Federal Tories miss opportunities to make peace

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - A longtime are Conservative is disappointed and disillusioned with how the federal party has reacted to the Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit riding association's support for Bill Casey.

AMHERST - A longtime are Conservative is disappointed and disillusioned with how the federal party has reacted to the Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit riding association's support for Bill Casey.

Morris Haugg, who has been a member of the Conservative Party for 42 years and held numerous riding, provincial and national executive positions, had hoped the party would compromise with the riding association over Casey and is now concerned irreparable damage may be done.

"I was hoping against hope that our situation would be treated as something special and that the national party leadership would treat us in a somewhat exceptional manner," Haugg said. "This is not a Garth Turner situation. We don't have an MP that did not want to play by the rules. We have an MP that genuinely didn't agree with something that's important to this constituency and two provinces."

While he could not get into the specifics of what transpired at Sunday's riding association meeting in Wentworth, Haugg said he proposed a compromise that would see the Conservatives not run a candidate in the riding, letting Casey run unopposed by the party as an Independent.

"Bill Casey is going to win the next election. If they find a candidate to run, that person is not going to win. What is accomplished by having a contest between a "Conservative" candidate and Bill Casey, who has represented the party for so many years?" Haugg said. "Nothing will be accomplished except the party organization, the workers from one end of the constituency to the other, are going to be torn, divided and fighting with each other. That kind of damage should have been avoided."

While the party has indicated that as a national party it has to run a candidate in all ridings, Haugg said that way of thinking just does not make sense. While he disagrees with the party's decision, Haugg said he isn't condemning the party because it's within its rights to do what it did. He just doesn't agree.

He also said he disagrees with Casey's decision to vote against the throne speech and is hoping the MP will change his mind. He's also urging Casey to remain as an Independent and to continue to resist a move to another political party.

"I support Bill Casey as an Independent and will vote for him in the next election," Haugg said. "The only thing I'm concerned about that as an Independent MP or during an election campaign he may be tempted to say nasty things about the party and the government and in addition to being an Independent he would find it necessary to act or be an opposition MP."

Casey said later that he's disappointed with the national council's actions.

"It's very unfortunate that the national council has taken these measures. These are people who have been duly elected under a democratic process and have been members of the association for decades," Casey said. "It just seems awful that someone can push them around and suspend them. Now they're going to appoint a management team to make all the decisions and they're probably going to appoint a candidate in an undemocratic fashion."

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Conservative Party, Conservatives

Geographic location: AMHERST, Wentworth

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  • Fred
    January 18, 2010 - 11:15

    Just remember Mr. Haugg, once you cross the bridge to independance- there may not be any turning back. Casey should do all a favor and retire. He would go out as Captain Nova Scotia and be forever held as the hero of NS. That would free up all you misguided tories to stay in the tent.