Saturday, March 28, 2009

Live(ish) Blogging the Calgary West AGM

Nation, I'm not at the Calgary West AGM today myself, however I DO have sources on the inside, who will be feeding me information as today's events go down.

As of 1:00 pm, there are about 60 people milling about outside the hall - spirits are reportedly high.

UPDATED 1:18 pm

Both "candidates" (MP Rob Anders and Donna Kennedy-Glans) are at the hall. Kennedy-Glans approached the MP and offered him a handshake - he blew her off and refused to shake. Classy.

UPDATED 1:54 pm

Estimates suggest that the Calgary West PC AGM may, in fact, be a "standing room only" affair. A lot of people have turned out, which is either very good for the incumbent and his board, or very, very bad.

UPDATED 1:59 pm

Conservative (as oppsed to "closeted Liberal") estimates put the turn-out at 500 to 600 people. For an AGM and Board election.

The proceedings are about to get underway.

UPDATED 2:40 pm

Nominations came and went, the voting has finished, and the counting has commenced. Obviously, both sides want to be VERY sure that the ballots are counted carefully, and a result is expected by 5 or 6 o'clock.

UPDATED 3:23 pm

Reportedly, the meeting and the voting went very smoothly. No one with a valid membership was turned away, and everyone had the chance to vote for their choices for the Board of Directors. So, no shenanigans. With the media in attendance, the heat was on the EDA to get this one right.

UPDATED 4:11 pm

Just got off the phone with a source, who indicated that the voting and nominations were run in an extremely professional manner. Nominations were taken from those within the hall, as well as those who couldn't fit and had to stand outside. Supporters of both "sides" proved to be very civil (even if the MP couldn't bring himself to be), which bodes well for the party in Calgary West after all is said and done. Scrutineers have been brought in from other Tory EDA's to count the ballots and certify the results. When I know, you'll know.

UPDATED 7:02 pm

The Donna Kennedy-Glans-backed slate of candidates has been elected as the Board of Directors for the Calgary West EDA of the Conservative Party of Canada.
More as it develops.


Kirk Schmidt said...

I agree. It was very civil and well mannered. Regardless of the results, I'm happy with the day.

Ian said...

So how long until this is called a Coup d'Etat?

Josh said...

We took 29 out of 30 spots!! Now it's time for some real accountability and change!!

Anonymous said...

While there are a number that may not agree, this is good news for the Conservative Party of Canada.

The ability of a group committed to bring about change can never be underestimated, particularly when those being challenged fail to acknowledge why.

Anonymous said...

Looks like party central stepped in here. Good. It's over for Anders.

Anonymous said...

How is it "over for Anders"? What exactly is the board capable of doing to oust him other than embarrass him and the party in the media?

Unknown said...

Embarrass him? Anders needs no help being an embarrassment! Too bad...he's just one of those people who will not listen to anyone.

Anonymous said...

The Board decides whether to protect his nomination or require a nom race - the old Board was Anders supporters and wasn't going to allow a race. Thus Anders didn't really sell more memberships and now he's caught with his pants down.

Anonymous said...

New CPC rules require 2/3 of the active members in an EDA to vote in favour of a candidate other than a sitting MP in order to oust him. That's not 2/3 of voters who show up for a nomination vote, that's 2/3 of all active members. There's no way they'll be able to get Donna nominated.

Anonymous said...

I would caution all 'concerned' here.

I agree that there is a crucial next step for this newly minted Board, that being dealing with the vote where the CPC will ask for a ratification of the sitting MP as the candidate for the next election. The task of getting two thirds of the membership to respond let alone vote one way or another is a daunting one.

What will happen, regardless, is that Mr. Anders will be dealing with a new group that will hold more accountability that he has demonstrated in his recent performance. That accountability should be welcomed by Mr. Anders if he is sincere in wanting to do a good job.

As well, should the nomination ratification vote indicate that the membership of Calgary West want a nomination race, then that, too, should be welcomed by Mr. Anders, again to reflect his sincerity in wanting to contest on his record.

It will be interesting, no doubt.

Kevin Wiener said...

5-600 people?! God, in Toronto we're lucky if we can get 50 people out to an AGM. But then again we don't have sitting MPs, so it's a little more low-stakes.

Josh said...

"How is it "over for Anders"? What exactly is the board capable of doing to oust him other than embarrass him and the party in the media?"

We will do nothing of the sort I am a conservative and I support our party and our Prime Minster. What we will do is create an accountable and transparent EDA and make Calgary West the best ridding it can and should be!!!

"New CPC rules require 2/3 of the active members in an EDA to vote in favour of a candidate other than a sitting MP in order to oust him. That's not 2/3 of voters who show up for a nomination vote, that's 2/3 of all active members. There's no way they'll be able to get Donna nominated."

Not everyone was running to get Donna elected, many just want a accountable and transparent EDA unlike the old one.

"So how long until this is called a Coup d'Etat?"

It is nothing of the sort, I am a conservative as is every single other board member elected.

Anonymous said...


Now we've got a bunch of political neophytes running the executive committee. There might be a couple out of the 30 who have some experience, but most of those running on behalf of Ms Kennedy-Glans are way out of their league. This is going to be a gong show

Anonymous said...

As someone above pointed out, the board has zero say in whether or not there is a nomination process.

My question remains: how can the board "hold Anders accountable"?

Is the new board planning to:
1) Slam Anders in the media?
2) Refuse to transfer money to Anders in the next election?
3) Work behind the scenes to disadvantage the Conservative Party candidate (if it remains Rob)?

I would suggest that none of those are particularly ethical or noble goals, whether you like Rob or not.

Anonymous said...


Is the board responsible to the MP, or is the MP responsible to the board? Are the candidates that were elected yesterday going to work on Rob's behalf from now until the next election? Or are they going to try to sabotage Rob's efforts? It will be interesting, to say the least.

Calgaryrants said...

Nice Job ES! Looks like its going to provide some good posts in the next few months!

Kirk Schmidt said...

The Board is responsible to the members of the EDA, as well as to the Party. Part of that is providing support for the current MP, but also presiding over a fair and equitable nomination process, should one go forward.

Anonymous said...

No where have we seen a list of the new Board members. The television news talked of a Marilyn Austin who was on the existing Board. From a friend who was there, she indicated that there are several former Board members as well as a lot of folks with campaign and organizational experience from the Provincial side.

Oh, and isn't both the Board and the MP responsible and accountable back to the membership and the constituents? Isn't that what was missing before this change?

Josh said...

Here is a list of the new board members

Bill Bonner
Susam Desbarats
Gordon Elliot
Marilyn Elliot
Dale Ens
Don Hatch
Trevor Hlyinski
Gordon Kirk
Roberta Leaver
Lindsey Lovse
Zoltan Lukas
Jim McCormick
Bruce McRitchie
Brendan Miller
Laurie Mills
Alana Moon
Dan Morrison
Peter Pilarski
Darren Pilarski
Gerald Radke
Susan Rawlyk
Phil Sceviour
Kirk Schmidt
Steve Sibold
Kelli Taylor
Josh Traptow
Tim Wall
Neil Weerasekera
Janice Woodward
Michelle Austin

It's Michelle not Marilyn. She was actually not on the existing board, she's a newly elected member as is everyone else. Here is the list of the 08/09 board and her name is not there (

There are members with previous Calgary West board experience and other with current/previous provincial board experience such as myself.

We will be accountable and transparent to the membership. The MP has to be accountable to the constituents as he's the one who represents them in Ottawa.

Anonymous said...

Accountable, transparency. What a laugh. This is all about a group of people deciding they are better off with one of their own at the trough when the next election is held. I do not know who Anders is, I do not recall any media reports for or against him in the Edmonton Journal or Sun so this is not a personal comment about him.

Another source who was there said...

I must agree with Anon 7:23 on the farce of calling this a victory for being "accountable and transparent." This was simply a power struggle between Rob's "toadies" and Donna's "toadies." Nothing more, nothing less.

I don't know whether these claims are standard partisan vitriol or just pure naivete, but oh well.

BTW, could someone explain to me exactly how the 2008-09 board wasn't "accountable and transparent" (other than "they didn't want to get rid of Anders")?

As other commenters have pointed out, the EDA board can't force a nomination, but they can do various other things, such as:
- Look for opportunities to publicly attack the Conservative MP
- Refuse to fund the Conservative Calgary West campaign during an election
- Spend the EDA's war chest (earned via the work of the previous board members) on things like lawsuits against the Conservative Party

The new board will be judged on their behaviour from this point forward. If they engage in any of the above actions, it's a safe bet that "accountability and transparency" have nothing to do with their plans for Calgary West.

BTW Enlightened Savage, your source was a little off on his reporting. Voting continued until well after 3pm (not 2:40), and the media was not "in attendance" (they had to stay outside, with no way to check for "shenanigans").

Travis Chase said...

I don't much care for the Federal Conservative Party, but Rob Anders has always been one of my fav MP's. He is incredibly intelligent and joy to speak with.

Anders has always been a very honest politician and never been afraid to state what he believes in. I admire and respect that.

Ezra Levant has a good write up on what Donna Kennedy-Glans is all about. I have always known Ezra to be very truthful and honorable as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so the Liberals couldn't win an election so they decided to pretend to be Conservatives, join the Party, and take over the Calgary West Board. Can't wait until this all backfires in your faces. You say your job is to support the MP yet your letter from your Acting President clearly calls for members to have him replaced. You're a bunch of jokers and you'll get what's coming to you. Anders will prevail whether you like it or not.