An estimated 600 people showed up for the Conservative Nomination meeting held at St. Mary’s school today to hear speeches by each of the 5 candidates. More than 50% of party members in the riding voted – some voted without hearing the candidates’ final speeches probably because they couldn’t get there in time since the parking lot was full to overflowing. The school auditorium was also overflowing and the voting took close to the full two hours allocated. The voting used ranked ballots which allowed voters to indicate their second, third and even fourth choices. The vote was very close for all candidates but in the end Philip Lawrence was declared the winner after four rounds of vote counting (more on him below).
The event started with Conservative MPP David Piccini giving a rousing speech to warm up the crowd – he included the comment that “Trudeau has lost his way”. Bob Dodd, the Riding President, then introduced the candidates who each spoke about why they should be selected. Two candidates mentioned the recent SNC scandal:
- Grant Dingwall said “Last week showed us what one principled politician can accomplish”;
- Philip Lawrence started his presentation with an invitation for everyone to stand and give a big round of applause to Jody Wilson-Raybould – which they did.
The presentations (speeches?) varied but it seemed to me that all did a good job of conveying the values, policies and personalities of the speakers. I gathered that most in the room thought that all candidates would have been good choices, but as Bob Dodd said at the end, “There can only be one winner”.
Details of voting were not released but the fact that it took four rounds of vote counting says that they all received a very similar number of votes.
If you have not been following this “race”, the five candidates were:
- Philip Lawrence – Lawyer who lives in Orono – more details here. Includes short bio, contact info and links to his web site.
- Grant Dingwall – Active in Conservative party – Lives in Cobourg – web site
- Sarah Honey – Active in Conservative Party – raised in Warkworth – web site
- John Sorrell – Raised in Port Hope – web site
- Mark Walas – was recently Mayor of Brighton – web site
Note that their web sites may go off-line before too long.
The Green Party will be holding their AGM and nomination meeting on March 6 at the Cobourg Community Centre at 7:30 pm. No word yet on the NDP or the People’s Party of Canada (PPC – Maxime Bernier’s start-up).
All Candidates for the October election are listed here with updates when anything changes.
Below are some photos from the meeting.