What a lamentable process to select a “new player” in the game of determining the future of Canada. Call me Quixotic, but no parliamentary democracy can function without healthy – adversarial – debate.
I am not talking about exchanges of visceral, data-free opinion but critiques of researched ideas, visions, strategies dedicated to collective purpose. Political Parties – proverbial “big tent” organizations - serve as a germination and testing ground for the development of the grand scheme for the country - nation, in today’s political jargon.
For those who care, that would be a political party that functions as an incubator, for the development of the “Grand National Plan” to unfold the collective interests of the country. It is not merely a philosophical discussion about some utopian ideology. Ours is a huge country – bigger geographically than Europe or the USA and one tenth their size in population. We need healthy, thriving parties that are more than the expression of one politician’s ambition.
Sadly, the Conservative Party of Canada appears to have preferred the role of being an empty shell of its former self, awaiting a new lessee without testing their credentials first. After “bringing down” the leader, the Party apparatchiks proceeded to “cull the herd”, eliminating potential replacements via the usual cowardly procedural manipulations and financial disincentives. Even the Courts were loath to rectify the vilification and disqualification of “loyal party stalwarts”.
Now, two months before the rag-tag remnants of “believers in the cause” select their new leader in August, the CPC has no more debates in store for public consumption. The first, conducted totally in French was little more than a mutual sports-arena shout-down among candidates. The second, on the 18th, had “reached” 1,459 on one network’s online edition by the time it was over, and just over 3,500 on another – in a country of 37.5 million people.
Even if those numbers are an underestimation of the actual viewers, the country must be wondering what Conservative party members were watching at the time. No more debates – everyone’s mind is made up. That is all there is.
Maybe all Conservatives are certain that no Liberal can possibly be elected in the next electoral go-round. Therefore, no-one needs to question the CPC candidates vying for the top job why the rest of the country should entrust the reins of power to them.
We will ask them anyway: why should YOU of all people in Canada be our Prime Minister?
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