Few things in Canadian political news make sense to me. Between the mistrust, the misconduct, and the mistreatment, I’m coming to believe that our political system is a joke set up by two Kang-and-Kodos Alien creatures who eat their space popcorn while wondering how far they can take it. Then, late Tuesday May 13th, something interesting happened: the Tory candidate in Montreal’s Papineau riding was asked to resign. There was no spending scandal. There wasn’t even one of the cool scandals involving drugs and the mafia. Chris Lloyd was asked to resign because his candidacy was a hoax.
Much like Bono, Lloyd is a social activist who works to bring to light important issues. Unlike Bono, Lloyd is a talented artist, as evidenced by his latest performance art piece. As Lloyd describes in a speech made in Fredericton, his performance was a means to infiltrate the conservative party and then go rouge. “I’m going to like mess with your party,” said Lloyd in the art discussion, “I’m totally, like, going to wait till the writ is dropped, then it’s going to be party time.”
Now that he’s out in the open, how many other politician will admit their careers are either a performance art piece, a long-running joke, or a bet?
Before the CBC exposed Lloyd—leading to several Conservative face-palms and his hasty resignation—Lloyd participated in closed-doors meetings with other Tory candidates and senior cabinet ministers. He even made media appearances for the Conservatives.
The more you examine Lloyd’s campaign, the more you begin to discover that the regular Tory banter you couldn’t possibly take seriously was actually not to be taken seriously. Lloyd would write (now) seemingly over the top posts on social media like, “Keep foreign criminals out of canada (sic)! And build more prisons for local criminals!” and “We proud!” regarding the PC’s decision to slash its contingency fund to balance the budget.
What’s more outrageous is that Lloyd got this far into his plan with minimal consideration for stealth. Even with background checks and interviews with party officials, Lloyd secured his nomination despite his well-known opposition to Conservative policies. He even went as far as to publicize the Fredericton speech—which spelled out his true intentions—on his Facebook page only a month after winning the nomination. It seems our government officials face as strict a background check as your average Chuck-E-Cheese worker. At least our MPs get to play in the ball-pit, which is what I imagine most Parliamentary proceedings are.
While Lloyd’s project has brought to light some of the absurdities of our political system and have strained our credulity, Lloyd is truly working to bring about change in our Parliament. “I have to admit,” he said to the CBC, “I think our democratic process is an incredibly cynical, broken, kind of twisted affair. We generally don’t elect independent candidates. I really wanted to see if I could push the Conservative message, run under it and actually make a difference.” It seems Lloyd has slightly more audacity to affect political change than the average concerned citizen of Canada, which is way more than any of our politicians have.