Potential Liberal candidate quits: “Justin Trudeau broke a key promise…”

- March 17th, 2014

Zach Paikin had planned to seek the Liberal nomination in a Hamilton, Ont.-are riding ahead of the 2015 general election. No longer.

Dear friends;

Last week, Justin Trudeau broke a key promise to hold open nominations in every riding by blocking the candidacy of Christine Innes in downtown Toronto.

I cannot, in good conscience, campaign to be a part of a team of candidates if others seeking to join that team are prevented from doing so if their ideas or ambitions run contrary to the party leader’s interest. Therefore, after spending the weekend consulting with friends and family, I am taking what I believe to be a principled decision by withdrawing my candidacy for the Liberal nomination in Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas as a sign of protest.

In the months following our defeat in 2011, many of us believed that we were, in effect, building and creating a new party. I campaigned to be the Liberal Party’s National Policy Chair two years ago on a platform designed to help build the most open political party in Canadian history. I believe that I have a responsibility to speak on behalf of those grassroots Liberals who supported that vision.

I am a strong believer in our country’s founding democratic principles, including: Parliament as a place for dialogue, a government that is accountable to Parliament, and party leaders who remain accountable to their respective caucuses (not vice-versa). I am particularly troubled by the fact that our leader has discarded some of those principles ultimately in order to protect a star candidate.

Stephen Harper is “Exhibit A” of what happens when a leader compromises on his democratic principles in order to win power. I feel it important to speak up as forcefully as I can so that the party I care about doesn’t go down the same road.

With a pledge to hold open nominations comes the natural consequence that some of those nomination battles will be fierce. But holding open nominations ultimately helps a political party with fundraising and voter outreach and engagement. Blocking nomination bids is what creates the party-wide toxicity we seek to avoid.

I still believe that the Liberal Party of Canada remains the most forceful defender in this country of social progress, fiscal responsibility and national unity. I will focus my efforts going forward on supporting the candidacies of friends and colleagues who I think will make outstanding public servants.

Categories: Politics/Liberals

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12 comments

  1. leon says:

    Considering Trudeau did what he did because this woman was intimidating people, this guy’s letter is really disingenous.

    • Aaron says:

      Innes wasn’t accused of doing anything. It was was husband. At no time did the Liberal Party approach Innes about the allegations. At no time was there proper due process in dealing with the allegations.

      Trudeau wanted someone else. Trudeau also didn’t want a potential Innes, M.P., running against Freeland for the Liberal nomination in University-Rosedale in 2015. When Innes refused to play along with the Trudeau backroom boys over this, they decided they needed to end her candidacy.

      Trudeau is worse than Harper and a complete hypocrite.

  2. Sylvain says:

    Good on Paikin for standing up to his principles. If only the same could be said for a certain Justin.

  3. Stephen Paikeneau says:

    Given the backlash against Zach Paikin’s nomination, it is far more conceivable that the Rosedale Club founder was looking for an exit strategy from the Hamilton conundrum he had created for himself. Nobody except himself and his dilemma-struck father wanted him to win his parachute candidacy in Hamilton-West Ancaster-Dundas. The man lives at Massey College for god’s sake, not here in Steeltown. But once he may have gotten a brief taste of the vitriol he attracts (and not unfairly, given that his real life-experience can be measured in the lifespan of mayfly), and decided it wasn’t in the cards for him to be a Liberal MP come 2015. Instead of suffering a humiliating and inevitable defeat, why not find a way to exit with (semi-)dignity?

    The optics are far better for ZP to withdraw on ‘principle’, instead of runnring and losing because nobody showed up to vote for him. He already got his staged photo-op with Trudeau during the Liberal convention with daddy (during the hockey games). He can now withdraw to his parents’ art-adorned pile to play Captain Kirk whilst waiting for a Liberal can’t-lose-stronghold to avail itself to the self-described Paikinator.

    Of course, the other theory is that he suspected that Trudeau was never going to welcome his Ukrainian-Russian-Jewish-whatever-ethnicity-is-most-expedient-to-apply-to-a-HuffPost-crisis candidacy, and took Trudeau’s rejection of Innes as the writing on the HWAD wall. Alas, we will never know the dull calculations that went on inside Fortress Paikin (as he consulted his father, family and friends) this weekend as he came to the growing realization that reality does not accord with his TVO worldview.

    @robhoadley (on Twitter) put it best: “The Zach Paikin 2036 leadership campaign is off to a bumpy start.”

  4. Ephena says:

    In novels for young adults, you often have plucky underdogs overcoming the establishment and political tradition to win the love and admiration of the people. It works for royal outcasts and minor princes all the time. It just doesn’t work that way for grown ups.

  5. Don says:

    I don’t know. It’s pretty fishy that they’d try to get Innes to sign that she wouldn’t run in Uni-Rosedale, then suddenly after she refuses with no warning her “team” then her “husband” is publicly outed for “bullying”. If you know who Freeland’s volunteers were, they were largely the most devout of Justin leadership volunteers. They could have done this without spreading rumours about someone. There must be more here than meets the eye.

  6. Horton Hears a Why says:

    Young Mr Paikin exemplifies principled thinking that should be applauded… but only up to the point that his thinking glosses over the nuances that do not contradict the principle. There is no contradiction between Trudeau’s promise to hold open nominations and the need to dismiss potential nominees who don’t meet ethical guidelines, who fail to follow proper procedure, or who might violate other reasonable qualifications like belonging to extremist groups.

    Trudeau’s call on Innes/Ianno issue may have been on the margins, but leaders are there to make the tough calls. It was also hardly akin to parachuting in a candidate at the expense of other qualified potential nominees. If the party has no way to enforce integrity in its nominee candidates, it’ll have no integrity itself.

  7. adam says:

    Someone accused of intimidating people within the party should they back the “wrong candidate” is hardly someone worth falling on your sword for.

  8. Malcolm says:

    Considering Trudeau really blocked Innes because Innes wouldn’t promise to step aside for Trudeau’s favourite, Leon’s comment is disingenuous.

  9. Bill Tom says:

    I support Justin Trudeau’s actions on this matter. There appears to be some intimidation tactics used and he is holding candidates and their campaign teams to account for their actions. Some may argue it was not the candidate herself that did it, but it was the person closet to her and not just any ordinary campaign worker.

  10. islandcynic says:

    Trudeau couldn’t get Innes to agree to his manipulation so he got rid of her. The whole point is to not have this interference in the nomination process at the grassroots level. Can the Liberals not trust their members to see through the fog and pick the best candidate? I guess not.

  11. xoxox says:

    Zach who…?

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