VICKY MOCHaMa With re­al­ity-Tv flair, Con­ser­va­tives choose the ‘nice guy’ leader

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - VIEWS -

Poised to pick a bom­bas­ti­cyet-un­know­ing re­al­ity TV busi­ness­man then find­ing a lead­ing con­tender in a Que­bec lib­er­tar­ian, the Con­ser­va­tive Party of Canada picked a man who def­i­nitely has a Wikipedia page.

The Satur­day night se­lec­tion of An­drew Scheer was done with a dra­matic panache wor­thy of some of the best re­al­ity tele­vi­sion pro­duc­ers. It is a nail­bit­ing style that, let’s be hon­est, I did not think the Con­ser­va­tives had.

Polls closed at 4 p.m., but the party didn’t an­nounce a leader un­til well into the evening.

This could be thanks in part to the fairly tech­ni­cal way the party votes for its leader, in­volv­ing ranked bal­lots and a com­plex points sys­tem.

Back in 2004, they had to fig­ure out all this by hand, but this year the process has been au­to­mated.

In all like­li­hood, the com­puter had al­ready done the math by 4:30 p.m., and was onto plan­ning world dom­i­na­tion by the time the Con­ser­va­tives crowned Scheer.

But why squan­der the chance to own the air­waves? And why not be­come a trend­ing topic on so­cial me­dia where I, a mil­len­nial with­out ca­ble, could fol­low along as peo­ple united to hate on Kevin O’Leary?

The pro­duc­ers of Amer­ica’s Next Top Model, The Bach­e­lor, Sur­vivor, Project Run­way and other fine rep­utable fare could not have done bet­ter. It would only have been more de­light­ful if, in An­drew Scheer’s first speech as leader, he an­nounced that he wasn’t here to make friends.

In round af­ter round, Maxime Bernier led the bal­lots un­til the very last one in which Scheer outscored him.

In many ways, it re­minded me of the first sea­son of Par­adise Ho­tel when af­ter a sea­son of mostly be­ing ahead, Dave, an af­fa­ble kind man, ended up be­ing screwed over by his part­ner, Charla, a “nice girl” with the heart of a su­per vil­lain.

Sure, the nice guy won on Satur­day, but at what cost?

For most Cana­di­ans, Scheer is not well known. A field of 14 can­di­dates dur­ing an un­ruly time did not help him. As the coun­try heads to­wards the 2019 elec­tion, the stakes are high: mod­est over­all eco­nomic growth is be­ing chal­lenged by a re­ces­sion af­fect­ing Cal­gary and Ed­mon­ton, and a heated hous­ing mar­ket in Toronto and Vancouver — while in­ter­na­tion­ally, an over­grown and dan­ger­ous in­fant threat­ens the sta­bil­ity of global peace.

The party man­aged a cou­ple hours of drama. Now they’ll have to pro­duce sev­eral sea­sons of the Scheer Show.

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