Volume 94, Issue 20

Wednesday, October 4, 2000


Peeping incidents plague UWO area

Thames toxic blot to be contained

Ottawa students protest tuition changes

Wet/Dry violators to be fined

Smoking may leave you depressed

Alliance MP calls for vote reform

Med students plead for tuition decrease

Alliance MP calls for vote reform

By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff

Reacting to a contentious candidacy race in Calgary on Saturday, Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Members of Parliament Rob Anders, said he would fight to exclude landed immigrants from voting in future CCRA leadership elections, an aide confirmed.

Anders' statements were prompted by the current Calgary Northeast candidacy election, in which a fellow party MP, Art Hanger, won the riding nomination by defeating four Sikh candidates, amid allegations of racial bloc voting, said Anders' legislative assistant Devin Iversen.

David Krayden, Hanger's executive assistant, said in the lead-up to the vote, the party's riding membership jumped from 472 to 7,000 in a matter of weeks. "They were all new members and they were largely Sikh supporters," he said.

Krayden stressed there was no unified Sikh opposition to Hanger, but also said the MP's opponents admitted they were trying to commandeer the party by herding uninformed voters to the polls. "This was a hostile takeover by people playing power politics," he said.

He stressed Anders' remarks must be understood in the context of the abuses Anders saw in the Calgary Northeast election.

One of the Sikh candidates who opposed Hanger, Calgary cab company owner Balwinder Sahorta, said Anders is betraying the Alliance's populist principles. "To nominate the people who should represent the constituency – that should be everyone's right."

While landed immigrants may be allowed to vote for party candidates, they cannot vote in federal elections, said Pierre Blain, manager of media relations for Elections Canada.

Still, Anders' comments met with criticism in the Alliance. "The position he's taken is not remotely consistent with the party's current policies," said Tony Gronow, manager of communications at the Alliance's national office in Calgary.

Sue Barnes, Liberal MP for London West, said her party lets landed immigrants' vote and she likes that. "The riding associations are good ways to become involved politically and learn about Canadian politics."

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Copyright The Gazette 2000