Saturday, September 23, 2006

Volpemania: Eh Paisano!

While political pundits have been focussing on the talents and abilities of the supposed top four contenders for Stornoway, they have been remiss in pointing out that Joe Volpe's charisma and energy have so captivated the Italian community that they're signing up in a trance to vote for him without even knowing it.

The dead are even rising from their graves just to support him:

Dozens of people in Montreal, including the dead, have been improperly signed up as federal Liberal party members.

A Toronto Star investigation has found unsuspecting Quebecers — some surprised to find out they were instant Liberals — were sent membership cards and letters urging them to vote next weekend at all-important meetings to elect delegates to the Liberal convention to choose a new leader.

Using membership lists from the Quebec wing of the federal Liberal party, the Star talked to more than 70 families who reported significant problems in their own case, or in that of other family members. Most often, they hadn't paid the membership fee which party rules stipulate must be paid by the actual member.

Toronto MP Joe Volpe's campaign was named as having paid for the memberships for nine people, according to Star interviews. Scores of others don't know who called them. A Volpe campaign insider said last night the instructions were that the Volpe name wasn't generally to be cited in telephone recruitment.


Interviewing mostly in Italian, the Star uncovered 75 cases of problems with the Montreal-area lists. Only a couple of dozen people who were called said they were paid-up members without apparent problems. Some people listed as members didn't even remember being called or having received anything in the mail. Some weren't Liberals, most hadn't paid or signed, two men were deceased (one of them in 1989) and a woman received a membership card with a maiden name she hadn't used in 27 years.

She said she didn't know which camp arranged for the card, but she complained to her Westmount-Ville Marie riding association.

Joe Volpe may be too busy confirming every worst stereotype about politicians of Italian descent, but do not underestimate him. As detested as he may be by the brahmins who want Ignatieff, Rae, Dion or Kennedy to lead the party, he is the undisputed master of machine politics.

He will get out his vote, and he will be in a position to be the unavoidable kingmaker. And though it may be too much to hope for, he may just have enough votes to join the front-runners.


Source: Toronto Star

1 comment:

SUZANNE said...

My God! The dead are rising! It's the Second Coming, I tell ya!