February, 2011

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Party Memberahip Fraud

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

When will partisans of all stripes learn that signing other people up without their consent or worse, their knowledge, is wrong? What about pets?

Membership brokering sounds perfectly fine and normal but what it really is, is pimping hapless bystanders as a commodity.  It is a perversion and corruption of the democratic process. And it is wrong.

Full stop.

But what has piqued me enough to add my two cents worth is about Craig Bonner, the WHL Kamloops Blazers junior hockey team general manager who, as a result of a ‘communication error’ signs up the team to the Liberal Party of British Columbia.

Justifying such fraud by saying that it’s an “opportunity” for people aged 14 and up to participate in electing the next premier is unacceptable. If my hockey coach had signed me up for a membership in anything, much less a political party, without my consent I’d have his derrière in court.

And to call it a “communication error”, is disingenuous to say the least. Kevin Falcon’s spin-meisters toiled long into the night to come up with that one. There was no “error”. Mr. Bonner deliberately, and knowingly, penned his players’ names to specific forms that state that they are membership forms to the BC Liberal Party. He presumably signed their signatures and appended the $10.00 in their name to have them added as members. Yup, it wasn’t an “error”. Looks like “fraud” to me.

Now, having been caught out, he’s asked that all the names be withdrawn. But what if one of the players actually wants to be a member now. Are they blacklisted?

If the Chief Electoral Officer doesn’t investigate, then the RCMP should.

Kevin Falcon was not aware of the misdeed. I am certain that Christy Clark wasn’t aware that someone’s cat had signed on to her team. But Adrian Dix and Mike De Jong actively negotiated mass memberships with “brokers” from ethnic communities. While all of it is bad politics, the latter two are guilty of completely crossing the line.

Call it “mistakes” by overzealous campaigners. It doesn’t matter. I don’t hold the candidates themselves responsible but it certainly underscores the depths to which partisans will go to put their preferred candidate to the fore. Sadly, the relative moral ground upon which these leaders operate has its foundations in the membership who, as it turns out is no better than them.