For New Westminster provincial Conservative candidate Paul Forseth, there's no doubt who he's supporting in the brouhaha surrounding the beleaguered party.
"I'm 100 per cent behind John Cummins, who resurrected the Conservative party from oblivion," said Forseth, the former federal MP who is hoping to make his mark in next May's provincial election. "He deserves to lead us into the next election."
Forseth was responding to a Wednesday afternoon press conference held by an opposing faction of Conservatives who are asking for Cummins' resignation. He said it's simply a case of sour grapes.
"The main board of the party, they're carrying on business as usual," said Forseth. "A few people, people who are unwilling to accept a 71 per cent vote in favour of John's leadership, they're continuing to agitate. And it's typical of the media that they concentrate on the minority. . The majority of the party supports John. I just think that these so-called dissidents, they call a press conference and what you have is a one-or two-day story. They have no other place to go. It's just silliness."
Forseth contrasted the dissidents' press conference with the media conference Cummins presided over earlier on Wednesday afternoon.
"The dissidents say the party can't raise money and can't sign up new members. They create the controversy and call a media conference to try to get that point across," said Forseth. "John comes out and shows the finances are in good shape and we've grown by more than 300 members. . That's John's way. He has his facts, he has substance, and that's his style."
The dissidents have given Cummins an ultimatum to resign by Oct. 12 or face a continued assault, but Forseth put little stock in that threat.
"I know John, and he's not going to resign," said Forseth.
As for what consequences the dissidents might face, Forseth said the Conservative party has clear rules and processes to deal with such dissent.
"If individuals continue to undermine the party, there is a due process to withdrawing their memberships," said Forseth. "If it comes to that, that's what will happen, but it will be done in a professional and fair manner. The board has to follow its constitution if they want to pull a membership."