Jessica Smith Cross QP Briefing - August 16, 2017
Amid a slew of controversies over PC party nominations, a fledgling conservative group is hoping to prompt constitutional change in the party.
Conservative activist Jim Karahalios is one of the organizers behind Take Back Our PC Party, a movement that started online four weeks ago. Karahalios has been involved in conservative politics at the federal and provincial level, and had planned to run for the PC nomination in Cambridge, before being turned off by leader Patrick Brown's plan to implement a carbon tax, in lieu of the Liberal government's cap-and-trade plans, he told QP Briefing Wednesday. He was a volunteer policy adviser for PC MPP Monte McNaughton in the PC leadership race that saw Brown take control of the party two years ago.
The ultimate goal behind the movement is to trigger a special general meeting of the party, which requires the support of one-third of the riding association in the province. At that general meeting, delegates can amend the party's constitution, binding Brown — and any leader — to the results, said Karahalios.
Take Back Our PC Party hopes to change the constitution in three ways: to state that the party is opposed to a carbon tax, to prohibit the leadership from overriding the results of nomination contests and to overturn the results of any nominations that are not open, public and democratic so new votes can take place.
Karahalios said Brown ran for the leadership promising a "grassroots, bottom-up party" but after winning, he imposed policy — the carbon tax — and appointed candidates against the will of the grassroots.
"We're loyal PC party members and we want to fix the party internally, that's why we've created this vehicle," Karahalios said. "Let's fix our party because it's our party."
QP Briefing is awaiting a response to an interview request with Brown on the nomination problems and related issues.
This QP Briefing article appears online QP Briefing at: http://www.qpbriefing.com/2017/08/16/take-back-our-pc-party-group-aims-to-change-tory-constitution/