Will there ever be a sane, run-of- the-mill election? Probably not. The provincial elections are shaping up to be a doozy and we haven’t even gotten to the campaign period yet.
The Progressive Conservatives still have to figure out who will lead them through the fray. And that doesn’t seem to be going well. Not only is the membership list called into question, but legitimate members are frustrated over the registration process.
Either way, the state of the PC party post-Patrick Brown is a little bit of a mess.
However, having these issues plague the party during the election, rather than before it, would be much, much worse.
Interim leader Vic Fedeli was a bit busy with his plan to “root out the rot” of the party. He announced on March 6, that he gives the party a “clean bill of health.”
Whether members agree with him or not, by letting Fedelli focus on the issues surrounding the party, it allows the new leader to start fresh.
PC members choose their new leader on March 10, and whoever it is will have the opportunity to hit the ground running once campaigns get going.
Considering the election scandal plaguing the U.S. and concerns about future election interference here, having a solid party is key to getting through the next few years.
Having a leader chosen by the majority of party members, rather than by a select few, is the PCs’ best chance at solidarity.
To heck with it
When former Progressive Conservative party leader Patrick Brown stepped down in January amid sexual misconduct allegations, it left the party scrambling for a new leader.
The choice? Hold a leadership election. Under normal circumstances I’d be all for a democratic vote. However in a rushed month-and-a-half long time frame I think an appointment may have been the better choice.
The election process has been plagued by problem after problem.
First, a month and a half is not enough time to get to know a candidate and make an informed vote.
Then to vote, registered PC party members had to receive a 12-digit verification code by snail mail, upload a piece of photo ID and a document verifying their address, receive an email, go to another website, enter their voter ID, receive a PIN and then log in again with both numbers.
Lost yet? I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few PC party members said “to heck with it.”
On top of the cumbersome process, there’s confusion over the time frame. Originally voting was to begin March 2 and conclude March 8. Now the time frame is condensed and began March 7 and concludes March 9.
Who can keep track?
While it’s honourable to hold up the democratic process, exceptions should be made in dire circumstances. Appointing a PC leader would likely have led to far fewer headaches.