Canadian Politics

The CPC leadership is over: don’t forget to write (a cheque)

There couldn’t possibly be any irony in the fact that Conservative Party of Canada leadership contestants have issued requests for donations to pay off their debts, could there?

Imagine, if you will, listening to people who, for the better part of seven months railed against the free-spending current government – on Canadians, no less – claiming to be the fiscal saviours the country will need, requesting donations to “help finalize paying leadership expenses”.

A leadership race which started right around the beginning of a global pandemic, continued through three months of lockdown, with events held mostly online, and due to public health restrictions on gathering sizes was unable to host the myriad of in-person events normally planned, somehow saw individual candidates blow through hundreds of thousands of dollars – apparently without concern for spending more money than they had available.

The winner, Erin O’Toole, who is now eligible for government housing in Ottawa, sent out a request on Tuesday asking for $25,000.

Leslyn Lewis, whose second ballot showing dominated in western Canada and is positioned to become the next Rona Ambrose, requested $50,000 so that she could pay off debt and have money available to challenge a seat when one becomes available.

I understand politics is an expensive gamble.

Every four years – at least – people spend tens of thousands of dollars vying to serve the public for a regular paycheque. Vowing to right the wrongs of the previous government and claiming only they should be trusted with your vote; and your money.

“Won’t somebody please think of the deficit (incurred while that other party is governing)!” They wail.

(And please send money – we spent too much complaining about it.)

I understand politics is expensive.

But while millions of Canadians were forced out of the job market due to a public health crisis, two candidates either managed to spend more than they had available or are attempting to capitalize on their success by asking for more.

Pardon me; I just threw up in my mouth a little.

This post contains opinion.

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a snarky political columnist physically distancing in the Conservative Heartland of Southern Alberta. Connect: @Mitchell_AB