Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Why was Holt's letter sent now?

In case you haven't noticed, the president of Grewal's riding association, Jim Holt, has circulated a long-detailed memo defending Grewal. The document is quoted here (with hattips to Public Eye Online and Bound by Gravity, where you can download the original Word file.)

My first post on this 'memo' (here) got one important fact wrong that I should correct here. Holt's four page memo was sent not to constituents, but to party members. That difference is not trivial. The memo is an impassioned plea for the membership to support Grewal. Why does Holt have to send this letter to them at all? Indeed, doesn't the very existence of this memo imply profound dissatisfaction within the rank-and-file?

Let us accept, for a moment, that this is the case. The question becomes, why now? The negative stories about Grewal in the press were much worse six weeks ago, when the tapes episode was at the height. Conservatives managed to remain moderately loyal to Grewal then. What changed?

My guess--and if you have a better idea please suggest it in the comments--is that many in the Conservative ranks were profoundly disappointed to see Grewal in the headlines again, just when it seemed the story might be fading from the public's memory. We've seen similar thing amongst the Blogging Tories. The story that Grewal gave new tapes to the RCMP (which has been clarified by Holt's letter) drove Brent Colbert to call for Grewal's head, as did the story about Grewal's electorial financing did for Andrew at Bound for Gravity. This latest story about Grewals' election also elicited a quick denunciation of Grewal by conservatives in BC, including MPs (see here). This is more or less admitted by Holt in his opening paragraph:
As you are very well aware, the past few weeks have not in any way been pleasant for our elected MP, for members of our constituency association, for the Conservative Party as a whole, and perhaps even for us as residents of Surrey and North Delta.
Now, Andrew has since withdrawn his criticism as overhasty; Colbert may well have, too. But that is not the point. Surely what is significant here is how many conservatives are turning against Grewal for what are not hanging offenses in the Canadian system.

Why now? The latest two stories -- on the surrender of additional tapes to the RCMP and about election financing--are merely the proverbial straws that broke the back of many a patient conservative camel.


Blogger Hammering Jow said...

I've thought about this too - but it is important to note that we aren't dealing with the shining beacons of Canadian politics here.

Case in point: This letter breaks the cardinal rule of politics ("Never repeat you opponents accusations")over and over and over again.

I wonder if perhaps the nomination meeting for this riding is coming up? Or, if a takeover is iminent?

Either way, this riding is goign Red by thousands in the next election after these fiaso's ... This man has seriously ruined Surrey for the Tories.

It is really too bad for them too because Surrey is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, and is going to supass Vancouver as the largest city in Vancouver in a few years - and the Tories and Reformers have had a stronghold on it.

Now, they will lose Gurmant's seat, Nina's seat and probably Russ Hiebert's seat in Surrey too to the Liberals. They will also likely lose Cadman's seat, thought that one may go NDP unless the Libs find a star candidate.

11:15 AM  
Blogger buckets said...

I agree completely about the never-repeat-an-accusation. But that rule has been breached by the federal party, too: note John Reynolds' over-reach by laying complaints with the Ontario and BC law commissions.

As to the nomination. I think that Conservative policy has changed in this regard. MPs now automatically are re-nominated, which will surely cost them both the Grewals' seats, but quite a few marginals in the lower mainland.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Lee's Poliworld said...

You asked why now? Probably because the tax receipts issue is the EDA's business. The other issues were MPs business.

The over reaction by non-riding conservatives and bloggers. They are panicing about the loss of support the Party has suffered and are looking for an easy solution. Just like Randy White in the last election. We did not lose 8-10000 votes in almost every riding in BC because of Randy White's comments. It is because we created a linkage with Brian Mulroney's corrupt govt and the PC Party.

We have to fix the actual problem rather than join in with the Liberal smear campaign. It's time to take strong stands and stick to them. Cutting the subsidy to the CBC for a start, hmmm, I wonder if that's the Terry's motive?

We have "Conservatives" jumping on the back of one of the last Reformers and buying into the harassment from the left wing tax payer subsidized CBC. Shame.

2:36 PM  

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