Dear average Canadian,
I have joined the Conservative Party of Canada.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Kelley Leitch wants to "bring Donald Trump's message to Canada". Steven Blaney kicked off his leadership campaign by promising to invoke the 'notwithstanding' clause to ban niqabs in the public service.
I won't sit by and simply hope better minds will prevail.
I don't want to opt-out and see Canada get dragged in the wrong direction, which it will, if a Leitch or an Blaney type candidate win. I live here. If we let hate filled people get a grip on power and promote hatred, it's hard to shake them off afterwards. If they are given a platform to tap into the hatred that is already in people's hearts, that hatred comes out of the shadows. In broad daylight it gets even uglier.
So I've decided to use the power available to me - which is also available to you - and have a say in who the next leader of the Conservative Party will be.
The leadership race will be decided by a ranked ballot - each vote will count. Your first choice for leader may not win. But your second choice might be the one that prevails, and that's better than the worst possible outcome.
I'll vote in the Conservative race. I'll make a concrete action to help the decent candidates win. I know I won't agree with every policy they put forward. But I'll know they are caring people, with good judgement, who promote their ideas because they believe those policies are good for everyone and treat everyone equally.
No matter how you've voted in the past - or if you've never voted at all - I hope you choose to participate as well. What if moderate, normal and caring people sit back and let the CPC be taken over by the fringes? Well - that's how the United States got Trump.
Voting is ultimately the most powerful tool available to people in a democracy. So I'm taking up that power and putting it to good use. My vote may have no effect; it might be the vote that tips the scales, I can't know. But I will sleep better knowing I'm not letting an opportunity to make a difference pass me by.
I invite you to take a direct action as well.
Sleep well. The comment section is open if you have thoughts.
About the Race
The next CPC leader will be chosen in a one member one vote basis using a ranked ballot, so every vote will matter. You'll be able to rank multiple candidates. For a list of candidates and more details on the race visit Wikipedia: Conservative Party of Canada leadership election, 2017.
Candidates who won't be ranked
When it comes time to vote for the next CPC leader I'll be ranking all of the candidates who I think are good and reasonable people. I'll also look at their platforms and rank them by my own criteria (which I won't share publicly). But the following candidates will not get even a 6th, 7th or 8th place ranking from me because I think they are not reasonable people and deserve to fail. As the race progresses I'll document each candidate who fails to meet my basic criteria for "is a good human" and let you know why. It likely isn't the only reason why, but one reason is enough.
- Kevin O'Leary would have voted for Donald Trump.
- Kellie Leitch solicists support from racists via dog-whistle politics.
- Chris Alexander did nothing to stop "Lock Her Up" chants at a political rally.
- Pierre Lemieux. He sent out an email to the CPC membership (me!) and it was full of identity politics, and smacks of homophobia and hating trans-folk.
- Steven Blaney has said he's willing to use the 'notwithstanding' clause in the Charter in order to deny identifiable minorities their rights.
- more to come I'm sure...