"By the sheer membership sales that have gone on, Joe Volpe has to be taken very seriously now," said Nick Discepola, Mr. Volpe's Quebec campaign manager.
On the last day of the recruitment drive, Mr. Volpe's campaign plunked down 4,400 forms for new Quebec members, he said -- a big proportion of the roughly 12,000 new members recruited by all campaigns in the province.
One party official called Mr. Volpe's numbers in Quebec "stunning," and organizers from other camps agreed that he had topped the recruitment drive in that province, where the campaign had previously been seen as a race in which only Mr. Ignatieff, Mr. Dion, and Mr. Rae had any sizable support.
But competitors also whispered that the Volpe campaign has resorted to building up numbers in just a few ridings, which will not translate into delegates, and perhaps signing up new members even if they do not support Mr. Volpe.
And all of them just happened to be so moved by Joe Volpe's charisma and vision that they rushed at the last minute to buy memberships to support him.
Mass 11th hour membership purchases. In Quebec. For Joe Volpe. All perfectly legitimate and above board.
Source: Globe and Mail