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January 20, 2006
Even Liberal Leadership Fleeing To Tories

The election-eve weekend started off rather strangely for Canadians, or perhaps not, considering the circumstances of the election itself. In a late move, the Liberal president of an Toronto riding has endorsed the Conservative candidate as a protest against Liberal Party tactics:

The president of a west-end Toronto Liberal riding association resigned Friday, saying he can no longer back the party's candidate Michael Ignatieff.

Ron Chyczij, of the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Federal Liberal Association, said he was now endorsing Conservative candidate John Capobianco adding he could no longer "in good conscious" support Ignatieff.

"After the nomination fiasco, I've purposely waited on the sidelines to see if Michael Ignatieff can in some way redeem himself as a credible Liberal candidate in this riding. I regret to conclude this has not happened," Chyczij said in a statement.

Members of the local riding association have cried foul over the Liberal party's strategy of parachuting the so-called "star candidate" into the riding. A number of protesters booed and interrupted Ignatieff during his nomination meeting last December.

Ignatieff, 58, is an internationally recognized scholar and journalist who was born in Toronto but has lived in the U.S. for the past two decades.

The Liberals apparently carpetbagged a quasi-American into Toronto, and not just any American; this one supports the war in Iraq and the North American missile shield -- both of which the Liberal Party opposed rather vehemently. However, Ignatieff's selection for this riding generated a lot of controversy when the Liberal Party locked its offices early on the last day to file candidate papers, barring the entry of local Liberals into the race and potentially giving Ignatieff a much more difficult run at the Commons.

Now the riding president has decided to abandon the candidate altogether, and with just a couple of days before the election, it leaves considerable egg on Liberal faces in Toronto and not many options. One has to wonder why the Liberals felt so strongly that they could not field a local candidate in west Toronto, one that more closely reflected the Liberal Party stance. After all, the Grits have tried to paint Stephen Harper as a Tory version of George Bush who would send Canadian troops into Canada and jump at the first chance to join the missile-shield program -- and then they freeze out locals for a man who publicly supports those same positions?

Kate at Small Dead Animals points out another scandal involving the Liberal Party in Edmonton. According to the Tory campaign of Laurie Hawn, the Liberals have shown themselves to be the party of the little people -- actually, they'd have to be very little to fit into the mailboxes they used as registration addresses in her riding:

# Almost 100 apparently nonexistent addresses in Edmonton's downtown core - in some cases, the addresses listed fictional residences in between two genuine buildings # Hundreds of people registered to vote out of their law offices, medical offices, accounting offices, and Government of Canada offices - in some cases these may be genuine errors, but in other cases, entire families are registered to vote out of high rise office space # Dozens of people registered to vote out of office towers, but who did not list a suite number, causing the address to read similarly to ordinary residences - in many cases, these people are also registered to vote in other ridings using their home addresses, and in other cases, voters living in other ridings are only registered in Edmonton Centre # Dozens of people registered to vote out of small mail box locations and from self-storage yards - there is no legitimate way for a person to appear on the list of Electors from a self-storage yard # Eighteen people registered to vote out of a truck stop # People registered to vote out of karaoke bars, lingerie stores, dance lounges, galleries, etc...

This is starting to sound like an American election!

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 20, 2006 11:30 PM

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