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Dianne Haskett redux in Guelph: Gloria going 0 for 2 on candidates meeting?

We’ll see on  Tuesday/Wednesday if this is indeed confirmed what happened, but it appears Conservative candidate Gloria Kovach is already saying she won’t be at this Tuesday’s all-candidates meeting/debate.  Apparently, she feels her time is better spent at attending a “We Love Stephen Harper” rally in Kitchener, which last I looked isn’t in the Guelph riding.

However, what’s more amusing is that she’s trying to cover all bases in saying why she has to skip out on this meeting.  As Accidental Deliberations points out from the front-page article in the Guelph Mercury, Gloria isn’t sure what the exact excuse… er..  reason it is she won’t be able to attend this one:

Kovach said she will be campaigning in Guelph before attending the Kitchener rally with Harper that day, but was unaware of which plans would conflict with the candidates’ meeting.

The Jurist acidly comments at his blog: “Presumably Kovach’s staff is hard at work brainstorming and polling what kind of conflict will play best to explain her once again hiding from voters and the media.”  As a followup to that, I wanted to note something else: Gloria is saying in this newest newspaper article that she was at a previously scheduled appearance with seniors which is why she couldn’t make the first debate.  Her office initially released a press release last week saying the reason was because she was out campaigning/canvassing with Conservative MP Gary Lunn. So I’m wondering exactly which excuse reason she’s using now for that: Lunn’s appearance, or this meeting with seniors, or if the 2 are one and the same. The message at the very least is confusing coming from her campaign on that.

The Jurist also said at his blog that this appears to be a continuing pattern of Conservatives hiding away their own candidates to expose them to as little public exposure to themselves and other political party candidates as possible. Again, I can’t help but thinking how this resembles the strategy employed in the Dianne Haskett Conservative candidacy in London-Centre a couple of years ago.

The folks in the local press are noting these absences of Kovach as well.  In a blogpiece title (which I wish I’d have thought up first) called ‘Any time, any place . . . except Thursday, and Tuesday’, Guelph Mercury columnist Brad Needham posts a blog critical of Gloria and comes up with this classic line:

I think Gloria Kovach would be a great debater. I hope we get to see it at some point.

Again, I wish I’d have thought of that line first.  Some more from that blog entry of his:

If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk. Kovach has been quoted saying she’s willing to debate Frank Valeriote on issues at “any time and place.”..But don’t throw down the gauntlet of any time and any place, unless you qualify it with “that fits into my schedule.”

As I said near the top of this article, this story made Page 1 coverage of the Mercury. That’s not particularly good coverage for a candidate who already has had 1 round of less-then-flattering headlines in the Mercury over her absence from the first debate last week.

If she indeed misses Tuesday’s meeting/debate, expect a lot of the news and blog coverage to rightfully focus on her absence, and don’t be surprised if the other candidates bring that up to voters at the meeting and to the media  to emphasize that this appears to be the DIanne Haskett “peek-a-boo” strategy that Gloria and the national Conservative Party is currently employing.

When she does decide to show up at a debate (which the Merc article says will be the one held on Aug 20, in a setting where  I imagine she’s presuming she’ll have good voter support),  I expect there may be some in the audience and up on the podium  who question her on these absences, and whether we will expect more Dianne Haskett-like behaviour from her and the Conservatives.


1 comment to Dianne Haskett redux in Guelph: Gloria going 0 for 2 on candidates meeting?

  • Is it just me or is this whole “Harper is the party, the party is Harper” thing getting creepier every day?

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