The Conservative Party of Canada promised it would hold open nominations across the country in the lead up to the 2015 federal election (widely expected to be the greatest mass-firing of public officials since the great purge of ’93). It promised that, unlike in the past, it wouldn’t protect incumbent Conservative MPs from challengers. For some reason, the Party faithful believed this promise. Why? It’s hard to say, given that this Party, branded with the image of its leader Stephen Tsarper, isn’t known for telling the truth. It seems the Party faithful were destined to be disappointed.
Well, folks, we’ve arrived at yesterday’s future and it looks much like we expected it would. Big surprise- the Conservative Party of Canada lied (don’t worry, they’re not the only ones). Dmitri Soudas, the Party’s Executive Director, was fired yesterday for trying to interfere in a nomination contest in Ontario. You, the weary reader, unable to keep up with the Conservative scandal machine, probably can’t tell the difference between a Soudas and a Del Mastro, or any other troubled Con. It’s understandable. We all want to live in a world in which scandals are few and far enough between that we can actually sink our teeth into each one. Alas, we no longer live that world. So here is your refresher- Soudas is the guy who didn’t pay his taxes. Now he’s out on the street.
We can all agree that Soudas is just one small piece of the bigger puzzle. Like all puzzles, its pieces are crooked. Like all puzzles, we have to put it together with the bigger picture in mind. So let’s examine that bigger picture.
In light of recent events, it made no sense for anyone in the Conservative Party of Canada to expect fair nominations contests across the country. Party members who actually believed that these contests would take place was either delusional or simply not paying attention. The proof, folks, is in the Act. This government, led by this Party, recently introduced legislation to make the next election the “Fairest Ever!” For too many reasons to list here, it completely fails at its stated objective. Curious readers seeking a more detailed explanation of the Fair Elections Act may consult Andrew Coyne. But the point here is not to prove that the Fair Elections Act is a pile of garbage…we already know that. The jet stream blows west-to-east, so every one downwind of Ottawa has been loading up on air freshener ever since Pierre Poilievre opened his mouth to defend the indefensible back in early February. That much is clear. What is unclear is why members of the Party that introduced this steaming pile of legislation, the very people who should know best what it means to lie and cheat one’s way through an election, would ever believe their Party when it promised a fair election to its own candidates.
As the old saying goes: “Fool me once, shame on the electorate. But if you dare fool me twice, Dmitri Soudas gets fired.” In other words, “It is unreasonable to inflict on me the same damage I enthusiastically inflict on my countrymen.” Soudas’ dismissal betrays a certain sense of invincibility amongst the Party faithful- a feeling that the CPC really is Canada’s natural governing party. Yet it also shows that there is a major problem on the horizon. As Andrew Coyne said in the link you probably didn’t read, “when you start to believe your own rhetoric, your brains turn to mush.” There are only so many people like Dmitri Soudas who the Conservatives can fire before facing the inevitable truth. There is only one man at the top, and Stephen Tsarper will say or do whatever is necessary to keep his hands on the reigns. If that means promising you a fair election that he doesn’t plan on delivering, it doesn’t matter if you’re a CPC enthusiast or a run-of-the-mill Canadian citizen. He won’t hesitate for a second.