I should remind EVERYONE that this campaign for Orchard was all about having an open and fair nomination in the riding of DMCR. This campaign wasn't about an appointment for Mr. Orchard. There were no guarantees that David would have even won the nomination. John Dorion was also selling memberships in the riding and would have presented a formidable campaign for himself.
I have, naturally, talked with David over the matter of the appointment of Ms. Beatty to DMCR in Sask. As I expected, David is taking the high road on the matter. One journalist from a major newspaper has confirmed to me that David has decided not to discuss the matter at present. Honourable. Very honourable.
Mr. Orchard's supporters and, for that matter, non-supporters have been bombarding this blog, the leader's office, Mr. Goodale's office and just about every MP they could think of to express their opinions on the issue.
There are people on both sides of the argument whether or not David should run in DMCR. The one thing that almost all of them agree on however is that we, as a party, should not be appointing anyone, any where, any time.
As I stood in the campaign office of Jocelyn Coulon in Outremont after our crushing defeat, I looked into Stephane's eyes and saw the pain of that loss. I know he has a plan to win the next election...whenever that may be.
For those of you that know me, you know that you won't find me carrying a knife to a gunfight. I'm no delicate flower wilting in the corner. When I stood there on the floor in Montreal behind Stephane Dion and David Orchard, I believed that this party was now in a state of renewal. I still believe that today. This is a hiccup that must be rectified. I trust that it will be.
So, at the risk of being permanently banished to Siberia(At least I know I won't be alone when I get there), I share some letters with you.
Dear Mr. Dion...
I am writing to you to express my intense disappointment and outrage at your appointment of a selected candidate in the riding of Desnethé Missinippi-Churchill River, even when at least two qualified persons were seeking the nomination. I am particularly incensed given that this decision would appear to all reasonable persons as a move to eliminate David Orchard as a potential candidate in the next federal election. Is there any other conclusion that I can draw from this debacle?
Prior to this turn of events, David Orchard had convinced me to support the Liberals in the next federal election, even here in Calgary were the Conservatives have such a stranglehold. But in light of your treachery, the thought of helping you, even in a small way, become the prime minister of Canada make my guts churn. I just cannot do it.
Mr Dion, it is my view that Canadians thirst for a decisive, credible leader that they can trust that what he says will guide his actions. That is exactly why David Orchard resonates so well with so many people. Unfortunately, you currently fall far short of that ideal. Yet it is not to late to turn this matter to your benefit. Make the decision to reverse your decision and allow the citizens of Desnethé
Missinippi-Churchill River to democratically decide who should be their Liberal candidate in the next federal election. In doing so, you would demonstrate that you do have personal integrity, a commitment to the democratic process and the potential to become the next Prime Minister of the great country. To do otherwise will likely result in you being cast into the refuse pile of Canadian political history and in doing so, guarantee that the right-wing fascists continue to govern the country.
The decision is your's to make. Demonstrate to myself and thousands of other Canadians that you are a man who can be trusted and that you are worthy of our support.
Dear Mr. Dion,
To support your leadership bid, I paid for an aboriginal delegate to fly from Saskatchewan just a couple of days before the convention . Encouraged by your strong message of Canadian unity, environmental action and social justice, I joined the Liberal party and have been door knocking in my home riding of Vancouver Quadra with Joyce Murray promoting you on the basis of your unimpeachable ethics and strong character. I've come to like Joyce a lot, and I plan to throw myself into the upcoming by-election
Joyce won the nomination fair and square. That's all that David Orchard is trying to do.
Personally, I support the idea of encouraging women and others not adequately represented in parliament to run and participate in our democracy. But to cut off the Orchard team in northern Saskatchewan at the eleventh hour is not consistent with the fair and smart politics that I've come to expect from your leadership. It's not too late to reverse this error, and let an open selection process run it's course in the riding.
January 3, 2008
I am appalled that you appointed Ms. Beatty to the candidacy in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River. This is akin to Mackay's betrayal of David Orchard in forming the neo conservative party. Like Mackay, you seem to have forgotten a key factor in your win of the Liberal leadership.
I now fear for this country as I am convinced that this betrayal and caving to Goodale's pressure will cause immense harm to the credibility of both you and the party in the eyes of thousands of voters who might otherwise have made the difference. Harper is such an awful alternative and in the reality of Canadian politics, the only alternative to a Liberal government which I believe is now at least five years away.
Can you change that? Can you withdraw this decision? Yes. Please.
Thu 03 Jan 2008
Mr. Stephane Dion,
Leader of the Official Opposition,
I am OUTRAGED that you have chosen to kill a democratic process underway in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River for the Liberal candidate nomination by appointing a candidate. You have spit in the face of the citizens in that riding by denying them their democratic right to CHOOSE their own candidate. You have denied the active candidates their right to a democratic process to be selected for Liberal candidate in the upcoming by-election. Your action signals to me that you do not truly believe in nor support democracy in the Liberal Party, nor in Canada.
I am OUTRAGED that you have undercut David Orchard's run for the nomination which you encouraged him to undertake. I am OUTRAGED that you have double crossed the man who helped you win the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. In doing so you have also betrayed me. I am OUTRAGED that you made your decision without consultation with Mr. Orchard and not even so much as a courtesy call to him. Shame on you, Mr. Dion.
I voted for you for leader of the party because David Orchard supported your bid for leadership and because of your standing on environmental, economic, and sovereignty issues important to me. I have been a supporter of Mr. Orchard for more than 20 years. I believe very strongly in his vision for Canada. He has always demonstrated the utmost integrity and honesty in his dealings with all people and issues. Unfortunately that cannot be said of some prominent politicians in Canada, past and present.
I expected you to usher in a new beginning in the Liberal Party, a return to genuine grass roots participation, a turning away from rule by the powerful, back room elites. You buckled to their pressure. That is not the leadership I hoped from you.
If your decision to appoint a candidate for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River stands, I will not be voting Liberal in the next federal election and I am certain that many others who believe in democracy or who support David Orchard will feel the same. I will cancel my membership in the Liberal Party. Clearly it cannot represent my views at the same time as it actively undermines democratic process and shows callous disrespect for a member whose vision, values, and views I strongly support.
Think again about the potential consequences of your decision and how you expect support from people whom you have mocked.
3 January, 2008
Letter to Liberal MP Keith Martin, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca (Victoria, B.C.)
Dear Dr. Martin,
I joined the liberal party solely at the behest of David Orchard in order to vote for the nomination of Stephane Dion as leader, as did many others of Mr Orchard's supporters. I understood that, with Mr Dion's blessing, Mr Orchard was running as the Party's candidate in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River in the upcoming federal by-election.
However, I have just been made aware of the following: (quote) OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion today announced that Joan Beatty, former Saskatchewan NDP cabinet minister and Aboriginal activist, will be the Party's candidate in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River in the upcoming federal by-election.
I would like Mr Dion to know that Mr Orchard should not be betrayed again out of any political expediency or for any reason whatever. People of David Orchard's integrity and ability must not be shut out. Such people must have a voice. Indeed I would like Mr Dion to properly reciprocate the the support he received from Orchard's people at the time of the leadership convention.
3 January, 2008
Mr. Dion I cannot believe what I am hearing that you would actually block David Orchard from running in the bi-election in Desnethé Missinippi-Churchill River and nominating a candidate!!!
David mobilized Canada to help get you elected as leader of the Liberals. I was hoping that with you we would no longer see a party that was same old, same old. Mr. Harper did not win that election, the Liberals lost it. With you we were all hoping for a party reborn from the ashes. It appears not to be the case and I really cannot express how disappointed I am.
Mr. Dion when I met you earlier last year at the BBQ in West Saanich on Vancouver Island I was really impressed in you as a person of integrity and intelligence.
Please reconsider for the sake of the Liberal Party of Canada and all our sakes.
It should be noted that the individuals writing these letters have asked me to post them to this blog. I do so in hopes that we realize the scope of the whole story and not just that of what we may or may not read in the days to come in the MSM.