To canvass or not to canvass?

I received a couple of unsolicited calls and placed a couple of my own this morning, attempting to clarify the backstory on the branch (or a portion of the branch) challenge that seems to be underway against Pembroke UBP MP Jamahl Simmons.

What did I find out? Not a ton really, except that the situation seems very messy, very intense, contained to that branch, driven by a core group of long-standing branch members, but really something that's been bubbling below the surface for awhile. Not too many of the people I spoke with wanted to go anywhere near it.

One of the things that does seem clear is that there is a level of discontent over the amount and/or quality of canvassing that Jamahl does.

It seems that over a year ago there was a Pembroke regional (multi-branch) meeting where Jamahl's canvassing came up and was a topic of heated discussion. After that I was told he did pick up the pace, but that it's dropped off again and that the branch doesn't equate socialising with canvassing...ie. they want hardcore data driven canvassing.

That seems to be a big issue: Jamahl says he's canvassing, a claim that seems to be being disputed.

There's also the issue of former MP Erwin Adderley having a long term interest in that seat, which after being redrawn for single seats largely covered his old geographic area. It seems that he is embarking on a path that would lead to a potential primary challenge.

That's about all I could really seem to get. No-one I spoke with was impressed with the way this was playing out in the press, but no-one seems to have the complete story.

So that's all I can make of it.

The one consistent message from people though was: "This is not what we need and is embarrassing."

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