Thursday, April 14, 2011

Supporter Quitting Day

That's what yesterday seemed like in two ridings where something of a stink has been made about supporters quitting respective incumbents and challengers, though it's unsure if it'll be possible game-changers or not.

The first comes from the riding of Vaughan, where a former Conservative candidate and some other supporter of Julian Fantino have quit working on the recently-elected MP's campaign thanks to accusations of favouritism on where certain allocations of federal grant money has been placed, namely at the feet of a hospital advocacy group where two of Fantino's chief fundraisers sit on the board, namely the Vaughan Health Campus of Care, or VHCC.

You have to admire Richard Lorello, said former candidate who challenged the Liberals in 2008, for sticking to his principles on this, stating that "... we basically believe what's wrong is wrong — if the Liberal Party was doing this, we would be jumping up and down... because the Conservative Party is doing this, it's no exception to us."

The whole kerfuffle is interesting as a mini-scandal in the riding of Vaughan, one for which Tony Genco is looking mighty foolish over right now. Greg Sorbara also makes a cameo, saying if Harper was in the business of building hospitals, he has a long list (I believe him) that Harpo should also help out, ones without Conservative fundraisers on them. Full article is here.

What will be the fallout? I doubt it's a game changer for Liberal candidate Mario Ferri - he still has a fight on his hands, but this will certainly tie up Fantino's own resources for the time being. Wind formerly in sails is now gone.

Moving farther east, the Liberals ended up losing the support of Denise Verreault in Haute-Gaspésie-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia, a target riding for us where former MLA Nancy Charest is running. Verreault jumped ship to Conservative candidate Allen Cormier's campaign. The key thing here is that it doesn't seem the Charest campaign is surprised - according to Nancy herself, Verreault has interests in a company which was given contracts by the federal government for the expansion of Canada's naval fleet (either it was her own company, Groupe maritime Verreault, or another, not quite sure). How's that for principled stands?

Jean Lapierre also had an interesting thing to say, noting that Verreault "often changed her political orientation," and that at one point she was supposed to be on the advisory committee has OUI won in 1995. She also signed the Bouchard manifesto Pour un Québec lucide, which makes you wonder.

Anyways, will this change much? Remains to be seen. I don't know Mme Verreault's reach in the riding, nor her involvement in the Charest campaign, so the effect is hard to gauge. It's possible it could backfire on the Conservatives themselves, but we'll see.

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