Party supporter questions Cabana ruling
I became a supporter of the Progressive Conservative party about 14 years ago. The main reason was that I was not happy with the Liberal government and their policies at that time.
When I joined the PC party they were down to 10 seats. I served three years as a regional vice-president and was involved in elections in my district, also the districts of St. Barbe and White Bay North. I also worked with Roger Pike and Rex Barnes when they ran in the federal district of Grand Falls-Gander. I did this because I believed in the party.
The recent situation that is occurring now is very embarrassing to the PC party and to the voters that gave them their huge majority.
When Premier Danny Williams stepped down as leader of the party, it was obligated to elect a new leader, there was all kinds of names being bandied about, and everyone had their favourite person picked out. But what surprised me and the majority of people in this province is that no one wanted the job, so poor Kathy Dunderdale was left to carry on the job. The party was elated there would be no expensive leadership convention; more time campaigning for the election next fall.
Then at the 11th hour Brad Cabana decides he would challenge Dunderdale for the leadership … whoops, what are we going to do now? We can’t allow this to happen. We had everything planned.
Although Mr. Cabana had 20 more signatures then was required, the powers that be decided they were going to deny his application on the grounds that these signatures were not PC supporters.
When I became a member of the PC party, any person could became a member as long as they are resident or domiciled in this province and supported the principles and aims of the party.
According to Shawn Skinner, the only people that can nominate a leadership candidate are people who would have their names on file at the PC office in St. John’s; people that have attended a convention or are members of a district association. If that is the case there is not enough PC supporters in this province to elect one MHA.
In Ross Wiseman’s district of Trinity North there were 3,939 people that supported the PC party in the last election, so therefore they would all be members of the PC party, according to their constitution.
This is not the party that I joined when they were down to 10 seats, which was an open party. I guess when you get too much power you forget where you came from, as we in rural areas have found out the last few years.
In my opinion, the party has no other option only let Mr. Cabana run for the leadership because with no signed-up party members you have no way of knowing who is a party member; if they do not, then they are going against their own constitution and telling the people who voted for them the last election that they are not a part of this party.
To the PC party, right this wrong; go back to the party I joined 14 years ago as an open and transparent party, a party the people can be proud off. Capt. Wilfred Bartlett