Jim Karahlios & Campaign Life Coalition push to reverse his disqualification

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on March 25, 2020

The Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), as well as Jim Karahalios’ campaign have launched petitions for the purpose of pushing Conservative Party’s Leadership Election Organization Committee (LEOC) to reinstate Karahalios after being disqualified on March 20th. 

The CPC’s disqualified Karahalios after the Party’s Dispute Resolution Appeals Committee (DRAC) had received complaints from a race relations group who had asserted criticism’s Karahalios made against Erin O’Toole’s campaign chairman Walied Soliman were in some way racist.

The CLC, on their petition, asserted that, “[Karahalios’] disqualification at the hands of the party’s Dispute Resolution Appeals Committee (DRAC) is illegitimate. According to the published leadership election rules, this small group of anonymous people on DRAC do not possess the authority to disqualify candidates.”

So far the CLC’s petition has collected 1,568 signatures in support of Karahalios.

The pro-life organization also disputed the assumed reasoning behind the decision to disqualify Karahalios as not being consistent with party policy to take issue with.

CLC said, “Furthermore, his criticism of Sharia Law is not a legitimate reason to disqualify him.  Our Conservative Policy Declaration contains no policy in support of Sharia, nor any policy condemning criticism of Sharia, therefore it cannot be reasonably asserted that he was in contravention of any party policy or rule.”

Jim Karahlios has regarded his disqualification by the DRAC as another example of what he has been calling the “Red Tory Coronation”. His belief is that Conservative Party officials are pushing for Peter MacKay or Erin O’Toole to win the leadership race.

Just yesterday Karahalios officially launched a court case against the CPC for his wrongful disqualification. Karahalios’ legal team summed up their points of contention in a statement which is what the excerpt below is taken from. 

The Application argues the relief should be granted for three reasons: 1. The disqualification was done in bad faith; 2. The disqualification was unlawful because Karahalios did not violate any of the Leadership Rules and the Party officials who ordered the disqualification had no authority to sanction candidates who have not violated the Rules or to disqualify any candidate in any circumstance; and 3. The disqualification offended the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.

Jim further detailed his grievances with how the party has treated him in a long Twitter thread posted on Tuesday.

This is all happening at the same time that there is a heavy push both for and against a delay to the Conservative leadership vote from the verified candidates.

Erin O’Toole recently joined Derek Sloan in seeking a delay to the leadership race due to the dangers inherent in fundraising and campaigning during the COVID19 pandemic. 

On the other hand Leslyn Lewis and Peter MacKay have advocated for the leadership vote to be kept the same or held earlier under the reasoning it is detrimental for the CPC going forward to continue to not have a new leader to replace Andrew Scheer.

Karahalios would be aided most by pushing back the day for the leadership vote, as he would get more time for his court case and public pressure to potentially have him reinstated as a candidate by the LEOC. 

With all of these new issues popping up around the Conservative leadership race there is an uncertainty on who will eventually be on the ballot on the day of the vote, and whether that day will be on June 27th or not.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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