Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sinclair Stevens: Sore Loser

Two years after the new Conservative Party of Canada's founding was announced, Sinclair Stevens is still refusing to surrender, demanding that the Federal Court of Appeal undo the hard work of thousands of members across Canada:

In arguments Wednesday before a three-judge panel, Stevens' lawyer Peter Rosenthal ratcheted up the rhetoric - at one point comparing the political battle to one of the most infamous military assaults in history.

It was Dec. 7, 2003 - the anniversary of the Pearl Harbour attack - that Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley officially approved the registration of the new Conservatives, noted Rosenthal.

"It was like Pearl Harbour in a way," he told the court. "It was a surprise attack."

Rosenthal contended that Kingsley was wrong to bow to the urging of then-Alliance leader Stephen Harper and then-PC leader Peter MacKay.

The registration decision was rushed through on a Sunday afternoon to head off efforts by Stevens and other PC dissidents to challenge it, he said.

I feel sorry in a way for both Sinclair Stevens and his lawyer.

Sorry for Stevens, because he has forfeited what little claim he might have had to respect as an elder party statesman to become a pathetic laughingstock, reduced to fighting long-forgotten battles long after they've been won.

If he wants to use Japanese military analogies, his position is not unlike that of the Japanese soldiers who were still fighting in the jungles of the Philippines thirty years after the war ended.

Sorry for Rosenthal too, because he has to argue a hopeless appeal which, even if it had some legal merit, would surely be denied because of the court's unwillingness to interfere with internal party and parliamentary affairs:

Justice Robert Decary observed that, if the old PCs are resurrected and given official status once again, the Alliance would presumably have to be revived as well.

Justice Allen Linden wondered who would form the official Opposition in the House of Commons under those circumstances.

Justice Gilles Letourneau wanted to know whether all the MPs elected under the Conservative banner in the last election would now have to sit as Independents.

I bet that it wasn't Stevens' intention to revive the Alliance along with the PCs, but he can't really have one without the other. But with no one but a few aging Red Tory malcontents interested in bringing back the PCs to life, Stevens can only hope to find himself with a paper shell of a Progressive Conservative Party to fight against another paper shell Alliance.

In any event, Stevens' quixotic mission is doomed to failure, but not before wasting the party's time and money having to defend the original action and respond to the appeal.

The Court of Appeal should hit him with the Conservative Party's costs, as a lesson to those who would pursue political aims through vexatious litigation.

Source: Yahoo

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