Federal Conservatives in Quebec say the party has dithered so long in sanctioning a special wing in that province that it will be impossible to organize in time for the next election -- a gap they say will further the cause of separation.
Frustrated party members established a new Quebec wing just before the party's first policy convention in March. But the national council and the office of Tory Leader Stephen Harper have so far refused to officially acknowledge or fund the regional organization, party members said yesterday.
"Without it I am afraid the party ultimately could never win the province of Quebec and could also never win the government," said Pierre Gaudreault, who recently stepped down as the party's candidate in the Quebec City-area riding of Beauport-Limoilou.
Senator Pierre-Claude Nolin, a leading agitator for the establishment of a Quebec wing of the party, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Lawrence Cannon, the Conservative candidate in Pontiac, near Hull, who was named deputy chief of staff to Mr. Harper last month as the party tried to appease discontented Quebec members, was also unavailable.
Was this story so urgent that Ms. Galloway simply could not wait to get comment from a couple of actual serious Quebec organizers? Surely the problems in Quebec would still have been the same after they speak.
A formal Quebec wing would be a never-ending source of trouble for the party. It would not likely be more than a shell, and most of its members would be opportunistic former Liberals scrambling to stay on the gravy train. Such an organization would almost certainly wield influence far out of proportion to its actual size and capability, and would be constantly agitating to push the party leftwards, especially on social issues.
And it still wouldn't win us any seats in Quebec.
Why borrow trouble for so little return?
Source: Globe and Mail