(Quebec), in Contrast to 2011, in Quebec, the conservative senators will observe from the sidelines the federal election campaign that stretches up to 19 October. Officially, the scandals that engulfed the Senate is nothing to worry about.
Since the start of the electoral race, the representatives appointed by the political party of outgoing prime minister Stephen Harper are very discrete. In the partisan, in the organisation of the race and in the implementation of the strategy, they are not at the heart of the action.
No word has been issued out of strategic locations, ” says Catherine Loubier, a press officer of Mr. Harper. “We want to focus” on the efforts for the election of the candidates.
Members of the upper House have been seen in events supporters, such as the presence of Michel Rivard and Ghislain Maltais, during the recent changeover of Mr. Harper in Quebec city. In the previous election, they are occupied in the training of the officials of the conservative Party in the region and the organization on the ground for all of eastern Quebec.
This time, “we are not planning for [the use] of the senators”, at the national level. Ms. Loubier reports that “the campaigns are managed locally” and that, as any other citizen volunteer, the senators can give a helping hand.
The spokesperson did not comment on the reasons for not using the service of senators. “I’m not talking about the past. I speak of the current campaign.”
The trial for fraud of senator Mike Duffy and investigations for expenses illegal on his colleague Pamela Wallin are not at the origin of the tactical choice, said the adviser to the outgoing prime minister. We focus on what we say to the voters, or the economy, and security, and on the choices they will have to do, on the 19th of October, ” she says in substance.
None of the conservative members of the Senate, joined by The Sun do take offense to being left out. By contrast, a close relative of the institution that senators are “unhappy” with the decision.
“They would have loved to give a helping hand.” But the context is “very difficult and the quebec wing – conservative organization – Quebec does not want to be close to the Senate and is not comfortable” for her to call. In his view, it would not in all the other provinces.
The key stakeholders are unwilling to criticize the strategists of the party. Michel Rivard is a year of retirement to take the senators – 75 years. “That would not wrinkle. I’m not humiliated at all. But [the central organization] was the only thing I was not asked”, immerse yourself in the action.
He noted that prime minister Harper did not hesitate to shake her hand warmly. Mr. Rivard acknowledged, however, that “the Senate is a liability to the campaign of a conservative” and that he would understand that policy makers are reluctant to seek the help of senators whose reputation is threatened by a tiny minority, he insists. He himself has refused to take part in the opening of the local electoral to leave all the place the candidate in front of the media.
Let the younger
Ghislain Maltais estimated that “at my age , it is necessary to leave this to more young people.” He had a reputation as a strategist effective, especially with the election of Denis Lebel. “I’m an organizer of the old school, let there be fall. I’ve never worked with social media. There are a young team. I don’t want to interfere.”
It also would include a mistrust will be installed in the machine conservative in the face of the senators, because of the scandals, “one passes all in the same chopper” in the eyes of the public and the media. “It is wise not to highlight.”
It has not been possible to speak with the leader of the government in the Senate. Claude Carignan does not grant an interview. We were unable to obtain the comments of Pïerre-Hugues Boisvenu, who had taken an active part in the conduct of the 2011 campaign. Note, however, that Mr. Boisvenu seat as an independent since June, when the royal Canadian mounted police announced that it would investigate the expenditure of the one-and thirty-something colleagues.
The senator – and last Stanley Cup winner with the Montreal canadiens – Jacques Demers precludes the possibility of putting its reputation at the service of the conservative Party of Canada (CPC), was appointed to the upper Chamber.
Contacted by The Sun, the ex-hockey coach does not hide that it has been severely affected by the case of expenditure to be illegal and fraud involving members who sit with him in the August institution.
“One passes all in the same gang [of alleged fraudsters]. And I am not able to accept that. […] It hurts, that.”
Mr. Demers argues that the vast majority of his colleagues are honest and free from reproach. Personally, “I have been cleared by the Auditor general,” he recalls.
At the last general election, the organization of the outgoing prime minister Stephen Harper asked him to record telephone messages to encourage the electorate to vote conservative.
This year, as for the other senators from quebec, “there is no one who called me” for it to foam the popularity of candidates of the political formation. “But if you do it [join], I do not go there, strip-t-it. It is my heart that speaks”, taking care to add.
Jacques Demers was not against the CCP. “I do not wish harm to the party”, and he always appreciates his head. And, even if “it is felt that the senators were not so welcome [in the campaign]. I have no problem with it.
“We pay the price for a few fools. We work so hard for our integrity. I didn’t know about the Senate. I had a fear at the level of my education.
“I proved to people that, despite some minor weaknesses in education – write and read as I learned with the time, they were not disappointed by me. It is unacceptable […] the path that some have taken to the detriment of the tax payers”, reiterates there.