. Talking to the media, too much independent spirit there. See also a similar situation in Winnipeg South Centre developing over the last few days where Conservative candidate Raymond Hall in Winnipeg also seems to have been dumped for similar reasons:
There are more than a few 'WTFs' flying around Winnipeg South Centre today as it is confirmed that Tory candidate Raymond Hall has been dumped by his party. Word leaked out Sunday, and by Monday it was all over. Hall hasn't said much, but reading between the lines and relying on party sources, it appears the riding association was not satisfied with Hall's work ethic. He has been a nominated candidate for nearly two years. His face graces billboards and bus benches all over the riding. He was touted as the kind of candidate that would finally topple Liberal MP Anita Neville, one of only two Grits left standing in the city of Winnipeg. That was then.

Now, Hall is being characterized as a quirky, unpredictable guy who would not get with the program. And by program, we mean the much-vaunted Conservative "play book" that the central party's war room drafts for ridings they want to steal from other parties.
These two candidate exits come on the heels of the departures of MPs Day, Strahl and Cummins, all exiting on the weekend. If this were happening on the Liberal side, well, we all know the mutinous and chaotic implications that would be trumpeted in headlines far and wide.

The tone for the Conservative party is set at the top. We saw a fine display of that tone this afternoon. In foreign affairs, in matters of party, it's uber-partisan above all else.