Blog of Adam Daifallah -- author, journalist, law student. Lover of politics, writing, golf, curling, fitness, fashion, bacon and maple products -- not necessarily (but probably) in that order. Partisan of the Anglosphere. Contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Tory convention post-mortem
Lots in the papers today already on the Tory convention, but here are my thoughts:
Overall, it was a good convention. Harper and the leadership got what the wanted. A party that looked (relatively) united, a promise to not legislate on abortion, an endorsement of traditional marriage, a good leadership review vote (84% say no), no youth wing (51-49 against) and so on. No factions walked out, no one quit to start their own party, no one threw tomatoes at the leader. Not bad by Conservative Party standards. I was also pretty surprised at the turnout. The room was absolutely packed with people all the time.
The media coverage all weekend seemed to me to be a little too harsh. For instance, Saturday's La Presse headlined that Harper would reverse Martin's decision to not join missle defence. Harper never said that in his Friday speech. He said he would reconsider. The press predictably focused on Peter Mackay's hissy fit on Friday afternoon, in which he said the merger could come undone if MP Scott Reid's proposal to give ridings with more people more convention delegates passed. It didn't pass, so all is well.
I attended almost the whole thing, and leave with two impressions. One, this party still has a ways to go in the area of professionalization. For instance, there were not enough simultaneous translation headsets for the delegates, and those speaking at the mics in French were often ignored. Francophone delegates were understandably insulted and embarassed that they felt the need to speak English when talking to resolutions at the mics. That shouldn't ever happen at a national party convention in Canada.
Also, I very much felt that there were still two parties there: the old federal PCs and the Alliance. Votes on policy resolutions and constitutional amendments -- such as the one on the youth wing -- divived along the old party lines. You didn't see a lot of former federal PCs mingling with former Reformers/Alliance types in the hallways. The new party still has some gelling to do.
# posted by Adam Daifallah : 4:58 PM