Thursday, June 09, 2011

I'll be blogging from the Conservative convention in Ottawa

After starting the week in Las Vegas, during which time my Canucks forgot how to play hockey, I'm onboard a Via train at the moment on my way to Ottawa, where I'll be through Sunday evening covering the Conservative convention and patronizing some of the capital's finer public houses.

I've been accredited to the convention as a blogger, so I'm looking forward to going into the belly of the beast to provide a different perspective on the goings-on at Conservative Majoritypaolloza 2011. It should be an interesting few days.

Will the majority glow keep everyone smiling and happy, or will the temporary cessation of the permanent campaign lead some of the restless fringe folks to feel free to raise issues they'd put aside in the minority era? That's something I'll be watching for this weekend. Already, some interesting themes and stories are emerging.

One is an issue we tackled at the last Liberal convention: weighted one-member, one-vote (WOMOV) for selecting the leader. Equal riding weighting was a key issue in the Canadian Alliance/Progressive Conservative merger; the PCs didn't want small membership ridings being swamped by the high member ridings in, for example, Alberta. MP Scott Reid is leading a movement to dilute the weighting to somewhere between full OMOV and the current WOMOV system, while Peter MacKay and old Tory stalwarts are speaking out against it.

Another is a move by a number of ridings to try to create a youth wing, something that te establishment of the Conservative Party has traditionally vehemently opposed. This web site seeks to lay out the no-side; I've not seen a similar campaign for the yes camp but Tasha Kheriddin lays out their argument. I'm generally a supporter of flatter structures, although reading the motion the body created would be much less formal and involved than the Young Liberals. I had to chuckle reading that anti web site though; marijuana is a hard drug? Anyway, the motion isn't expected to pass and, while there may be good arguments for that, it would be symbolic of Conservative antipathy to youth.

Those are constitutional-type things. There's sure to be lots to follow on the policy side as well. One interesting one already emerging could be dubbed the "Khadr Policy" and would strip Canadians that take up arms against Canada or her allies. Criminal charges for sure, but I'm curious where they'd deport non-dual citizens too exactly.

Things get underway tonight with the opening festivities, followed by hospitality suiting and what not. Watch this corner for live-blogging, tweeting, and maybe some video. And if you're in town and want to connect, feel free to drop me a line.

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Anonymous said...

will you be allowed in? ;)

Jeff said...

Oh I'm in, badge and all, sitting with the other opinion elites you need to send money to stop... ;)