PC Convention

On and off today I’ve been watching the leadership convention of the Progressive Conversatives. At this very moment, they’re on the third ballot and will most certainly need to go to a fourth. Nova Scotia’s Peter MacKay is widely expected to win. The other Nova Scotian in this four-way race, Scott Brison, had to drop out after the second ballot, on which he came fourth by a heart-breaking three votes.

The PCs are a study in contrasts and contradictions. The guy who’s been consistently coming second behind McKay (for the second leadership convention, no less) is one David Orchard — the same David Orchard who so lobbied so hard in 1988 against the Mulroney PCs’ Free Trade Agreement with the United States. And Scott Brison is an openly gay conservative — this in the same party as the intolerant pain-in-the-ass MP Elsie Wayne. As the PCs position themselves as centre-right, I’m left wondering if the federal Liberals, despite their name, aren’t already occupying that spot or are perhaps further right of centre than the PCs.

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Update: Orchard was dropped after the third ballot, yet he whom some see as more of an NDPer than PC backed MacKay on the fourth ballot. Result: A right-of-centre Nova Scotian who’s my age but against just about everything I believe in is the leader of the PCs. No big surprise there.

The only surprise is this: During the 2000 federal election, there was an interesting little website with a questionnaire that helped determine where I likely stood. The surprise wasn’t that the questionnaire identified me as a definite New Democrat; it was that the PCs came second on my list. I never quite understood that result, but I suspect, if another such questionnaire is designed for the 2004 vote, that my second-place result will NOT be the same.