George Abbott campaign denies signing up a cat as a B.C. Liberal member

The George Abbott campaign has issued a "clarification" about the signup of a cat as a B.C. Liberal member—insisting that it wasn't responsible for the sale of this particular membership.

On February 4, the Globe and Mail reported that "Olympia Marie Wawryk" joined the B.C. Liberals in December. Olympia happens to be a cat who belongs to Christy Clark campaign volunteer Kristy Wawryk.

Abbott subsequently issued a statement acknowledging that one of his campaign workers created a prank website about the cat, and asked the person to take it down.

"I believe it is important to focus our discussion on the serious issues at play—primarily, the gaps in the party’s ability to properly validate new members coming into the system," Abbott said.

Since then, Abbott's spokesperson, Karen Cook, has issued a clarification on Abbott's remarks after some "confusion regarding which campaign is responsible for the signup of the animal".

"To be completely clear, the Abbott campaign has absolutely no involvement in the signup of the cat to the BC Liberals membership list, and will refute any allegations to the contrary," Cook maintained. "It is our continued understanding—and confirmed both in the Globe and Mail article of February 4 as well as a follow-up CKNW interview with the Globe and Mail reporter—that the cat in question was signed up by an associate of the Clark campaign."

Comments

7 Comments

glen p robbins

Feb 6, 2011 at 2:52pm

The Public Eye article doesn't make Christy innocent or Abbott guilty.

What this issue and the information around it suggests is that journalists in this province apparently have a difficult time focusing on the truly important questions into better theory--they are simply dancing around--to create somewhat childish drama, something not much better than National Inquirer, a poor attempt to make a disinteresting leadership contest gossip worthy. A story where there may be no story.

A competent journalist--rather than a rounder-- would track the process for handling specific completed membership forms at the party level. When a completed membership form comes into the party presumably with the payment or envelope of cash, or cash affixed to the form - that membership ought to be credited of one of the leadership candidates - ready to be vetted along with other memberships to determine which are valid and which are not.

Memberships arrive at the BC Liberal headquarters by some type of method - personal delivery - etc. Someone - or entity is the sender and someone at headquarters receives the membership.

Who was responsible for the delivery of the cat membership? Whoever was responsible for the delivery of the cat membership--more specifically whichever candidate's (agent) was the deliverer is the more guilty. If the party is not able to answer this - it tells the public more about the incompetence of the party generally - then some pedantic circumstantial political story - as this has become.

If a party can't handle its membership administration they certainly shouldn't be handling the people's money - a news theory I suspect many British Columbians would more easily support than this journalistic drivel.

9 8Rating: +1

David H

Feb 6, 2011 at 3:15pm

Note how the "spokesmodel" denied being involved in signing up a cat ... but not a dog.

How many dogs now belong to the BC Faux Liberal Party? We may never know. But I speak from experience when I say that behind every cat, there is a dog chasing it.

Not that I object to cats and dogs voting for the next BC Faux Liberal leader. They could hardly do worse than their two-legged counterparts.

9 7Rating: +2

whatAjoke

Feb 7, 2011 at 4:14am

One of these things is not like the other..one of these things just doesn't belong...

Joe Blow
Jane Doe
Morris The Cat
John Smith

11 8Rating: +3

RonS

Feb 7, 2011 at 11:24am

Hey Abbott I think you have it wrong. You should sign up as many cats and dogs as possible. That may be the only votes the LIbERalS get in the next election. Whaddya think Georgie? On the right track eh!

10 9Rating: +1

blaffergassted

Feb 7, 2011 at 1:51pm

This cat story is just the tip of an iceberg when it comes to political party sign-ups.

Considering the fact that each new membership brings in money, what incentive does any political party have to properly screen its memberships?
None.

In fact, checking them out is a disincentive, because it will only lead to fewer members and fewer donations, both of which ' look bad' when the media starts reporting on these internal party machinations.

I'm guessing that there are many people, not just 'ethnic' or 'special interest' groups who specialize in fraudulent memberships ... and no party is immune to this kind of manipulation.

9 8Rating: +1