The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL: black_rod_usher@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Will Manitoba Tories make Betrayal a party virtue

Manitoba Progressive Conservatives obviously need to make it clear that they are looking for a new party leader and not the Village Idiot.

Brian Pallister, fresh from asking voters in Portage-Lisgar to send him back to Parliament as their representative, has announced he's not really interested in the job. He wants to abandon a minority Conservative government so he can run to be provincial party leader.

The government of Stephen Harper hasn't even been sworn in, and Pallister wants to reduce their slim hold on power.

Is this what passes for leadership material in the Manitoba party?

Someone who tricked voters into giving him their trust?

Someone who conned 25,158 supporters to cast their ballots for him as a representative of the Conservative Party in Ottawa, only to have him say "Fooled Ya."

The Manitoba's Tories think they have the NDP on the run for their mismanagement of the Crocus Fund and Workers Compensation Board files. They should think again.

The NDP are snickering up a storm watching the Tories make betrayal a party virtue.

John Loewen was the party's hero when he went after the government for its mishandling of the Crocus Fund. Then he saw the federal Liberals, a party mired in corruption and scandal, and said "They share my values."

He abandoned his colleagues and the 33,000-plus Crocus shareholders who trusted him and joined Reg Alcock's team.

Hugh McFadyen claimed he wanted to challenge Alcock in Winnipeg South and convinced enough Conservative party members to win the nomination. When Loewen resigned his provincial seat, McFadyen abandoned the people who supported him in Winnipeg South in the blink of an eye so he could run for Loewen's safe seat. He's now on every pundit's list of leadership candidates.

And then Brian Pallister abandons the voters who stuck by him in Opposition so he can further his ego and make a run to eventually, he thinks, be Premier of Manitoba.

We thought we had seen the last of the Me-Me-Me School of Politics with the passing of Glen Murray. How wrong we were.

If Pallister forces a by-election in Portage-Lisgar less than a month after winning the seat, the voters should send a message to their next choice. They should not vote for the Conservative candidate whoever he or she may be.

They should send a Liberal or a New Democrat to Ottawa so that with every vote in Parliament, the Manitoba Tories will be reminded that voters cannot be taken for granted.

And the politics of personal ego is not leadership.

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