Interestingly, it's former Reformer and Turner nemesis Rick Malboeuf who has been the most vocal about his disgust at the parachuting of Lisa Raitt into the Halton race.
"We had candidates prepared to run, we had the memberships - we had everything necessary to hold a nomination meeting," he said. And now they're (Conservative Party of Canada) using the guise of an election... to impose their candidate."
"This was planned months ago," he concluded. "They knew that Lisa Raitt was going to be our candidate months ago. Even I heard up to a year ago this was decided."
Raitt's candidacy was made official on September 5, with the announcement made by the president of the Conservative Party of Canada, Don Plett, at a Halton riding association board meeting.
During the meeting, Malboeuf said that questions he asked the candidate went unanswered.
"I asked her (Raitt) why she chose not to put her name forward earlier and go through the nomination process and face the membership and seek their support," he said. "She asked Don Plett if she should answer and he told her 'no.' So she wouldn't answer."
Congratulations, Rick. You have just entered... the Harper Zone.
Interestingly, the other hopeful for the candidacy, D'Arcy Keene, was ultimately hired by Raitt as her campaign manager. Both men had tried to dethrone Garth Turner two years ago in a rather bitter battle in which Turner emerged intact but not unscathed as Halton's Conservative candidate. In fact, Keene is commonly regarded as a sock puppet for Turner's old foe Charles McVety.
So... an ex-Reform Party member and a proxy for a rabid right-wing televangelist. Hmm. Suddenly the Conservative Party's reluctance to allow the local riding association to elect its own candidate is made crystal clear.
Oh, and in case you were wondering what our other local paper had to say about the contentious nomination meeting, well...
Raitt -- who's taking an unpaid leave from her position with the port authority for the campaign -- told The Star the nomination process was "unfortunate," but said she has the full support of the riding executive.
"The people in the room want to get on with an election campaign and they want to get out there and make sure the Conservative ideals are put forward," she said.
Association president Will Stewart said a number of people in the local group were "frustrated with the way the process unfolded."
"But once we discussed the process, we had a unanimous vote of support for Lisa as our candidate," he said.
I'm guessing Rick Malboeuf had stormed out before that 'unanimous' vote was taken.
And in that OTHER election, Keith Olbermann once again speaks truth to power.
Canada needs someone like Olbermann.