This week has marked the return of the House of Commons after their Holiday break and admittedly, it’s been a busy week so far. Between the day job, radio hits, sitting down to write a few blogs and getting to see my family in between, it’s been a robust start to things for sure. And on evenings like these, as much I love to write and it can be a great release for me, it’s also nice to be able to just unwind, watch a basketball game and enjoy some time away from it all.
But here’s the thing folks, in the past two weeks, every time I’ve tried to do that, something insane and totally unexpected has happened in the Conservative Leadership Race. It’s starting to get downright nutty and tonight, well, it’s happened again and it’s needed some commentary. It all started with this guy, remember him?
Yep, that’s Derek Sloane, the new Conservative MP from the rural Eastern Ontario riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington. As of my writing this, Mr. Sloane just completed his 9th sitting day in the House of Commons. Tomorrow he’ll finally hit the double-digit mark of days of Parliamentary service and of course, he’s running for the Conservative Leadership. He gave us that quick video last week with the message that “It’s time to stop being afraid to be Conservative”, which was a funny message from my perspective because one thing I’ve never considered Conservatives to be was afraid in any way of their Conservativeness. Anyway, given his new stature and his seeming belief that he and his dozens of hours deep Parliamentary experience and no discernible French language skills make him the natural choice to be the next Leader of the Official Opposition, he was doing some of the media rounds today. That lead him to the CTV Studios in downtown Ottawa, that overlook Parliament Hill, and an interview with none other than Evan Solomon. It was his chance to show why he should be the man, the next guy, the one who would be Canada’s next Prime Minister. And yeah, let’s just say he made an impact:
Yes folks, he made an impact alright, the same kind of impact that a buzzard makes when it dies midflight and falls to the ground. The same kind of impact that animal droppings make when they leave the hosts body and plop to the earth below. And yes, the same kind of impact that a rookie politician with no experience, no discernable skills, an over supply of belief in their own meager abilities makes when they go before a talented, experienced and professional journalist who knows their stuff and can smell bullshit from a mile away. It wasn’t pretty, not even close.
When I got home tonight I caught the clips of this thing on Twitter and wow, my mid was seriously blown. I mean, it was so bad, he was so unprepared and it was just so ignorant and bigoted. He managed to hit the “terrible interview” trifecta, in a way that few politicians ever recover from. And to think, that’s the first thing that most Canadians have ever heard of Derek Sloane, let alone heard from him. Is that the kind of “fearlessness” that he was talking about in his intro clip online? Unafraid to be completely misinformed, bigoted, unprepared and the poster child for every stereotype put out there that Conservatives have been trying to put down for decades?
It would seem so, because he obviously was too afraid to be compassionate, to do his homework or to just be a decent human being on national TV. Or to borrow some of Mr. Sloane’s language, maybe it was just too “complicated” to do that, or maybe his fearlessness of basic humanity is more “nuanced” than he showed tonight. Who’s to know for sure but wow that was 50 Shades of Awful, it was ugly, disgusting & mind blowingly bad. Thankfully Evan didn’t accept his bullshit and held his feet to the fire. But who would have guessed that doing so would cause this “fearless” snowflake to self combust and destroy his political career before he had enough time to find the men’s room in West Block?
All this is to say that if something doesn’t change fast, and I mean real fast, this race will start to take on clown car qualities. That’s something I carefully say with a lot of respect for my Conservative friends who I know were hoping this race would be a chance at renewal and a true debate about the future of their party. But at this point can you seriously imagine what a debate with this crew would look like? You’d have Sloane and Richard Décarie debating about who is most anti-LGBTQ, while Marilyn Gladu repeats her comments from last week that “there’s nothing wrong” with those opinions. Erin O’Toole trying to dodge it all by spouting Canada Proud’s greatest hits with an increasingly intense voice while Peter MacKay just stands in the corner, staying a quiet as a church mouse.
That scenario is becoming a much more viable scenario than seeing a debate that would resemble anything close to that thoughtful debate that some had hoped for. This race seems to be spinning out of control fast and the more that these candidates try to double-down to win over support from existing members, the further away that debate will be and the louder the sounds of comedic coming from that clown car will get. It’s clear this thing isn’t going as some seemingly had hoped and time will tell if that changes at all.