The complete illogic of how the Bloc Québécois’ leadership woes continue to unfold continues to amaze. Over the weekend, the party executive emerged from a meeting to affirm their support for Marine Ouellet, but they extended the magnanimous gesture to not tear up the Bloc memberships of those seven MPs who walked out. This, of course, should surprise no one because badly our system has become corrupted by membership-driven leadership contests is that those same members who elected that leader will also help to install his or her friends into the party executive, which centralizes power for that leader. Witness Patrick Brown having Rick Dykstra installed as PC party president, or Justin Trudeau and his friend Anna Gainey. This is why the kind of rot in the PC party in Ontario happens – because the checks and balances within the party have eroded as it transforms itself into a cult of the leader. One a further note about Ouellet, Martin Patriquin notes that as Bloc fortunes continue to wane, she becomes a perfect scapegoat for the party’s demise.
Leadership selection in Canada is horribly broken. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can get some accountability back in politics. https://t.co/Jba4RLhdTZ
— Dale Smith (@journo_dale) March 3, 2018
As for Patrick Brown, the news of the weekend was how the party started making plans to deal with revelations of his dating history as it came out, particularly vengeful ex-girlfriends and staffers, which should have been alarm bells right then and there. But this is what happens when you try to deal with the leader that a membership-driven process delivers and who has a “democratic mandate,” whereas if caucus chose from among its ranks, they would know the kinds of open secrets about a candidate and could be steered away from choosing a leader with such skeletons on display, and furthermore, could easily deal with a leader whose vices and other personal problems came to light with swift action. This is yet another reason why caucus selection matters, if we can get past the populist impulses of the current system.