The council last year deflected an earlier attempt by members of the association to schedule a nomination meeting, using a controversial poll of all the party's incumbent ridings. The poll, billed as a new element of the party's policy of shielding Conservative MPs from nomination challenges, asked members to mark mail-out ballots and return them if they wanted a riding nomination.Now, there were plenty of obvious problems with the Cons' review process from the beginning. But it seems to take matters to a whole new level if the Cons are acknowledging that their count to prop up Anders includes the "votes" of deceased former members - signalling that rather than Anders' Zombies merely being names on a list (as is normally the case in similar disputes), their imputed votes were actually used to defeat those of the living.
Members were told that unreturned ballots would be considered votes against nomination meetings and no riding, including Calgary West, met the required threshold of two-thirds support.
The Calgary West rebels say ballots that were sent to a handful of deceased former members and went unreturned were included in the count, a point acknowledged by Anders' supporters.
Needless to say, that practice should serve to permanently shut down any claim the Cons might make to caring about clean elections either internally or externally. And one has to wonder whether the split within the Cons will only be amplified once members who once stood for democratic principles under the Reform banner realize that their voice within the Cons can be drowned out by the dead.