Petition created to postpone CPC Leadership Race in wake of pandemic

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on March 16, 2020

Petition to the Conservative Party Canada is gaining support from CPC Membership

A new petition has been put out by Elect Conservatives, which has a large online social media presence, to postpone the Conservative leadership race in the wake of the Coronavirus.

This makes a lot of sense from a few different perspectives. First of all is safety. During a global pandemic, having politicians gather multiple large crowds a day to solicit for donations and support is a clear health hazard to everyone involved. This is why the two leading candidates, Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole have suspended their campaigns.  

There are still six other candidates that are stuck campaigning since they have yet to hit the required $300 000 in fees and deposits that they will need to make by March 25th. This is an insane amount of money to gather in such a short time that the other candidates have no choice but to be out there trying to raise money.

This brings us to the 2nd reason to postpone the deadline, this race presents some really terrible optics for the Conservative party.  Canadians are facing the brunt of a bad economy, jobs fleeing Alberta and now the extreme market uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic. The average Canadian is not in a position right now to be donating to politicians. Having people representing the Conservatives asking for money in public during a pandemic looks really bad on the party.

Decision to postpone has to be made

Finally, the pandemic has closed parliament until at least April 20th. Meaning that the main reason that this whole race was so rushed to begin with, needing to get someone into parliament to be seen challenging Trudeau, has been mitigated. With there being no parliament for over a month, logically this can push the need for a new leader back by a month.

Fort McMurray-Cold Lake Member of Parliament recently told TNT that under the current outbreak of the Coronavirus, and the warnings from Public Health to avoid public gatherings, the prospect of fundraising over the next few weeks presents a potential safety risk to the candidates and Canadians.  

There was another matter which Yurdiga pointed out, which is the optics/practicality of fundraising during a pandemic when he said “right now most Canadians are focused on essentials”.

For whatever reason, the Conservative party needs to suspend this race as soon as possible. Letting it go on can only do harm to the Conservative brand, whether they are seen as politically unsavvy, Elitist/ financially out of touch, or worst yet negligent to public safety.  

Lisa Raitt and the Conservatives have to do the smart thing for the members.

Elect Conservative Founder has safety Concerns for the CPC Candidates

The National Telegraph spoke to the founder of Elect Conservatives for their efforts put forth to help bring awareness to the CPC Members. 

Yaakov Pollak told TNT,

The Canadian public is rightfully focused on the coronavirus and taking care of their families. Continuing the campaign seriously risks the integrity of the race, while also putting Canadians at potential danger. It’s time for the CPC to take the coronavirus seriously and suspend the leadership campaign for the good of Canada.

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Currently the Conservative party has not made any official statements about the leadership race and the coronavirus, but the candidates have mostly been canceling their large events and been trying to move campaign activities online as much as possible.

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

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