Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Maybe tinfoil hattery

or maybe not. In light of Sharon Smith's appointment as "go-to person" for the federal government in the NDP riding Skeena-Bulkley Valley, it might be worth watching to see if any more of these appointments pop up.

This post is an update/edit to the one I posted yesterday, which stated that POGGE may have found another "go-to person" in NWT. In the comments at the linked post, Tim clarifies that it was talked about at a meeting in the riding, and although it's common knowledge in the area, the position hasn't been formally announced. So while I don't doubt it's true, in the interest of having such news correctly sourced, right now we can at best call this one a "maybe". If true, it indicates a pattern.

This might be a strategy by the Conservatives to scam some NDP seats -- taking even half of those it would put them a lot closer to majority territory. Assuming the NDP is the primary target (right now), I looked at a list of marginal ridings, specifically for ridings where the NDP just squeaked in over the Conservatives.

I found one riding that looks ripe for a Conservative "go-to person": Vancouver Island North. VIN was just barely won by the NDP in the last election; before that it was held by Conservative/Reformer John Duncan since 1997. This would definitely be a riding they'd want back and could probably take back with minimal investment. Mr. Duncan is VIN's Conservative candidate of record for the next election. His website doesn't say anything about him working as a "government liaison", but it said:

"Since leaving office in January 2006, Duncan work
ed as Pacific Region Advisor to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans until January 2007 where he continued to advance issues of interest to the citizens of northern Vancouver Island to the national stage." What's he been up to since January? Still advancing those issues of interest to the national stage? Worth watching.

"Not tinfoil hattery" update: Interestinger
and interestinger. The VanIsle North riding I talked about above may have already been assigned a conservative "go-to person".

Frank Frink pointed out in the comments in this post that a lot of federal money has been flowing VIN's way, which looks like part of the setup. Greg from Mr. Sinister caught this blog item citing a story that ran yesterday in the Prince Rupert Daily News. It has a few words from MP Nathan Cullen, who says "a candidate" was named as a "go-to person" for VIN a few months ago.

FF has a more detailed and updated post on the issue at A Creative Revolution.

So that's possibly three. Vancouver Island North was the only one on the "A" list (easiest targets, marginal seats), it might be time to look at the "B" list.