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Carol Jamieson makes her move against Stephen Harper [updated]

From CTV:

There are a small but growing number of Conservatives calling for the resignation of Stephen Harper.

Last week, four Quebec Conservatives called for Harper's head, saying he would never win the next election so he should resign now.

Now, a Toronto voice is the latest to join the chorus. Ontario Conservative Party member Carol Jamieson has written an open letter to the party calling for Harper to step aside.

Here are some quotes from that letter:

The new Conservative Party of Canada had no chance of convincing the Canadian electorate that it was any different than the Canadian Alliance once it picked Stephen Harper as its first leader.

Politics is a tricky game and political leadership is even trickier. No amount of burger flipping can fix the image problems of this leader. He can continue to fire staff in the OLO, get new communications people, change his wardrobe, try more cornball commercials but nobody can hear our conservative message if they can¹t stop looking at the pitch man in disgust.

The time has come for Stephen Harper to stop dreaming that his destiny is 24 Sussex Drive. That day will only come if one of its residents invites him over because they are looking for a stick-in-the-mud dinner guest.

Harper did a good thing (as Martha would say) in engineering the merger and in doing so, has made a valuable contribution to the conservative cause in Canada. However, the Canadian electorate is finished with him. they have made up their minds and have spoken in poll after poll. For him to stay now merely adds insult to the injuries and further damages the conservative franchise in this country.

If Harper does not recognize this and move on, the electorate will be finished with us too and the CPC will not survive. Think about this. Many of you are sitting in the weeds whispering "Oh well. He'll be gone after he loses the next election anyway, so let's not bother ourselves and just wait him out". What does that do for this struggling young party? How does that help us convince Mr. And Mrs. Average Canadian that we hear their concerns and know we have the wrong message and the wrong Leader? How can we swing the 'natural conservatives" (to the extent they still exist) back to trusting us? Regaining TRUST is the hardest thing in politics.

So...why do I want Harper gone sooner rather than later? Because, what matters to me, and what should matter to all of us is the recovery and survival of the Conservative Party of Canada beyond Harper. According to Mr. And Mrs. Average Canadian, his 15 minutes are up and they don¹t plan to invite him over for BBQ, so lets get on with it!

Harsh stuff.

The Party will probably make a move against her and soon:

CTV Ottawa bureau chief Robert [Fife] says that sources have told him that the Conservative Party's national council is planning a conference call sometime today and are going to move to kick Jamieson out of the party.

I've got sources too, and they say beware of Carol Jamieson. During the leadership race for the Canadian Alliance (before the merger with the Progressive Conservatives), the PCs decide to play some dirty pool by helping Enza Anderson, a transgendered supermodel, to run a campaign against Stephen Harper.

Enza's campaign manager was not impressed. He email me out of the blue to share his experiences and to give me his opinion:

You may be interested to know that it was the very same Carol Jamieson who contacted the infamous Enza SUPERMODEL Anderson a few years back to offer her support, on behalf she said of Joe Clarke [sic], to assist Enza in running for the leadership of the (then) Canadian Alliance Party.

How do I know this...? - well, I was Enza's campaign manager!

Jamieson told us that they wanted to embarrass the CA by running an unorthodox candidate such as Enza.

Carol promised she could easily deliver the $25,000 fee to enter the race, as well as the 300 or so nomination names of CA members across Canada.

We had a falling out with Carol, but well before that it was evident Carol could not deliver.

Methinks Carol is a very angry lady who likes to destroy rather than build. [emphasis added]

[Update via a subsequent email]The falling out started with her abusive language towards both Enza and myself. It then became obvious that she and her cohort, Cam MacLeod, wanted Enza to run a "FUCK YOU!" campaign. They wanted Enza, who is a actually a very gentle person, to start calling Stockwell Day names, etc., etc., etc. It got very ugly until we'd had enough and told her to scram. But before that she was unable to provide us with any cash to run the campaign, which she and Cam had both promised.

It was folks all across Canada who "got" why Enza was running to come up with the necessary signatures to get her on the ballot. As I recall we needed over 300 names spread over 5 provinces and from at least twenty different ridings. In the end we had twice the names we needed. But no cash!!

Enza's campaign was a form of guerrilla warfare on the extreme right-wing Canadian Alliance party designed to raise awareness of Lesbian and Gay issues and attempt to bring the CA into the 21st Century!!!

I did know this was the same Carol Jamieson. So was Joe Clark behind the plan to back a transgendered supermodel as a candidate in a rival party's leadership race, to be used as a spoiler? Does that sound like Joe Clark? Is Carol Jamieson being quoted properly, or did she take Joe Clark's name in vain, as it were? And what can we read from her alleged failure to deliver the money and the signatures?

Certainly she left a poor impression with the Enza Anderson people.

Is she a destroyer rather than builder? Stephen Taylor has compiled quite a record that supports that point of view.

And yet she is not alone in her complaints about Stephen Harper. Is she pursuing a personal agenda? In her open letter, she writes:

Fearing that Harper's agenda and positions were un-salable to the electorate, many conservatives, myself included, helped to recruit Belinda Stronach to take Harper on. We knew from the git-go with the head start that Harper had, it was impossible to get our candidate elected. But that wasn't the real goal. There had to be a place for those people in the party who did not feel at home with the CA leadership. This is simply good politics. Keeping everybody inside the tent was the most important thing at that time.

Well, that worked out well. Still, by removing Harper, Jamieson and company would have an opportunity to try again with another candidate, presumably one not so easily bribed by the Paul Martin Liberals. But then Stronach's defection to the Liberals is Harper's fault too:

You can blame Belinda Stronach or the independents that voted with the government but what about the guy who couldn't hold it together? How much effort would it have really taken to give a little bit of recognition to his chief opponent in the leadership race? Keeping your enemies close is another fundamental rule of politics that should never be broken and he can blame nobody but himself for that one blowing up in his face. How long did he think that someone who was CEO of one of Canada's most successful companies would sit there and be insulted both behind her back and to her face, and play no effective role in the party?

She might have a point, but it could also be argued that Jamieson planted the bomb in the party in the first place by recruiting Stronach. To blame the guy who set the bomb off seems a tad unfair.

And you have to admit that if Belinda Stronach was a committed conservative, she would have sat as an independent or resigned her seat if she was so fed up with Stephen Harper. To cross the floor and join the cabinet of the tax-and-spend Liberals suggests that whoever recruited Stronach was a poor judge of character, easily swayed by Stronach's wealth, charm, and good looks.

So read the letter, consider what is being said, but also consider the political acumen of the person writing it. There is discontent within the Conservative Party with Stephen Harper's leadership, to be sure. Well, a handful as far we know. But can it be said that the people doing the complaining would have done any better versus a Liberal Party willing to ignore confidence votes and sell cabinet seats for votes? Are they saying the the Conservatives need someone who can fight as dirty as that?

What kind of party would that be? In power, maybe, but at what cost?

And how much of Stephen Harper's troubles are the fault of these people in the first place?

These are questions party members are going to asking themselves. The fall session of Parliament is coming up soon, and a possible election. Members had better start settling on some answers.

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