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Premier Stelmach addressed the U of C conservative club at the Den.
Emily Ask/the Gauntlet

Attempted takeover of Campus Conservative Club

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Members of the Wildrose Alliance Campus Club attempted to take control of the University of Calgary Campus Conservative Association last Friday at the UCCCA's Annual General Meeting.

The Wildrose supporters bought UCCCA memberships at the door and tried to nominate a slate of their own members to run for the seven UCCCA executive positions. If elected, the Wildrose slate intended to disassociate the UCCCA from the Progressive Conservative party.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach spoke at the AGM before the election then answered questions. Lindsay Blackett, Minister of Culture and Community Spirit, Jonathan Denis, Minister of Housing, and Cindy Ady, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation also attended.

However, only Jonathan Denis stayed for the general election after the speech.

"You try and get here as often as you can," Stelmach told the Gauntlet. "We were here once after the campaign but it's been a busy couple years. I spoke to the conservative club yesterday at the University of Alberta and now today at the University of Calgary."

The general election was supposed to happen after Stelmach's speech, but there was disagreement about who was eligible to be nominated and vote.

The UCCCA constitution states that individuals must be a member for 30 days prior to running or voting for executive positions in the general election. It also states that executives must be members of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta.

The vote never took place and the meeting was adjourned until a later date. The UCCCA decided that those who bought memberships at the door expecting to run for the executive or vote could be refunded.

Nine people had their memberships refunded, though their affiliations were unclear.

James Jeffrey, president of the Wildrose Club on campus, attempted to run for UCCCA VP communications.

"In one sense we didn't achieve our objective because we didn't take them over," said Jeffrey. "But in one sense we consider it a win because one: they were unable to elect a new executive; and two: Ed Stelmach, the PC party and their club were embarrassed last night."

Jeffrey said that while both clubs supported the federal conservatives, they differ on the provincial level.

"The Wildrose Alliance supporters are conservatives," he stated. "Supporters of the Progressive Conservative party are liberals."

"It's the spending habits, just look where they are right now," he continued. "We're running [a] huge deficit and it's not just because of the economic downturn like Stelmach likes to say. It's because they kept increasing spending in such large amounts."

He also claimed the UCCCA contradicted itself by waiving the 30 day membership clause in the constitution last year, while enforcing it this year.

see Conservative takover, page 9

"What looks bad is denying people the right to vote. What would have been democratic is if they had let us vote. Let the majority of people decide. Let [the] majority of people decide who should be the executive," Jeffrey stated.

Christina Rontynen, president of the UCCCA, said neither Jeffrey nor anybody on the Wildrose slate was a member of the Conservative club last year, while most voters at last year's AGM had been around the year prior to voting.

"I don't know how it worked at the door. I was the VP internal [last year] but as far as I know the majority of that room were members from the previous year," Rontynen told the Gauntlet.

She said that Jeffrey should not have based his actions on a precedent, but should have consulted her or the UCCCA constitution to clarify the rules for voting in the general election.

"Wildrose is in the end going to be the ones that are wrecking what they stand for, democracy and the constitution," she asserted.

Rontynen also addressed what she thought was responsible for the divide between the PC and Wildrose supporters.

"I think the divide comes more from allegiance to politicians than really what we believe. The progressive conservative party is a big-tent party and you have the 'big c's' and the 'little c's'. I think what it comes down to is the Wildrose party on campus has allegiance to certain politicians, we put our allegiance behind Ed and our [Members of Legislative Assembly]."

The UCCCA executive will determine a new date for the election and send out an email notice to members 30 days in advance, she added.

"Tonight was supposed to be a fun night to welcome new members, vote [in] new executives and just start off the new year," Rontynen said. "I guess people will have to get used to me as president a little bit longer."

The UCCCA constitution states the election must happen before April 15, but Rontynen said the Manager of Student Programming from the Students' Union, Jason Morgan, told her via email that there will be no repercussions given the circumstances and clear efforts to resolve the situation.

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Comments

The UCCCA sent out an email saying that all members would be able to purchase a membership at the door for $5, entitling them to run or vote for the executive of the club.

Their practise in the past two years, in October 2009 for byelections, and previously for other AGMs was to allow individuals to run and vote who bought memberships at the door.

I am a member of the UCCCA and I am very disapointed by their actions. Unlike the UofA Conservative club, this one has no transparency of accountability.

The constitution was never made available to any members or posted anywhere and there were so many students who showed up to vote at the AGM after being told they could, and then were denied this ability. Maybe the club only wanted lots of people in the room for Ed stelmach and this was a ploy?


I won\'t be joining this club again.

I went to that meeting fully intending to throw my support behind some guys I know are true conservatives. I am tired of having people that are new to the U of C and are looking for a conservative club finding the UCCCA. I dont want the BS of the big tent. That is simple political expediency and it is what makes losers in the political world. I was told by the club executive in a mass email that I would be able to buy a membership at the door and vote for the executive. So the red \'conservatives\' there got scared they might lost their power, and decided to implement a policy that they have ignored repeatedly in the past. It is sad that Stalinmach\'s (\'Stelmach\'s\' for the politically illiterate) authoritarian leadership style has found its way all the way down to the university club level.

The Wildrose kids who tried this are being childish. Did they honestly think they could get away with destroying the PCs at the UoC?

Talk about hubris. It\'s absolutely frightening the anti-democratic nature of the WAP. Absolutely frightening. And these are just the cub scouts--what about the eagle scouts? If the student WAP members are doing this what will Danielle Smith do if she even gets a single iota of power in Edmonton?

Dark days are a coming. Hopefully someone will set these students right.

Here\'s the big picture:

At an event hosted by the University of Calgary Conservative Campus Club which is dominated on its executive by Progressive Conservatives, only twenty people out to hear Ed Stelmach speak.

The Wildrose Alliance slate brought out almost 40 people to support them as they ran for the executive of the club, which they sought to do because they are all also supporters of Stephen Harper and the federal Conservative Party of Canada which the club is also associated with.

The Progressive Conservatives that were there demonstrated their childishness and inability to play by the rules. The chair of their meeting was crying, yelling, and acting generally disagreeable.

If the PCs wanted to play fair they shouldn\'t have distributed one set of rules prior to the AGM and a second set at the AGM available only to them prior before the meeting.

The bottom line: the Wildrose Alliance is much stronger organizationally on campus than the Progressive Conservatives. Only a week before the WAP club had Danielle Smith out to a group twice the size of the one that came to hear Stelmach.

If the PCs have any hope of getting back on track they need to dump Ed Stelmach as leader ASAP.

Vin,

You\'re absolutely right, the Wildrose Alliance is the undemocratic party because they favour one person one vote. The PCs are the democratic ones because they believe in changing the rules from past practise to consolidate voting rights amongst a small elite whilst disenfranchising others. Well said, Vin, spoken like a true PC hack!

That\'s what I like to see - a little con-on-con hate. Keep it up.

Vin makes some most valuable points. The way that these Wildrose children acted at the UCCCA AGM is representative of how the membership of the Wildrose Alliance Party acts!

It is sad to see that the Wildrose Alliance was so insistent on breaking the Constitution on the grounds that an Executive, on their own, sent an e-mail instructing otherwise regarding voting eligibility. Anyone who attended this event should be well aware that a constitution is generally the governing document, not an e-mail sent out.

Furthermore, it is so upsetting that the Wildrose were so insistent on not allowing members to vote. After all, it was one of their people (wearing a pro-life hoodie) who put forth the motion to adjourn the meeting prematurely before anyone can vote.

At the end of the day, just be advised that this happening was only a microcosm of the Wildrose Alliance Parties childish behavior. Stay tuned for more entertainment as they travel across the province!

Daniel,

What happened at the AGM was simple:
The UCCCA exec wanted to stone wall some of the candidates running for exec positions from being on the ballot because they didnt like the politics of these candidates. So they resorted to desperate measures and disenfranchised these candidates and 3/4 of the voting members present by pointing to a provision in an old constitution from 2003 that had not even been ratified by the current exec,

However, the UCCCA exec had sent clear communication to all club members prior to the AGM stating that everyone could run and vote. At the AGM, the exec flat out refused to take responsibility for this error of communication and pretended as if it never happened.

Constitutions are important documents, but they must be used consistently and fairly in order to have any legitimacy whatsoever. They can\'t be upheld at one meeting, and ignored at another.

Students took their time out of their busy schedules and exam studying time to come out to the the UCCCA AGM, only to be told they couldn\'t vote or particpate in the election of their own club. That is not a way to treat club members of any organization.



Oh, jeeze, I\'ve been called a PC hack. Well, fellow posters, I will not rebut that insult with another. I\'m too polite for that. I\'ll simply state the following:

Clubs at the UoC are meant to serve students. Even political clubs. The WAP execs--and they were executives of the Wildrose campus organization--tried to take over the UCCCA not for the benefit of students but to make it into a front group for the WAP.

And, of course, the WAP would likely get bored with it and let it rot into nothing. The political benefit--at large and in provincial politics--could be considered a mock victory, that the WAP has unseated the PC dynasty, and that by destroying a student club the WAP is somehow better than the UCCCA.

Political benefits to the WAP club and none to students. That\'s why Mr. Anders gave the WAP on campus $6,000--to be a political tool and nothing else. There is no service to students by what the WAP did. I remain firm in my above comment. The WAP on campus have shown themselves to be assholes and nothing more.

And, secondly, the constitutional issue is a red herring. If these executives were truly interested in running and serving the conservative students on campus then they would have read the constitution 3-4 times already. They can ask, like any student, to have a copy of the constitution--either from the SU (the club has to submit their constitution every year along with a report) or from the current executive.

The WAP executive and friends are just sad that (a) they\'re in the wrong and (b) they lost. Somebody call an ampulamps for their hurt egos.

I would agree that the AGM was the most excitement I\'ve seen. We certainly don\'t see this in our party. Everyone should be aware that many of the Wildrose Alliance members who were present were also pushing an alternate cause...pro-life and anti-abortion. Several of them proudly wore their pro-life sweatshirts throughout the AGM. This was most disturbing, since it was not the venue regardless of your beliefs.

It is clear that Wildrose attracts the most socially conservative people out there (crazies) whose only wish is to force their beliefs onto the people of Alberta. The Wildrose Alliance Party are the one\'s who I\'m thinking should be embarressed. Clearly they do not have a grasp on their radical membership.

I\'m also laughing at the comment by WAP Club President James Jeffery. I\'m certain Minister Morton would love to hear that the official WAP stance is that he is a \"liberal\". These WAP people should be advised that their comments are easily interpreted as the Wildrose Party\'s stance, even though they may just be that of a pro-life student.

I\'m nearly certain the only thing accomplished from the AGM was the Wildrose Alliance Party being publically embarassed. They should be thankful that large-scale media was not present.

All be cautioned...although the Wildrose party will deny that they do not hold anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion values, it is so obvious that these values are encompassed in every single one of their members.

\"Vin\", could you cite any legitimate source for this $6,000 donation?

What is happening on the UofC campus is just a small snapshot of the grassroots support the Wildrose Party is gaining all over Alberta.
There were more students in attendance at the Danielle Smith event held at UofC a few weeks ago then there were at the AGM event with the Premier! What does that say about the PC Party?

Regardless of what your opinion is about what happened at the AGM, the reality is that many students are no longer inspired by the tired old PC\'s, their policies, and overall lack of vision and mis-management of Alberta.

There were very few students in attendance at that AGM who still supported the PC\'s--students wanted change.

And it isn\'t just students who have lost faith in the PC\'s, it is Albertans everywhere, and this number is on the rise.

So Vin, this was no \"victory\" for the PC\'s. Their party is a sinking ship, with the few loyal crew left on deck shuffling chairs, unwilling to accept the reality that their support base on campus and across Alberta is shrinking by the day. The actions of the UCCCA PC\'s loyals at the AGM is indicative of this.





About 1/3 of the 60 attendees at the Danielle Smith event were media or spooks from the other parties (a few of us compared notes after the event). We counted 15-20 WRA club and local party members, at least five provincial WRA executives, plus a few federal conservatives and their entourages. The WRA executives knew (or had the capability to know) that we were watching.

The WRA is deluding itself and its supporters if it thinks that event drew the attention of more than five otherwise disinterested students on campus. It had all the makings of an astroturf product launch minus the press junket.

Like all failing regimes, especially ones that have had a majority sweep for so long, the PC\'s will ignore the signs that their support is eroding away until it is too late. Arrogance, elitism and willful blindness to the reality their supporters are leaving them are the signs of a failing party on the way out the door.
Bring on the next election!

Bev,

Your comments about students wearing hoodies are disturbing. Individuals should have the right to wear shirts or hoodies that say whatever they want so long as they don\'t contain hate speech or racism. It sounds like the NDP wants to censor free speech though, and mandate what people wear. I\'m certain Albertans disagree with these big-government, police state policies of the NDP. Your party should stop accusing mainstream conservative parties of hidden agendas, when it is blatantly obvious your party harbours a radical socialist hidden agenda.

Vin, Mr. Anders gave the UCCCA $3000 to promote conservatism on campus. He has given nothing to the WAP.

Get your facts straight and stop embarassing yourself and the UCCCA.

\"The UCCCA constitution states the election must happen before April 15, but Rontynen said the Manager of Student Programming from the Students\' Union, Jason Morgan, told her via email that there will be no repercussions given the circumstances and clear efforts to resolve the situation\" ????????

Ha ha, they loved citing their constitution that night, but when it comes to actually being accountable to it, this is what happens.

Dear WACC members and UCCCA members,

I have had a Progressive Conservative member for the last four years. More recently I purchased a Wildrose Alliance membership so as to vote for Danielle Smith to become the party leader. I attended her speaking engagement a few weeks ago and I was there for the UCCCA AGM.

What I saw sickened me. The Wildrose should not partake in such disgusting tricks. It should be better than this. The Wildrose, if it is to become the governing party of Alberta, cannot condone such flagrantly idiotic grandstanding act or encourage it. What WACC has done is unforgivable. I will not be renewing my membership with them or the provincial party.

We should be held up to a higher standard. It is disgusting what these students and WAP have comitted.

\"Astroturf\": A term used by PC Loyals to dismiss the growing number of Albertans who don\'t support them.

I wonder how that will play out in an election?

I wonder how many of the UCCCA exec are on the PC government payroll? Or plan to be this summer?

Isn\'t there a little bit of hypocrisy to the PCs here? They are the red tory wing of the federal party, while the WAP is the blue tory wing. Let\'s not forget that the UCCCA is supposedly a \"big-tent\" (blue and red tory) club. It isn\'t for the PCs to dominate, nor for the WAP to dominate. I agree that the WAP is smart to have their own provincial club on campus, as well as partake in what I consider to be the federal club (UCCCA).

The PCs however subscribe to double standards. They pretend to be all high and mighty and that they are better than all others.

At least one of the PC candidates for the executive of the UCCCA, Josh Traptow, was an individual who was part of an anti-Rob Anders group that pulled a similar stunt in the federal riding of Calgary-West. They took over the Calgary-West board in similar fashion to what these WAP individuals tried to do at the UCCCA.

It\'s okay for the PCs/red tories to do it, but not for the WAP/blue tories to do it, right?

Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Anders did not give the UCCCA money, instead the Calgary West Conservative EDA did which Anders and his posse voted against. And at least Josh Traptow and his group were successful in being elected to the Calgary West board where the WAP members were not

I see people saying that the constitution is the governing document of the club and that the WAP should have realized and accepted that.

What kind of governing document is it if you can selectively waive clauses at will? Is it okay then for a majority government to selectively waive the Charter of Rights and Freedoms if they feel like it?

The fact that the UCCCA blatantly ignored its own constitution and waived its requirements whenever it felt like it totally negates any argument that it should have applied to what happened last week.

There is no real constitution of the UCCCA anymore, just some pieces of paper the old exec is desperately trying to hide behind.

Of all the things that one could be concerned about in this situation, the biggest objection appears to be that one small faction was unable to replace the leadership of a big-tent organization without consulting or at least notifying most members of that organization.

The critics of WRA are wrong about one thing: It\'s not the minority voices who need to be worried if WRA ever comes to power, WRA members appear to believe that ignoring the majority is the best course.

> I wonder how many of the UCCCA exec are on the PC government payroll? Or plan to be this summer?

I wonder how many WRA party members will use PC government health care services this summer which are therefore linked to their student club activities?

No, wait. That\'s not a logical or relevant argument at all.

It is relevant that some members of the UCCCA exec are on PC payroll when determining their motives behind why they fought so hard to ensure NO known supporters of the Wildrose Party could run or secure an exec position with the club. This has nothing to do with constitutions or club rules (which the club doesnt follow anyways), it had to do with keeping the WAP out of the supposedly \"big tent\" UCCCA--nothing could be more tranparent.

Now the WAP have their own club on campus, which all students who believe in true conservatism, grassroots change in Alberta and are tired of being ignored by the PC\'s should join.

> #21 - I love the smell of astroturf in the morning.
> –Zha
> #22 - \"Astroturf\": A term used by PC Loyals to dismiss the growing number of Albertans who don\'t support them.
> I wonder how that will play out in an election?
> –I have dictionary too

What tactics are the WRA employing on a regular basis that would cause their supporters to assume that a blanket accusation of pretending to have support is, by default, about the WRA?

@29

If the student WRA supporters\'s primary goal was to participate in UCCCA, they would not have demanded refunds of their membership fees on their way out. Otherwise, their claim would be that if a member is not a part of the leadership of a group, then the member is not a meaningful participant in that group. That would be a strange position to take for a party which claims to be grass-roots since leadership in such organizations comes from the bottom.

If the WRA truly believes that there\'s no point for individuals who dissent from the leadership to participate, then there is no reason for anyone other than the WRA leaders to participate in the WRA since such individuals would, by your argument, be kept out of the WRA.

Oh my beloved Mortonites! Why must you squabble amongst yourselves in such a woeful fashion? Have you not heard my Big Tent speech? Don\'t my regressive socon policies give the PCs some cred? Doesn\'t my desire to roll back the last 50 years of social change warm your hearts in unison?
These displays of conservative disunity merely remind me that we live in a culture of death, where the traditional family is under constant attack from the socialist gay-feminist utopians. I\'m so upset, I could shoot a tarred duck! Hunting trip time!

\"I wonder how many of the UCCCA exec are on the PC government payroll? Or plan to be this summer?

–taxdollars at work\"


Well I don\'t quite know the answer for you \'taxdollars at work\'. What I do know is that one Kathryn Marshall or Mitrow, whatever\'s more convenient, is on the payroll for the Wildrose Alliance Party.

It\'s so clear that the WRA is able to pick the best of gems to be sneaky little spies! Great tactics, yet again.

Beware all!

Marc,

My comments on students wearing pro-life hoodies being disturbing is not unfounded.

I certainly wouldn\'t wear my \"police state policies\" hoodie at your AGM, simply out of respect for the general public. It\'s clear that the individuals wearing their pro-life shirts had to walk in public to get to the AGM. What about the poor women who had to have an abortion because she was sexually assaulted and became pregnant. She has to have flashbacks of that vicious ordeal just because some white male (which is the entirety of WAP), who will never have to deal with the choice of whether to abort or not, feels the need to boost his suffering self-esteem by wearing a pro-life hoodie in public. Hypothetical situation but not far-fetched.

Let\'s think about other people for a change, even though this is an ability that Wildrose members find so difficult to exhibit.

And on another note. I will just tell you all from past club experience that precedence doesn\'t matter when it comes to a club or a constitution. All that matters is that the UCCCA uses the consitution presently. Get off your high horses people.

Bev, no one cares about the NDP Campus club, why don\'t you be a good little socialist and go read your copy of Carrying Forward The Juche Idea or starving yourself or protesting something.

Ok Turd!

1. You\'re real mature picking a name like Turd Ferguson. Grow up!

2. A lot of people care about the NDP Campus Club. Our membership is huge.

3. I\'ve read my copy of Carrying Forward thank you very much. Perhaps you should give it a gander. It seems like you\'re so far right, you\'re swinging around my way.

Once again, get off your high horses. The Wildrose thinking that change is coming is like me thinking change is coming. We all hope for it but apparently only one of us has the brains to know it\'s neva gonna happen. Get with it you lunatics!

Bev, its time for the intervention, the first sign your an extremist is realizing you lack a sense of humor.

Now for the cure.

Take two doses of the Three Stooges and call me in the morning sweetheart.

Now about the NDP club.

I gotta give you credit Beverage, it must have taken the whole army of U of C NDP club members to mobilize the voters in the recent Calgary-Glenmore by-election. What did you get.... lemme see? A whole 148 votes? That\'s socialist power in action!

Next time your combing the granola crumbs out of Jack Layton\'s mustache give him my warmest regards. Tata!

Turdylicious,

You are just making yourself look even more crazy each time you respond! I don\'t even think you\'re making any sense in your arguments...oh, wait a sec, there were NO arguments made by you in any of your comments.

Rather than crticise my people, how about you take a look in the mirror Turd. If you\'re Wildrose, you\'re surrounded by a flock of white, old (some young), all ugly lunatics who couldn\'t make it in any of the governing parties. So, what do they do? They decide to form another Party of their own. It\'s a party of rejects. And let me tell you something that I\'ve learnt on my end of the spectrum...social conservatives are never going to get elected into government in any portion of this country. I know this for sure. If they do, it\'s time to pack up and leave for the remnents of private healthcare in the States. I may be NDP but I still love the Mayo clinic!

Now I don\'t mean to be harsh. It\'s not my nature, except when I\'m given that horrible task of grooming Mr. Layton\'s stache. Believe you me, it\'s not a good time.

Oh and by the way, we have one on the Wildrose...at least we have some good looking people runnin the show. Has anyone ever seen Ms. Smith up close!

Tata to you little Turd!

Bev, you realize most \"social conservative\" issues are at the federal level, i.e. same sex marriage and the legality of abortion. Why you brought abortion into this at all is a wonder to me.

The Wildrose Party isn\'t some scary right-wing party, it\'s a mainstream centre-right, fiscally conservative party that caters to most Calgarians and rural Albertans. Google search Alberta opinion polls and look at some of the most recent ones where the WAP is at almost 50% in Calgary, and leading in rural Alberta.

In our political system, that would translate to a majority government.

Where do the NDP figure? About 8-9%. I think that classifies them as a \"fringe\" party in Alberta.

@#41:

abortion->healthcare->provincial jurisdiction
abortion->human rights->provincial jurisdiction

I hope it\'s you personally, and not the WRA, who forgot about the role of the provincial government in protecting the health and human rights of Albertans.

Why are you so dismissive of dissenting points of view? Have you also forgotten that the one characteristic which distinguishes liberal democracies from everything else is the RESPECT AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE MINORITIES?

If your views about the valuelessness of the minority are representative of those of the WRA, then it cannot be a mainstream party operating in any genuine liberal democracy.

Abortion -> Criminal Code -> Federal Jurisdiction
Human Rights -> Charter of Rights -> Federal Jurisdiction

The \"provincial role\" of protecting human rights is mandated by the federal government through the Charter of Rights, something which minorities use to bypass the legislature to make laws that would otherwise not pass in the venue of our free and democratic society. In my opinion, because of course I don\'t speak for the WAP as you like to think and argue, is that no government should \'give\' rights to people, rather people have certain inalienable rights that are unquestionable.

I\'m not disputing minority rights in liberal democracies, I never said I was. I\'m not trying to censor the NDP individual\'s right to a view, or right to speak, I\'m merely questioning why they argue that the WAP is a fringe group of \"rejects\" when they have such large traction amongst Albertan voters.

You cannot make laws when you bypass the legislature. Please have a better understanding of judicial review before making such claims.

If all you can do is take umbrage with the fact I used the \"make laws\" by bypassing the legislature, when it\'s rather obvious I was talking about judicial review by the courts to alter laws beyond the scope designed by legislatures, then I\'ll take it my other points ring true.

I didn\'t care enough to respond to your other points, especially considering I\'m not the person you were previously debating.

Next time, just say alter. I understood what you meant, but language is important when discussing political issues.

All,

I really feel the need to bring something else to your attention.

Kathryn Marshall/Mitrow is a full fledged employee of the WRA. I had several altercations with her the evening of the AGM. For all of you out there, we need to be on our a-game to battle her disgraceful antics. She resorts to the lowest of political tactics for her own gain.

Everyone should be aware that her husband is the individual who continues to publish polls from Angus Reid indicating the WRA is leading in Alberta. Need I say conflict of interest?!

@47:

Thanks for putting those pieces together. There was an out of place couple who claimed to be from Angus Reid at the PC AGM in Red Deer last year. They confronted every MLA and reported polling numbers which didn\'t line up (WRA with >70% support in NDP, LIB and PC ridings) with what Angus Reid and everyone else was publicly reporting in the media at the time.