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Political showdown in Calgary-West
Published Sunday, March 29, 2009 3:02PM MDT
There's no federal election in sight, but embattled Conservative MP, Rob Anders, is fending off a new challenger in Calgary-West.
It's a fight that has the party divided. That was evident at the Conservative party's annual general meeting Saturday. Party members were voting Saturday afternoon for a new board of directors, which overseas nominations.
The meeting was seen as a faceoff between supporters of Rob Anders, who has represented and won Calgary-West five times, and corporate lawyer, Donna Kennedy-Glans.
Anders believes Kennedy-Glans is a disgruntled Liberal and is attempting to steal this Tory stronghold.
"The Liberals in my riding get desperate. They realize in a general election they can get only 20 per cent of the vote, so instead, they try to take over my annual general meeting."
Kennedy-Glans calls the allegation outrageous.
"I just don't get this. It's a fear-mongering tactic. There have been lots of fear-mongering tactics applied here. I'm a conservative."
The controversy was enough to bring out hordes of party members. So many people turned up, that party officials had to let them in a few at a time. Some had to wait in the cold for an hour and a half.
In the end, 29 new board members were selected. They are from a group called Free Calgary-West. Some are supporters of Kennedy-Glans, others say they are simply looking for change and accountability.
Only one name on the list of 30 loyal Rob Anders supporters was elected. Michelle Austin will join the other 29 new board members.
Riding members will receive a ballot in the mail within the next two weeks to decide whether to hold a nomination contest.