Roundup: Crawling to the finish line

It’s finally here! The end of the interminable Conservative leadership contest, and its byzantine rules and its ongoing bastardization of the Westminster system’s actual method of selecting party leaders that ensures accountability. No, we are due for yet another presidentalizing leader who has been campaigning on policy planks inappropriately (that is the grassroots membership’s job), and one who could very well have very little caucus support and all of the associated problems that come with that.

But before we get to that final vote tabulation, here we got with all of the pre-analysis and last-minute profiles. Éric Grenier traces the path to victory for the various Conservative leadership candidates, Andrew Coyne remarks that the lack of star power meant debates over ideas (err, not really). Kevin O’Leary’s campaign chair, Mike Coates, walks us through what happened during those five months and why O’Leary dropping out was the best for all involved. Susan Delacourt wonders if the Conservatives will emerge from their time with an interim leader having learned any lessons that the Liberals took almost a decade in opposition to learn.

And then there are the last-minute analyses of the various candidates. John Ivison notes Bernier’s capacity to come back from a past of blunders, along with the lack of policy from candidates like Scheer and Raitt, and Chong’s playing the role of Cassandra. Chris Selley takes a look at O’Leary and Leitch and notes that there wasn’t an appetite for a Canadian Trump-like figure, while Anne Kingston wonders if Leitch’s campaign didn’t actually reveal true Canadian values, that rejected her particular brand of messaging.

Meanwhile, at the “convention” itself, the Conservatives have decided to be petulant and make Liberal observers pay for tickets rather than follow tradition and allow a small number in, in exchange for similar rights at Liberal Party conventions. (The NDP, incidentally, still got free admission for their observers, proving that complete dickishness is still alive and well in the post-Harper era.) Here’s a look at Maxime Bernier’s riding, which is not as big-C Conservative as people might think. Bernier’s campaign took on some of Kevin O’Leary’s campaign staff, and it cost them a lot more money because of the rates they were being paid. Andrew MacDougall wonders if the Liberals will deploy attack ads against the new leader right away just like the Conservatives did to them.

Good reads:

  • At the G7 summit in Italy, other leaders are having a hard time coming to consensus with Donald Trump about trade and climate change.
  • The Liberals look to be backing down on the PBO legislation, and will indeed make him overly powerful and unaccountable.
  • What’s that? More delays with the naval shipbuilding programme? You don’t say!
  • Four new safe injection sites have been approved in BC and Quebec.
  • The federal government has said that they won’t go the Quebec route of mandating automakers sell a certain number of zero-emissions vehicles.
  • The most recent Fiscal Monitor shows that the government is on track to run a $21.8 billion deficit, which is a little smaller than they projected.
  • The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal chided the government about underfunding Indigenous child welfare yet again  (never mind that the system lacks capacity).
  • The National Post reprinted a segment of Michael Chong’s chapter from Turning Parliament Inside Out, whinging about how committees have been compromised.
  • Andrew MacDougall rails about how unfair it is that Nigel Wright got named and shamed by Mary Dawson over the ClusterDuff affair.
  • Colby Cosh spins a fascinating tale about the problems of the Fort McMurray fire on the census and how that now affects Alberta’s electoral boundaries commission.
  • Susan Delacourt wonders about the silence on Peter Mansbridge’s replacement, and what it says about the changing television news industry.

Odds and ends:

Here is Philippe Lagassé’s Storify of the discussion around government formation in BC and the problems with media narratives out there.

Here’s a look at the renovations to the National Arts Centre.

Noah Richler reviewed my book (plus two others) for the Globe and Mail. He likes it…kind of.