Saturday, February 24, 2018

All the corruption in Canadian politics comes from political parties

Hey, he brings in the votes, doesn't he?
In the Globe and Mail, columnist Adam Radwanski examines how easily and routinely political parties in Canada are corrupted by the millions of dollars and thousands of people their leadership processes require  (italic added):
Parties do not typically have exhaustive formal vetting processes to determine who is allowed to run for their leadership. In theory, the leadership races themselves are supposed to serve as informal vetting, with candidates' liabilities brought into the open as they take aim at each other. In practice, parties often have low enough membership rolls heading into their contests that an available path to victory is the one Mr. Brown followed in 2015: Flood the party with new members, at your disposal if you make the right deals with the right organizers, and don't worry too much about persuading stalwarts looking critically at each candidate before deciding how to mark their ballots.
Regardless of how the job is won, new leaders then tend to benefit from some combination of discipline, deference and slavish devotion to winning the next general election, afforded even by those who predicted before the leadership vote that their victory would be disastrous. They are often allowed, as Mr. Brown did, to stack their party's executive committees with loyalists, with no inclination to push back against any of the leader's wishes. They are almost never challenged publicly by caucus members who may gripe about them privately. The leader is the brand to be sold to voters and, in the absence of strong structures, that brand becomes – for a time – the party.
All true, though Radwanski doesn't probe too deeply into the causes of all this.

He also doesn't connect the Ontario PC corruption to what has been happening to Prime Minister Trudeau, where Indian politicians and media point out (quite correctly) that the Liberal Party of Canada is much too cosy with Sikh separatists and terror-supporting Sikh organizations in Canada.  Many people in the Liberal Party surely knew Jaspal Atwal criminal record and involvement in political extremism.  But hey, he's a loyal party footsoldier; he brings in money and memberships.

And it's in the nature of Canadian political party leadership politics that money and memberships trump everything.  Even Canada's international reputation and the safety of our public officials.

Follow @CmedMoore