It was an acrimonious and irrelevant session for this year’s federal conservative leadership contest in Ottawa the other night. The event was part of the annual ‘Canada Strong and Free Networking Conference’ sponsored by the right-wing former Manning Institute. What was achieved was questionable.
The only contestant for the leadership remaining mostly unravaged by opponents was Brampton mayor Patrick Brown. He wasn’t there. He was on his usual quest for ethic group sign-ups for the conservative party. They have come up with a name for Brown’s leadership campaigning. They call it ‘diaspora manipulating politics.’ Only Pierre Poilievre took a swipe at Brown. Poilievre is an equal-opportunity swiper who complains about everybody else.
But in true blue conservative fashion, the remaining contestants spent their time defaming each other. They seemed locked in the past. They haggled about abortion. If it was not for the recent leak of a proposed reversal of the Roe versus Wade abortion ruling in the United States Supreme court, most would have ignored the question.
Of course, answering questions never is Poilievre’s strong suit. He is happier on the attack. He was particularly outraged by Jean Charest accusing him of supporting the truckers’ convoy to Ottawa. (Which he did.) He retorted “that truckers have more integrity in their pinky finger” than Charest’s entire “scandal-plagued (liberal) cabinet.”
Charest declared that his experience as premier of Quebec made him the best qualified of the candidates to keep the country unified. Judging from the crowd reaction to the entire proceedings, unity did not appear to be on the agenda.
The only person who was having a good time was social conservative Leslyn Lewis. The best hit of the hour and a half event was when Lewis accused Poilievre of supporting the truckers for a photo-op.
But, typical of Canada’s conservatives they remained mired mainly in the past. Nobody on the stage seemed to have any idea of what Canada might be.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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