The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Two weeks into the federal Tories' delegate selection process, and Nova Scotia MP Peter MacKay continues to lead all contenders in the race to succeed Joe Clark. As of last night, MacKay had 104 committed delegates of the 239 selected so far. Anti-free trade crusader David Orchard, regarded by many Tories as a tourist in the party, was in second with 71 delegates.

It's early days in the delegate selection process -- less that 10% of the riding associations have chosen delegates to the party's leadership convention. Still, this hasn't kept frontrunner MacKay from warning that a vote for anyone other than him might be a vote for the un-Torylike Orchard.

It's an interesting tactic, one often used in electiions by candidates trying to reach the "anything but [fill in the blank]" voter -- think of the appeals made in greater Vancouver by federal Liberals to NDPers (or is it the other way 'round?) to not split the vote and allow an Alliance candidate to win, or the same appeal by the CA to traditional Tory voters in rural and small-town Ontario. However, I'm not sure if MacKay's argument is all that well-founded. Unlike a general election, whoever takes the first vote doesn't automatically win. In the Tory party, that's even more true -- Brian Mulroney was second on the first ballot in '83, and Joe Clark was in third after the first ballot at the 1976 PC convention. Even if Orchard is in front after round one, that means nothing unless he's got a straight majority -- and that's doubly true in Orchard's case.

Most Tories that are backing other candidates would rather be catheterized with a garden hose than vote for Orchard and his left-of-centre platform. The same applies to the 1000 or so ex-officio delegates, most of whom are part of the Tory establishment, not (in the words of a local Tory) Orchard's cult of personality. In effect, if Orchard and Company are going to take over the Progressive Conservatives, they're going to have to take it on the first ballot, and they'll have to take about 65% of the 3100 or so delegates from constituency and campus associations in order to get a majority. Not likely.

Mike Wilson, an André Bachand supporter in the heart of the 905 belt, has been looking at the Tory leadership race on his blog (listed in that expanding roll on the sidebar) , and he's got a thought or two on why David Orchard doesn't fit in with today's Tories.

Well, maybe after this is all over, Orchard and his merry (?) band can go to their true home -- not the New Democrats, as Orchard is apparently persona non grata in Saskatchewan NDP quarters, but the Canadian Action Party, the economic nationalist fringe party founded by former cabinet minister Paul Hellyer.
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