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Politics is a Mug’s Game

Conservative MP Kellie Leitch proclaimed her “common interests” with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in the party’s first leadership debate Wednesday night, as several of her opponents pushed back against her immigration policy.

“I have common interests with Mr. Trump, screening being one of them,” Leitch said several times, picking up where she left off in a fundraising email Tuesday night that told supporters Trump’s anti-elite message was one she was hoping to bring forward with her own campaign.

A Mainstreet Research telephone poll conducted on November 5 and 6 showed Leitch to be the preferred candidate in the race, with 19 per cent support among Conservative supporters — ahead of Andrew Scheer with 14 and Michael Chong with 12.

Leitch aggressively pushed her wedge issue — screening immigrants for their grasp of “Canadian values” — to draw a sharp contrast with her rivals.

“I will protect our Canadian values,” she told the audience, estimated to be around 500. “I am the only candidate who will require face-to-face interviews of new immigrants and screen for Canadian values.” excerpt from article in ipolitics magazine by B.J. Siekierski, 10Nov., 2016.

There is nothing really new in the game of politics. Each leadership candidate is forced to delineate themselves from the others by divisive positions on policy and controversial positions on social issues. They cannot run effective campaigns without these attacks at each other, which are designed to attract supporters. Division serves a functional purpose and each candidate knows, if he or she wins the leadership, that he or she will urge the congregation at the convention to ‘unite behind the leader, for the good of their party and the country.’

How many times do we have to live through this shtick before we see it for what it is?

Trump didn’t invent it. Every politician has been schooled in this drivel, these days, by pollsters and campaign managers trying to gauge the popularity of their candidates, to shape their positions on issues to attract more interest, rather than to express genuine opinion.

We won’t have any real idea about what kind of leader each candidate will be until one of them becomes leader, and then the campaign managers and pollsters will direct what positions they should take on each issue of public interest, which means that voters will have little idea about who they should support and the party leader who wins the next general election will, again, listen to the pollsters and managers who will tell him (or her) what positions to take on issues and which priorities matter to win another election.

Pollsters and campaign managers are directing it all.

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Professional. Retired. Canadian.

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