Sunday, February 1, 2009

"A good name is better than riches."

Just what the "h" is going on in this party? Unsettling, yet unsurprising news today from the OYL convention in Ottawa: contenders for OYL executive positions have "confessed" to cheating, with at least one poor young neophyte reduced to tears after being convinced to participate in nothing less than than voter fraud - and getting caught. Bad enough that slates (read factions) are the order of the day in the youth wing of the party, now it's confirmed that winning at all costs is more important than say, er, um, democracy.

Word is that supporters of OYL Presidential candidate Krista Balsom, who was running a slate, talked a young, high-school aged, new liberal in to voting a second time using the credentials of another delegate who had to leave before polls opened, as they were concerned about a tight race for one of the few contested positions. And, surprise, surprise - she got caught. The "perps" have apparently confessed, and one of them, themselves a member of the YLC national executive, is under intense pressure to resign that position, or be otherwise be swiftly "impeached".

And the worst part is, one can hear the old CSNY classic playing softly in the background: Teach your children well.


  1. Balsom should resign. She orchestrated the entire thing and is now pointing fingers at others.

  2. With any luck, she will point the finger at herself (as well as others), and as you say, do the right thing and resign. Not something we are used to doing in this party of ours, taking responsibility.

    But is one (or a couple) of individuals taking responsibility enough? I'd be more encouraged if we began to see some leadership from the OYL and the YLC in changing, rather than emulating the "personality-cult, winning is the only objective" attitude and modus of the party in general.

  3. This has Brunsdon's fingerprints all over it!

  4. Balsom needs to resign now. In fact, she should have the second this wrongdoing was uncovered.

    I wonder what her boss Judy Foote, MP thinks about this?

  5. It is all very concerning. I am sure Ms Foote will not be "pleased" - she is showing her own courage and sense of right, right now, nor likely other employers, let alone ILMI and the Premier.

    And, sorry, but because it is Quixotique's wont, (and also because Quixotique is much wiser (read not a young lib by a long shot)) I've simply got to repeat that beyond Krista, Denise and others learning a lesson and getting a comeuppance, it's time that this whole tired organization learned one too.

  6. Krista should be embarassed. She should resign immediately for the sake of the OYL. I wonder if Jacob, the former president, had anything to do with this?

  7. I think it's important we allow the facts of the situation to come out... it's clear something went down, but with few or no facts on the table we owe it to ourselves to make sure we know what happened before we start singling out people

  8. what does Denise and Krista have to say for themselves?

  9. The entire OYL AGM and the campaigning up to this AGM has been backstabbing, horrendous, and has led to many traditional OYLers "aging themselves out years before they need to be." By This I mean with the actions of last years AGM, and the tactics taken by Balsom's campaign team, and herself, this year, many have simply decided they will have nothing more to do with OYL.

    Brunsden and Balsom should resign or be impeached. Both the YLC and the OYL must remove these two individuals swiftly and I for one would like to see it go as far as disbanding them from the party completely. Their actions are completely disturbing.

    The best remove themselves, or have themselves removed by others - or I, and many others, will find themselves losing all faith in the youth wing of this party (I have already heard this from many members) - THEIR ACTIONS SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED IN ANY WAY.. they are an afront to democracy and stains on our party.

  10. From:

    Dear Fresh Meat:

    This is what multiple very reliable sources have told me:

    As people were voting, candidate scrutinizers kept track of who voted, and cross referenced their "identified voters". From this, it was
    clear that OYL First candidates were not wining. The president elect's two main campaign manager's then started to freak out - didn't want the opposition to get satisfaction they were able to beat them - it was personal, literally. So these campaign managers made fake delegate badges with the names of those who had not yet voted. President-elect
    was then commissioned by her managers to find unknown delegates to take the badges and go vote again for the slate. After many questionable badges, and one nervous looking delegate, the fraud-ring
    was squashed.

    In the emergency meeting, president - elect did admit to her role. President-elect should be making some sort of announcement soon, say
    within 48 hours. Her new exec is not impressed and may very well impeach her if she does not resign. But if that's where it ends, not
    all responsible will be held accountable. There is also a strong possibility that the YLC exec will now also be taking disciplinary action against one of their own, who each of my sources say was
    certainly involved in this. Lesson learned: in politics, friends are not always true friends, if they don't really have your back or your
    interests as much as their own in times of such crises. Lesson two: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    I do not think the two opposed OYL First candidates who lost were involved in any way, they were used as pawns in a personal game.

    For Watergate, the whole thing was based on anonymous sources, sometimes they are a necessary evil.

  11. It is easiest to personalize this and continue the political game of recriminations and vendettas (could be too harsh a word) for past political gamesmanship.

    By many accounts, Krista, as an example, is one of the most dedicated, hard-working and progressive young liberals in our midst, full of energy, committment and ideas. So the question becomes, what on earth, may have driven her to respond to political challenge in this way, when it would seem so uneccessary? In some measure it just doesn't make sense.

    This is the stuff that needs to be examined in the context of the Party's current "renewal". What kind of training ground has the "senior" party provided to our youth? And is it any different than that which we provide to new members/recruits generally? Why has the youth wing of the party become as (or more) power-oriented and factionalized as the rest of the Party?

    Maybe some sort of positive legacy can come from this unfortunate situation - if the OYL (and YLC) actually look at the root causes as opposed to only the immediate circumstances/actions.

  12. Thank you for having enough honour not to delete or self-censor this post unlike other Liberal bloggers have done.

  13. Krista Balsom did not encourage anyone to do anything. I know the girl who was convinced. Krista approached this girl herself.

  14. I think everyone needs to hear all the facts before making outlandish comments about their peers.

    Everything that has been said has been comepltely exagerated due to rumors and heresay. Yes, something went down at the AGM. But I find it interesting that those who weren't even at the event are stepping up to give their two cents.

    I think that people need to hear all the facts before ruining the repuation of two people who have dedicated themselves to this party.

    Everyone who participated in the AGM this weekend are happy about the results and are ready to move forward. The OYL executive has a lot of great initiatves for this year, and are coming together to make them possible. Each of them, including the newly elected VP Federal and Student Director, are eager to get to work and put this weekend behind them. I think its time for everyone else to do the same.

  15. Denise and Krista are GUILTY as charged. They have defined who they are. Krita is as crooked as they come, and should be thankful that her boss has not canned her yet. Denise? Well, no surprise there.

  16. It is noon in Ottawa and to my knowledge, Balsom has not resigned from her exec position or her job at Footes office.

    OYL exec take notice, I will go to the media with this if she has not resigned both positions by 5 PM EST.

    Balsom will never work in Ontario politics again.

  17. You don't need the media.SDA has linked to you.

    Looking for priciples under the Lib umbrella...?Kidding, right?

  18. > Balsom will never work in Ontario politics again.

    Right you are. Having demonstrated that she totally gets the Liberal philosophy, I expect she's already been approached by Ignatieff and offered Warren Kinsella's old job.

  19. BC Voice of ReasonFebruary 2, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    What is the delegate count of the OLC and the YLC at the convention that elected Mr. Dion leader? Will that be the same as the official appointment of Mr. ignatieff as the new leader in May.

    It always seems to me that the Youth wings of the parties have signifcantly more influence in the party (policies and leadership direction) than their numbers, experience and now apparently ethics and moral standards merit.

    While it is good to have involvement it appears that there more motivation in playing the game and winning the race than public service.

  20. Does anyone have any proof that this happened? This is absolutely disgusting, but from what I've heard, this is nothing more than "he said, she said".

    Let's get some evidence before we start slandering these people.

  21. It has all been admitted to.

  22. Cheating and fraud in the Liberal Party?

    Is anyone really surprised?

  23. It's not that it's not surprising because it's the Liberal Party...It's not surprising because Denise is involved.

  24. She Has Resigned!

  25. When? Where's the statement? What about Brunsdon?

  26. What a fcking joke this all is.
    Krista, you are disgrace to the Liberal Party. You will be fired from your job if you don't walk away.
    Denise, it's about time you walk away. Too many enemies, fake bff's don't count.
    The media is going live with this story tomorrow.
    Good job guys!

  27. Krista has done the right thing, and quickly. She has also resigned her position with Judy Foote. She has taken responsibility and that is rather adult and non-youthish.

    Now instead of continuing with this personalized venom spitting, factionalized "debate" start talking about what needs to be done to change things.

  28. Ms Brunsdon resigned from the YLC Executive this morning.

  29. Who is the Anonymous? Grow up. What a jerk you are.

    She was indeed one of the most dedicated liberal I have ever seen in my life and I am not a young liberal.

    You look like jackals devouring your prey - so quick to turn and rip a life apart - because that is what you are talking about here - Krista lives for the liberal party.

    This is a tragedy and a travesty. I don't know for sure if she did it or if she is taking a fall but even if she did, the party is incurring a loss here.

    So maybe just chill on the pack attitude - you do not truly have the best interest of the party at heart.

  30. I agree with h... this is really sad. I particularly feel bad for Krista. I think she is a good Liberal and more importantly a good person who got counsel from some people who tend to believe that the ends always justify the means. I hope Krista takes a much needed holiday and then stays involved in the party - we need people with her passion and enthusiasm. Everyone makes mistakes, it takes a mature person to own up to them, which is what Krista has done by resigning.

  31. I am in complete agreement with "h" and Anon@9:48.

    There is much for everyone to learn from this; some, including Krista already have.

  32. She had it coming!

  33. Defending her duplicitous actions are preposterous! She was the acclaimed President and yet she still had to cheat in the most disgusting manner to get two more people on her slate. Those 2 thankfully and ironically lost. To try and say this should be excused because she is a nice person is ridiculous.

    She didn't resign because she wanted to or resign from her job because she wanted to she resigned because she had to. This was after a desperate attempt to canvass the executive to see if she had enough support to stay on. This is the height of unmitigated gall and hubris.

    Also to act like she was the innocent victim of other forces for god's sake she is a grown adult totally responsible for her own misguided actions. The point is she was apart of a group of people obviously including her BFF Denise Brundson who has resigned as well.

    Also this martyr fall on her sword to protect others is also preposterous.
    Again remember she was acclaimed and yet she still felt the need to cheat oh and yes she admitted to cheating ask her for a copy of her resignation letter to the board. This type of thing hurts all liberals young and old how many more times can the Libs be seen as being cheats etc. She literally threw away a promising mid level political career and her current position for nothing more than despicable greed. You can say all the platitudes you like but Krista Balsom and Denise Brundson can never will never again work in Federal or Provincial Liberal politics in any fashion because any one associated with them will rightfully so be stigmatized. I find it disgusting that one poster here talks about hoping she has a much needed holiday... she should be charged criminally and her vacation should be 6 months in a penetentiary. People like Krista Balsom and Denise Brundson make me ashamed to say I'm a Liberal and yet we are apart of a pack for daring to condem their deplorable actions. It's like a few posters here cannot fathom what the effects of this type of thing does to the Pary as a whole.
    Sweeping it under the rug doesn't help I'm sorry resigning three days after you were caught cheating because you had to resign is not enough.
    Wait till the media get wind and you will soon see.

  34. Hey Anonymous and 9:03 p.m. Calm down! I think you're too angry. You should probably talk to somebody about the deeper issues that lead you to such irrational outbursts.

    I hope you get better.

  35. There is nothing irrational whatsoever about these despicable actions only trying to pretend they are not despicable. Maybe you should also seek help for your delusion problems.

    Also patronizing me doesn't change the disturbing actions of Krista Balsom and Denise Brundson. They are the ones who have literally ruined their lives. Remember they very much want paid employment in politics that ended forever by their own hands.

  36. I've decided to keep comments open and continue to allow anonymous comments as some people obviously need someplace to vent.

    However, Anon@9:03, I don't think too many people, certainly not Quixotique are defending Krista's actions nor trying at all to sweep this under the rug. But what is the point of more vindictive?

    What Krista was involved in was unconscionable, misguided and wrong. I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. Of course such actions may be "condemned". But really it seems unreasonable to continue to push the matter in the context you do. We are well beyond public flogging in this country, and as Liberals are surely more interested in rehabilitation and using such travesties to change things, improve things.

    Rather than continue to personalize it, why don't you propose something to make sure that more people do not end up walking in Krista's shoes?

  37. Dear Quixotique:

    Your points are very well taken. I am just so upset by the how unnecesary what has happened is and I was reacting to what i thought was a litany of excuse making. But you are right now is the time to consider how do we prevent these things from happening again.
    I will actually think long and hard about possible suggestions that might improve the situation for the future.
    I appreciate you saying that these actions are not to be excused.
    I believed in Krista and am just so upset by what has happened.

  38. "I believed in Krista..."

    Anonymous@8:37: This is perhaps the most important lesson to be learned all round and might be a good starting point for you and others.

    For Krista, hopefully the lesson is about the responsibilities and burdens of candidacy: as a candidate, and subsequently as an elected official you are carrying forward - representing - the views and values of your supporters and electors. You cannot expect them to blindly agree or continue to support you out of loyalty or position alone.

    Not dissimilar from one of the lessons to you may have learned through your disappointment already, Anonymous: blind support/belief for the person as opposed to the person's values or ideals (program)is in some cases off-kilter from the whole concept of representative democracy.

  39. I feel like a complete stupid idiot since the AGM. Both Denise and Krista were examples for me of how young women CAN be involved in the political process.
    It turns out these 2 are crooked as they come!
    Youth keep telling me its the "end of an era". What the hell does that mean?
    I'm going back to focus my energy on volunteering for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. I don't want to be associated with criminals.

  40. Libchick: your comment to me summarizes why this event has been so tragic. I hope that people have learned from this. Krista and Denise got into politics for the right reasons... to further a liberal pluralistic democratic worldview, but somewhere along the line they got corrupted. Hopefully people will see what has happened and this will prevent other idealistic young activists from also getting corrupted along the way

  41. Well, after a month of hiding in a hole somewhere I have been given information that may be of great relief to some. Krista is rumoured to be out of solitary, and out of politics. Let us hope she can keep her corrupted ideals out of the Liberal party for good. She really was a nice person, which leaves me believing that it was all an act to begin with. Wolf in sheeps clothing? It is clear she was thinking only of herself, and not those around her, who trusted her. The rumour mill says she is already in the process of moving out of Ontario. I guess she would rather run with her tail between her legs. Wherever she may end up, I hope that the shadow that follows her never goes pale, so she may have a stark reminder of the choice she made.