From various press reports this week, it appears that Helena Guergis is most upset that she is being passed over as a potential nominee for the CPC in the Simcoe-Grey riding where she now resides as an Independent since being tossed under the bus by her former boss, one Stephen Harper.
I took the opportunity to look through the Conservative Party of Canada Constitution which is freely available to any one who lives in the Simcoe-Grey riding, any other Canadian or any resident of Planet Earth that might care here.
From the CPC Constitution, I have taken the following excerpt from section 14:
14. CANDIDATES FOR PARLIAMENT
14.1 The rules and procedures for candidate selection set by National Council may provide for a candidate selection committee at the national level, and a candidate selection committee in each electoral district. The candidate selection committee at the national level shall have the right to disallow the candidacy of any person before or after nomination by the electoral district association, subject to the appeal of such a decision to the National Council whose decision shall be final and binding or who may refer the matter to the Arbitration Committee for decision by a panel. (my bold)
14.2 Every electoral district association shall provide organizational and financial support to the Party’s candidate in the electoral district.
Okay, maybe the nomination process isn't fair, it isn't right and it borders on benevolent dictatorship but it is quite clearly there in black and white. It isn't even in legalese so should be easy for just about everyone to understand. If Ms. Guergis didn't read the CPC Constitution before she offered as a nominee her first time out, if she didn't understand what it said or if she didn't believe that it applied to her, she's got no one to blame but herself. Maybe she should just admit that the bus ran over her, get up, dust her pride off and get on with life after politics.
What is surprising about the CPC Constitution is the control that the central Party has over who is nominated and whether they are acceptable to "the men in the smoke-filled rooms". Remember, the CPC morphed out of the ashes of the Reform/Alliance Party where the the membership had control over a substantial part of the Party's agenda and that the grassroots basically were the Party. This change tells us something about the control the CPC Leader has exerted over the direction of the Party.
Just in case Helena decides to change her political stripes and run for the Liberals, here's an excerpt from the Liberal Party of Canada Constitution regarding the selection of candidates from page 44:
CHAPTER 12 – CANDIDATES
(1) To be eligible for selection as a candidate of the Party for election to the House of Commons, a person must:
(a) be a member of the Party;
(b) be eligible to be a candidate in an election of a member to serve in the House of Commons under the Canada Elections Act;
(c) have complied with the rules made by the National Election Readiness Committee under Section 60 and with the Canada Elections Act.
(2) If the National Campaign Committee or the Leader, acting in their absolute discretion, declines to approve a person to be the candidate of the Party in the next election, then that person is not eligible for selection as a candidate of the Party for election to the House of Commons. The decision of the National Campaign Committee or the Leader is not reviewable by the Permanent Appeal Committee. (my bold)
Well, so much for that idea. I guess it's off to the NDP.
Here's where I ran into a wall. I attempted to search for the NDP Constitution on the internet, unfortunately, it cannot be found anywhere even on their own website despite the fact that, as an individual, you have to click in a box agreeing that you promise to abide to the (missing) Constitution of the NDP if you wish to become a member. Strange but true. Maybe Helena would fit best there what with the secrecy and all the under the table stuff!
Now it's off to the Green Party of Canada. While Helena doesn't particularly strike me as the "green type', one never knows. Here's an excerpt from their Constitution regarding becoming a candidate:
Bylaw 5 Selection of Candidates for Member of Parliament
5.1 Candidates shall be selected by the Party as follows:
Where there is an Electoral District Association, the electoral district shall select the candidate in accordance with the association's Bylaws.
Where no Electoral District Association exists, candidates will be selected in accordance with a process determined by Federal Council or by Bylaw.
Where there are no Party Members in an electoral district, selection of a candidate shall be by a General Meeting, Federal Council, a committee established by a General Meeting or Federal Council, or by a procedure mandated by a General Meeting or Federal Council.
So, after examining all of the options for you Helena, I've got to say, I think you should go Green. It looks like there won't be anything or anyone standing in your way. Go for it unless, of course, the bed and bath business is looking more appealing.
As an aside, I have no idea why she'd want to run for a party and a leader that publicly humiliated her by tossing both her and her husband under a very large bus but I guess that's why I'm not in politics and they are. I'm guessing that sense of entitlement runs REALLY deep.