Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another bad day for Team Gary Mar.

"If you can't run the campaign with integrity, then how can you promise integrity after?" PCAA leadership candidate Doug Griffiths.

Yesterday was advanced voting day for the PCAA leadership race here in Alberta, and as it turns out, it was also another bad day for team Gary Mar.

Representatives from Gary Mar's leadership campaign were seen breaking party rules Tuesday by selling Progressive Conservative memberships outside an Edmonton advance polling station.
Mar membership sellers were also shooed away from the Calgary polling station on Tuesday.

Team Mar's response, which seems to be the norm of late, was to blame volunteers: "Mar campaign spokesman Mark Kastner blamed the membership sales on "overzealous supporters"

You might think that after the free membership fiasco where Team Mar also laid blame on a hapless volunteer that they would have tried to be a bit more careful and made sure that ALL of their people were properly trained and following the rules to the letter. But after yesterday it appears that neither of these were that high on their priority list, making me wonder how this bunch would ever run a government if they can't even properly train their volunteers in a leadership campaign on the basic rules.

Team Mar wasn't done yet as they went old school by busing in elderly supporters to the advanced poll. (Something that I oddly happened to write about yesterday morning. See 2nd last paragraph)

Gary Mar bus parked within 50 meters of polling place.    Photo Credit: P. Pilarski 

Now busing in supporters is not against the rules per se as Team Mar were quick to point out: Mar campaign spokesman Mark Kastner said the busing is allowed under party rules, and Gary Mar said "I'm not going to apologize because we are better organized than other campaigns", but it is definitely bad optics and reeks of good ol' boy politics that have turned so many away from politics in the past.

How Team Mar managed to find 100's of elderly supporters in both Edmonton and Calgary who all just happened to not be able to vote in the regular poll this coming Saturday (rules state the voters must sign a form saying that they are unable to vote in the regular polls to be able to vote in the advance poll) remains a mystery, but being the ethical bunch they are I am sure that there is a very logical explanation for this mathematical odds defying event.

More on Team Mar's bad day can be found here at Global Edmonton.

"I'm disappointed to hear this today because that sort of conduct, I think, speaks to a pretty cynical approach to politics," PCAA leadership candidate Alison Redford.


R. G. Harvie said...

Problem is, according to current polls, the alternative is likely to be Allison Redford.


Same old, same old PC hack; or
An NDP in Conservative clothing Allison Redford.


And the voters in Alberta currently are suggesting, "That's fine with me, thank-you."

maryT said...

Didn't Brian bus in hundreds of supporters in his bid for the leadership.
Did Mar go around and tell those seniors and possibly homeless that he would buy them dinner or something. Did they pay for their membership at the door. Anyway, if he wins with all this crap it will only be good news for the WRA.
Too bad he can't win on his own merits and has to cheat.

Ardvark said...

I don't hold much hope that a 'new' leader can fix the problems inherent in a party/gov't that has been in power for 40 years.

I guess we shall see if the people of Alberta agree when an election does eventually come.

maryT said...

If he wins he will call an election. Does he plan to have busloads of voters going to every poll in the province during the election.

Dave said...

In the rules provided to every Deputy Returning Officer it clearly states that no signage or vehicle bearing that signage which promotes a particular candidate will be allowed within 50 metres of any polling station. That's just under 165 feet for us metrically challenged folks. The bus in the pic is right in front of the door. Complete Fail.

Ardvark said...

Dave, you should ask Team Mar about that even though I can already tell you what their response would be:

'An overzealous bus driver'

Accountability is not their strong suit.

Anonymous said...

Almost tempted to buy a membership just to vote against this jackass.

Problem is, who to vote for?

Ardvark said...

Preston Manning has a little history lesson for the PCAA

Bec said...

My MP has weighed in with an endorsement letter and I fully concur with his choice. ( frankly I was surprised that him and I would agree)

There are only 2 choices for me, otherwise I will be voting WR in a provincial election.

Gary Mar IS what's wrong with this current batch of PC's. I am NOT IMPRESSED, at all with this pushy arrogance from the Mar team. Blaming a volunteer just speaks, volumes!

Ardvark said...

Someone mentioned on Twitter that Team Mar's response should have been: "we should have done more to prepare our volunteers properly" but than that would have meant admitting to fault and accepting some of the blame. Something that Team Mar seems totally incapable of doing.

Actually Team Mar is not alone in that. There is an awful lot of blame the gov't going on with the leadership candidates while at the same time not admitting that THEY were part of that very same gov't.

Bec said...

I completely agree! I have heard all of the interviews, tried to catch some of the debate exchanges and the excuses, angers me.

SNN (Ezra's segment) has been very interesting @ 3:35! Hmmmm

joannis said...

The most inexcusable thing is the massive signage on the bus. In a federal election, they could be charged for illegal practices for that. Maybe the elderly in the nursing home had to go that day, but there's NO excuse for the signage just outside the door! The more I learn of Mar the more I think he's a crook & if he wins, I , a Woolliams, am leaving the PCs for either Danielle Smith or Sue Huff & the Alberta Party.