Former Chilliwack city councillor Casey Langbroek is questioning his membership in the federal Conservative Party because of the way the nomination process was handled in this riding.
Langbroek confirmed he was considering a run for the nomination, but he was on a business trip in Ontario when he read about MP Chuck Strahl’s resignation in a newspaper.
“I don’t think the powers that be … are in touch with reality as far as the process is concerned, and the amount of time that needs to be taken to mount a serious campaign for the nomination,” he said, in a telephone interview Wednesday.
The Progress located Langbroek after hearing rumors from several sources that he had been considering a run for the party’s nomination, which was subsequently won by Mark Strahl, a local Conservative Party official and son of the retiring MP.
Strahl won the nomination last Monday over challenger Ernie Charlton by a comfortable vote margin of 144 to 77, but some party members openly questioned the process, one saying it was a “mockery of democracy” that cast a shadow on MP Strahl’s otherwise sterling reputation.
Langbroek said he would not make any “disparaging remarks” about the candidate, or about his father.
But Langbroek was clearly upset about the nomination process, and felt he wasn’t the only one in the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon riding.
“I feel there are a great number of other people upset,” he said. “The only way you test the quality of a candidate is by having a proper nomination process.”
Langbroek said even with an election looming, actual voting wouldn’t take place for up to eight weeks, time enough for a proper nomination.
“The nomination process can be used by the candidates to put forward their platform for the election,” he said. “That’s what normally happens.”
Party members in the Okanagan riding are also complaining about the shortened nomination process there. Party officials here said the process was “abridged” because of the need to get candidates in place for the election call.
Langbroek said he isn’t about to burn his Conservative membership card just yet, but his response will depend on how party officials answer an email he sent expressing his concerns.
So far, he said, he hadn’t received a reply.