TRURO - It's definite. Bill Casey will not be returning to the Conservative fold.
The Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley Conservative riding association's plea to have Casey returned to caucus has been quashed.
The Conservative Party of Canada's national council announced yesterday the fifth-term MP will not be returned to caucus or allowed to run for the party in the next federal election.
"Our nomination rules provide that Members of Parliament who wish to run for the party must be members in good standing of the caucus," said council president Don Plett. "The MP for this riding is no longer a member of the caucus, so he cannot be the candidate."
Casey was kicked out of caucus after voting against his party's budget, which altered the Atlantic accord. After a new agreement was reached last week the riding association had hoped the party would allow Casey to run in the next election despite Prime Minister Stephen Harper making it crystal clear it wouldn't happen.
"With his budget vote, Bill Casey joined with (Liberal Leader) Stephane Dion in voting non confidence in the Conservative government and his Conservative colleagues. He made his choice," said Plett.
The local riding association plans on meeting later this week and would say little yesterday about the situation.
"This is an internal matter between the national council and our local association and we believe that it is unproductive to discuss these internal matters publicly," said acting president Scott Armstrong.
The party says it will work with the association to find a candidate to challenge Casey in the election.
For his part, Casey was not surprised by the decision. He does feel for people who are now facing a tough decision.
"I recognize how difficult it is to decide between their party and me. Many of these people have been Conservatives before Harper was born," he said.
The fifth-term MP reiterated his earlier stance to run as an Independent.
"A lot of people have offered to help with financing and I'm getting offers not just from the riding but a lot of places around the province," he said. "I think we'll be able to have enough money to run a campaign."
Casey not surprised by decision
TRURO - It's definite. Bill Casey will not be returning to the Conservative fold.
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- - January 18, 2010 at 11:17:06
''He made his choice- he knew the consequences.''
He made his choice based on the VERY REAL views of his constituents, not some infantile reason enforced by the Westminister System of party governance and the Magna Carta.
And as for this comment:
''What happened to his integrity to uphold the constitution of his chosen party. What happened to his agreement to represent the party. That was a given when he sought the nomination of the party.''
Well..... if anything, such commentary merely illustrates to me, a young disillusioned voter who is disgusted by those lacking integrity to represent me and my community....
Let's just say the Harper-Atlantic Accord debacle that Mr. Casey is ensnared in illustrates how irrelevant parties like the Liberals, PC's/Reform, NDP, Greens, etc. really are.
It is ALL about the candidate. As it should be. Subscribing to party ideology like the above comment is strikingly similar (just a few degrees off) from what the ''party'' in fascist and communist states demands.
This really should go the way-side in 21st century Canada and the Westminister System should undergo drastic reform. We need more views in Parliament. We need e-democracy. We need interest from youth.
Bill stood up for our wishes. Not the party wishes.
I say to ANY party sheep of ANY stripe:
Go f#2k yourself!!!!
- - January 18, 2010 at 11:12:54
Regarding the above comments by Jackson :
If you believe that the Conservative party is ruled as a democracy, as stated, you are sadly mistaken.
Steve's rule is with an iron-fisted dictatorship, and there is no room for free thought or free speech. Even though homegrown sell-out Peter MacKay stated in the House that no member would be removed for voting against the party line, Bill Casey was axed. Pretty democratic of the party, eh?
Won't it be great to see Mr. Casey stand as an independent and vote for the people he represents, yet again? That's how democracy is supposed to work.
The majority of Canadians did NOT vote for Steve, so why does he feel he can run roughshod over the majority of Canadians and their representatives in Ottawa? It's time he started governing and stopped playing political games while meaningful legislation goes unfulfilled.
Whatever Bill Casey & Scott Armstrong decide to do is their business, Jackson, but I believe both are principled individuals who will stand for what they believe in, and to Hell with Steve and his petty politics. Nova Scotians are better served by these men than sheep like Peter MacKay.
- - January 18, 2010 at 11:07:25
The rules are the rules. These are the democratic rules of the party. These are not Harpers rules, the rules cannot be changed to accommodate Bill Casey- how can he possibly expect an exception to be made for him.
He made his choice- he knew the consequences. What happened to his integrity to uphold the constitution of his chosen party. What happened to his agreement to represent the party. That was a given when he sought the nomination of the party.
If he wanted to vote against his government and the budget- BILL CASEY should have done the honorable thing and resign from caucus. Where is his honor. He cannot have it both ways. If he expects to be treated with respect, honor and integrity- he must behave in that same manner.
But he is loving the martyr position he is now in.
The party has the legal right to disband the local association if they choose not to work for the conservative candidate. This is a given. I have no idea why there would be any question on this. If Armstrong doesn't want to work for the party- then resign.
The local association is an entity- made up of individuals. There is a purpose of the association- to uphold and support the conservative party. To work to elect a conservative candidate- Bill Casey chose not to be that candidate when he voted against his party. It doesn't get much clearer than that.
Get over it Bill, Scott- You made you choice. and there is no going back.
- - January 18, 2010 at 11:06:53
The rest of the country also sees Casey as a hero for standing up to Harper.
- - January 18, 2010 at 11:03:34
As a constituent of Mr. Casey's riding and having voted Liberal exclusively throughout my lifetime, I applaud Bill's decision to run as an independent in the next election which should occur very shortly. He certainly has my vote and I only wish Mr. Harper himself would contest in the riding. It'd be nice so see him finish behind the Green Party in the popular vote.
- - January 18, 2010 at 10:48:16
Nova Scotia eventually got the deal it wanted, most likely a better deal. Bill Casey cooked his goose (unless he crawls into bed with the pathetic Liberals, who are doomed in the next election under Dion). Regrettably Casey continues on insulting the PM. What does the constituency executive expect the national party to do, welcome Casey back? Time for you fellows to resign and run Casey's campaign. Casey knew what he is doing...he could have been patient as McKay and Keddy were, and work behind the scenes.
But Casey is a classic red tory, an outdated ideology that is still popular in the maritimes. In fact, in the dying days of the Progressive Conservatives, Joe Clarke's power base decayed until the maritimes was all that was left. Bill still clings to that Progressive label.
Yes, he is a beloved figure in your riding, and yes - Casey is a good man. If all politicians were like Casey, we would never have crooks like Chretien and Mulroney.
Sadly, Canada is still a very immature country when it comes to democratic traditions. Party members are expected to support their party and leader all the time. If not, they have to move on. This is the way we do things here. Hopefully we'll grow up as a country some day and make room for men like Bill.
- - January 18, 2010 at 10:43:47
Actually I take great exception to your comments Bill.
Firstly, show us proof anywhere in any media that Bill Casey has insulted the PM, other than voting his conscience on the budget bill last June. If anything, Mr. Casey has been the true gentleman here and Mr. Harper has proven himself to be far less of a man.
Secondly, why is it that Red Toryism is so outdated? I subscribe to that, as do MANY Maritime conservatives. We may not subscribe to the Blue Tory neo-liberal ideology coming out of Prairie populist politics, but the Red Tory ideals have run through our society for centuries:
#1 An unwavering commitment to societal institutions, including the Monarchy and maintaining and enhancing government.
#2 A similarly unwavering commitment to moral values that run deeply through our communities. This is strongly linked to our rural identity and to our connections with the 4 mainstream Christian denominations in the Maritimes - Anglican, Roman Catholic, United Church and Presbyterian.
#3 A commitment to the principles of strong fiscal management.
#4 A commitment to ensure that the vulnerable in our society do not get overlooked and have an opportunity, through government assistance, to become valuable and productive members of this society. This is strongly tied to the Social Gospel movement arising in the Prairies under Bible Bill Aberhart (Premier of Alta) and others during the 1930s.
Since that time, Meighen, Bracken, Drew, Diefenbaker, Stanfield, Clark, Mulroney, Charest and Clark (again) all subscribed to a right of centre economic policy and a centrist social policy.
The fact that anti-intellectual Prairie populists continue to attack the Red Tory tradition that runs strong here in the Maritimes shows that they simply do not understand the nature of Maritime conservatism.
That is why the current Conservative Party will likely never form a nation-wide majority. They do not have a centrist enough vision that can encompass the majority of views. Alberta, Ontario and Quebec do not make Canada. Only the PC Party was able to accomplish this. Not the Liberals and certainly not the current CPC.
Oh yes, and lump Harper in there with the crooks like Chretien and Mulroney. If it looks like a duck and quacks like duck....
- - January 18, 2010 at 10:39:58
Congratulations to Bill Casey for standing up for his riding and his province. Stephen Harper's numbers in Atlantic Canada will certainly suffer because of how he's treated us. The only culture of defeat that we have now is a culture that will be devoted to defeating anybody who sides with Stephen Harper.
- - January 18, 2010 at 10:38:09
Bill...don't waste your money campaigning. Just make sure your name is on the ballot...it might get omitted...stranger things have happened in a dictatorship. Maybe a few townhall meetings with Danny Williams will let Dictator Harper and his lackies how the voters in our district feel about their vindictiveness.