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Poilievre’s Refusal to Attend Debate Should Sound Alarm Bells for Conservatives … AND Canadian Voters!

Beware of politicians who try to hide and avoid open debate of their ideas/policies/principles: especially before even winning their own party’s leadership!

Pierre Poilievre is widely regarded as the frontrunner as the federal Conservative Party gets ready in August to choose it’s next party Leader … and possibly Canada’s next Prime Minister.

Both are BIG jobs: the first will bestow major power and influence over the directions/policies/principles that will govern the Conservative Party and its 678.000 members for years to come; the second, if successful, will allow the pursuit of policies that will control/regulate and impact … economically/politically/environmentally and even personally … the lives of 38 million Canadians, also for years to come.

And don’t forget … also get control of a $400 BILLION annual federal budget!

So you would think … if you believe in democracy and free and the open debate of ideas that will steer a free society … that ANYONE who proposes he or she is the BEST candidate to occupy BOTH those positions would WELCOME nation-wide televised broadcast opportunities to explain why.

And promote his ideas and beliefs.

Not Poilievre!

He is running away from Wednesday’s scheduled third and final TV debate of Tory leadership contenders: refusing to take part. (Another candidate Leslyn Lewis is also not appearing, but isn’t really regarded now as having a chance of winning) .

You can read about the coming debate here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/poilievre-leslyn-lewis-conservative-leadership-debate-1.6535422.

Looks to me like, believing he’s currently ahead in Tory polling, Poilievre is afraid he’ll blow it by saying something really stupid … or revealing too much of what he really believes.

Politically hiding from nationwide exposure days before voting takes place may seem understandable, but if Poilievre is so “running scared” and such a “control-the-message” freak BEFORE he becomes party Leader, how remote, controlling and unavailable would he be as PM???

Probably as bad … or worse … than Tory PM Stephen Harper was in his latter years in office!

I remember how Harper … and his Ministers … deliberately shut down and shut out media access to government information and government officials … both of whom had previously been so readily available to provide PUBLIC information and ANSWER policy questions, both as background and in formal interviews.

Not in Harper’s latter years in office!

How difficult it became for reporters to obtain … and true “public” servants all across the country to provide … public information on public policies, public programs and even public statistics … without prior “approval” from Ottawa HQ.

For those of us working in time zones other than Ottawa’s, it often became impossible to fully inform readers, listeners, viewers what was REALLY going on regarding quickly evolving local issues, because local federal civil servants could not spontaneously talk or answer questions … sometimes for days, or not at all.

And then there was Harper’s control-freak paranoid-like grip on who could ask questions at the increasingly fewer and fewer Press Conferences in Ottawa and strictly-controlled “media” availability sessions when he travelled across the country.

Real journalists … nationally and locally … were severely limited, sometimes totally excluded from Harper “media” events: the Tory PM apparently preferring very tame local or especially “ethnic” media sessions, featuring puffball lobs from oh-so-polite deferential media.

Harper and the Tories probably thought they were being so smart … severely restricting interviews and strictly limiting or altogether avoiding questioning from more pressing media types.

Say what you will about Justin Trudeau, he was before … and since … being elected, fairly readily available to take and respond (although not always actually answer) reporters’ questions.

And Canadians could see through Harper’s end-time arrogance and remoteness.

Harper and the Tories handily LOST the 2015 election … giving Justin Trudeau a Liberal majority government. And Harper was summarily sent packing by his party.

But at least Harper’s worst arrogance did not rear its ugly head BEFORE he became Conservative Leader or even in the earliest part of his 10 years as PM.

Poilievre’s arrogance, fear and disregard for free and open debate and tough questioning is showing itself VERY early … before he has become party leader.

Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, also running for the Tory leadership, has severely restricted interviews during the campaign, but he is planning to show up for Wednesday’s televised debate. So far.

Unlike Poilievre.

Beware Conservatives! Beware Canadians voters!

Happy BC Day. Happy Pride Week.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to all new postings on this provocative BC Blog. No spam…just First Alerts to all new postings up for discussion.)

Posted in British Columbia, Media, National | 14 Comments