Thursday, October 19, 2006

Blast From The Past

While we're all talking about loudmouthed mavericks who alienate all their colleagues, let's check in and see what's happening with a previous parliamentary enfant terrible:

Former MP Carolyn Parrish, now running for Mississauga City Council, yesterday added to accusations of dirty political tricks in the city's ward races, describing a mysterious phone call in which she says she was asked to bribe a rival candidate to drop out.

"I received a phone call, actually my husband answered it," Parrish told the Toronto Star yesterday. "It was a week before the nomination deadline (Sept. 29). I was told that Mr. Matanat Khan had been induced to move over to Ward 6. I was asked if I would be interested in offering money to stop him. I said, `Absolutely not.'"

Khan, host of the Pakistani-oriented radio show Sunshine Radio, dropped out of the Ward 10 race in August and re-registered in Ward 6, where Parrish is running.

Parrish said the voice was that of a man with a South Asian accent, but caller identification was blocked.

"I said, `How much do you have to pay to get somebody to move around like this?' He said it would be around $2,500. He offered to give me Mr. Khan's phone number. I said, `Absolutely not.'"

Khan yesterday flatly denied any link to the call and accused Parrish of spreading "rumours" adding to allegations of electoral irregularities swirling in northwest Mississauga.

A candidate in neighbouring Ward 10, Adnan Hashmi, is charged by police with intimidation and impersonating an officer after he was accused by rival candidate Ishrat Nasim of trying to force her out of the race. He has strongly denied the allegations, which won't be heard in court until after the Nov. 13 election. Hashmi told the Star yesterday that any suggestion that he was linked to the call to Parrish is unfounded.

"This is again an allegation; it's a fake allegation," he said. "She must have some proof. If she cannot give proof we will take legal action against anyone spreading these rumours."

Before we weep for seeing Ms. Parrish reduced to seeking a lowly city council seat, keep in mind that she's only parking herself there in the hopes that Mayor Hazel McCallion, the Strom Thurmond of the GTA, will either quit next time or die in office.

But also keep in mind that ethnic politics are increasingly being played by the rules set over in the homelands. Corruption is only going to grow as candidate adopt tactics acceptable in their native countries and the authorities do nothing for fear of being accused of racism.

Source: Toronto Star

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