David Orchard update: Lawsuit against Tory/Alliance merger not dead
Date: Friday, December 12 2003
For Victoria's David Orchard supporters, a short update about the Dec 6th Meeting, about David's legal challenge, and about our options.
from Brian Burchill
First, it has been incorrectly reported in the press that the judge threw David's legal challenge out of court. In a conference call last
Thursday, David clarified to us that the judge did not agree with the Party's arguments that the case is frivolous or without merit. The judge's decision was that the case should not have been brought to the courts, but rather should instead be taken to the Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Canada.
After discussions among themselves, David and the rest of the plaintiffs will decide whether to appeal the judge's decision or take the case to Elections Canada. David's lawyers believe that the judge erred in law, but that it may be too late for an appeal because the courts are unlikely to overturn the Dec 6th vote.
Dec 6th National Meeting
With regard to the Dec 6th National Meeting, the merger proposal did pass with 90% support nationally, but achieved only 64.9% at the Victoria hub. We felt some consolation that it failed to achieve 2/3 support in Victoria, as well as in 3 or 4 more of the 27 hubs. (The Victoria hub was connected by phone to the other 26 hubs across Canada.)
Most of the speeches from all the hubs were from mediocre to boring, but we were treated to a few very good speeches against the merger. The speech from the Victoria hub, by Nanaimo's Bill McCullough, was particularly supportive of the argument that the merger is really a takeover by the Alliance,. He revealed that, in Nanaimo, he has been invited the join the "new Alliance association" and that, in Calgary, the new party's constitution is already quietly being amended, starting with the removal of the phrase "socially progressive".
It was so disheartening to witness the sneers and moans by the YES side when Party luminaries like Joe Clark spoke against the merger. Even worse, when 93-year-old Alfred Langford of London, Ontario, spoke against the merger, someone in Victoria's YES crowd called him "senile". Mr. Langford did raise a good laugh though when he finished by proposing that the floral emblem of the new party ought to be the Carrion flower because... it stinks.
The final piece of business at the Meeting was a procedural motion by Craig McGuigan, which the National President ruled out of order. We will explore the possibility that this may be yet another example of the Party's violations of rules of order.
In a conversation with David on Dec 9th, he reports that MacKay is choosing who will be on the Interim Joint Council (IJC) of the Conservative Party and that tempers have flared amongst members of what used to be the PC Management Committee. Some who are not being
chosen by MacKay, but who helped engineer the betrayal of the PC Party, are now feeling betrayed by MacKay.
As to how we might be able to continue to try to achieve the goals that have brought us together, the possibility of regional meetings, or a national meeting, for the purpose of exploring our options, has already been mentioned and well received. David reports that he is still in discussions to determine some of those options for the short and long term.