March 11, 2004: The Now on Grewal's double candidacy
Rules meant to be manipulated in politics
Where else can players make so much noise about democratic principle while blatantly manipulating the rules in support of naked, unabashed personal ambition? And get others to take them seriously?
Surrey-Central MP Gurmant Grewal's manoeuvering to win a nomination for the new Conservative party has shone a spotlight on a startling weakness in the party's nomination process.
Both Grewal and his wife Nina filed nomination papers in Newton-North Delta and Fleetwood-Port Kells.
Grewal said he never intended to run in more than one riding, he just wanted to see membership lists before making a decision.
In other words, he wanted to see where his chances of winning were greatest before making a commitment.
About midday Tuesday, he finally made the jump and Newton-North Delta came out the winner. Sorry, Fleetwood-Port Kells, you didn't make the cut.
Grewal didn't break party rules; pragmatists would say he was just playing it smart and they'd be right.
But pragmatism will only take you so far. Politics is about principle; who stands for what and why - especially, to hear them tell it, in the newly-minted Conservative party.
Candidates should run where they have a connection - and a commitment - to the community; not where they simply stand the best chance of getting elected.