Facing the Party Assassin
14 November 2007, 12h01 EST (GMT-5)
CTS Television's The Michael Coren Show
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Tomorrow, I will join a panel on federal political affairs on the Michael Coren Show, along with Conservatives Richard Ciano and Mark Warner, and the NDP's Adam Giambrone.
Broadcast nationally on the CTS network, the programme features the inimitable Michael Coren, a sometimes-immoderate moderator but an always forthright, intelligent, and ruthlessly principled one. His programme is often combative, but is just as frequently enlightening, as the one-hour format militates against empty sound bites and demands meaningful debate.
Tomorrow's programme is, however, likely to be particularly eventful.
Mark Warner is an international trade lawyer whose CV reads like every Tory organiser's dream: a West Indian immigrant to Canada; fluently bilingual; an international trade lawyer; a local social activist; and an internationally sought-after lecturer. Little surprise, then, that no one dared challenge him for the nomination to run as the Conservative candidate in Toronto Centre.
Talent, however, was not good enough for Harper's central party, which seems to value mindless sycophancy over democracy. Warner was unethically removed as the candidate, over the objections of the Conservative riding association, for the grave sin of emphasising the needs of the local community and appealing to the interests of local voters in his campaign, rather than mouthing the central party's platitudes.
Who wielded the knife that was plunged into Warner's back and into the heart of Conservative democracy? The Conservative Party's National Council, which counts in its membership Richard Ciano, the other Conservative on tomorrow's programme.
Warner will finally have a chance to face one of his political assassins, and Canadians will have a chance to judge the new Conservative Party's commitment to democracy.
To find your local CTS station, please click here. To find your local broadcast time for the Michael Coren Show, please click here. To send Michael Coren an e-mail about the programme, please click here.
Update: Alas, Richard Ciano withdrew from the programme, refusing to speak for the Conservative Party's conduct in this matter. The silence, however, has an unmistakable eloquence.