A final conservative debate that will not go down in history

The only three candidates who met in a largely lackluster final debate in the leadership race for the Conservative Party of Canada barely took on each other, reserving their criticism for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or the perceived leader of the leadership race. Pierre Poilievre, who was conspicuous by his absence.

Organized in a complex of industrial estates on the outskirts of Ottawa near the airport, the party’s third official meeting brought together only former Quebec premier Jean Charest, Ontario federal deputy Scott Aitchison and former Ontario MPP Roman Baber. Everyone is sitting around the same table in a narrow room.

The organization has pledged to “encourage new and old members” with an event tied to its budget as guided by its conservative policies. He debated without an audience, without wide camera shots, and suffered from some sound problems.

“We all agree, a true leader must be shown,” Jean Charest dropped in English as an attack on his main opponent, presumptive Nation leader Pierre Poilivre.

The message was simultaneously sent to social networks, where Charest clan to share Messages such as “Where’s Pierre”, and “Scared brother? » [You scared, bro ?]Embracing the aesthetic of memes on the web.

Call to vote

Meanwhile, on the artisanal television set, Mr Charest again presented himself as the only candidate in a position to win the next election, which he said could be called any day in the context of a minority government.

“You can put this team together,” he emphasized, pointing to the camera.

The former Quebec premier avoided attacks against other candidates Aitchison and Baber, who were trying to convince the audience to keep them as their first choice on the ballot. According to Molière, the practice became more dangerous in the second half of the controversy.

The themes of health, transport and taxation, in particular, gave rise to generally consensual discourse on the need to defeat the Liberal Party at the next election.

At most, the candidates politely debated the merits of supply management in the dairy industry, a program of which Mr. Charest said he was the sole defender. Scott Aitchison emphasized the danger of dividing conservatives. Roman Baber hinted at his opposition to some health measures against COVID-19 and asked Justin Trudeau to imagine facing him at the next election, “Or worse, Chrystia Freeland. »

“By the next election, I will speak French [aussi bien] than English,” Mr. Aitchison finally promised in his closing argument.

During the previous debate the exchange was characterized by a rivalry between candidates Pierre Poilever and Jean Charest. The two men have moved their attacks to the web, where they have been insulting each other for several months.

As of Wednesday, 150,000 Conservative members had already voted for their next leader, or about 22% of the roughly 678,000 members.

Better to do than argue

Two of the five candidates for leader had better things to do than run: Ontario MP and nation favorite Pierre Poilievre, as well as Ontario MP and candidate who champions the cause of opposition to abortion rights, Lesliene Lewis.

Although the final debate was taking place a stone’s throw from his constituency, Pierre Poilievre declined his party’s invitation, arguing that he had crossed swords enough with his opponents during the race. His campaign mocked the organization of the only official debate in English in Edmonton. Mr. Poilivere was in Saskatchewan on Wednesday.

The only Quebec elected official to support his campaign, Pierre Paul-Haas, said, there is Wednesday that he himself did not know he was going to watch the debate, describing it as useless.

Candidate Leslyn Lewis also announced her absence from this last debate, citing a scheduling conflict with an event already scheduled for her campaign. Absent candidates were assessed a $50,000 penalty by the party.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who ran in other official debates as a candidate, was disqualified from the leadership race by Conservative Party officials in July. He is accused of “accepting donations from a company,” which is against Elections Canada laws, as well as irregularities in the sale of hundreds of membership cards.


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