I am the founder of Unpublished Media Inc., a company I started in 2012. I am also a communications professional and community activist, living in Nepean, Ontario. And, I am a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate for grassroots, participatory democracy at all levels of government.
So much for the values inherent in grassroots democracy once championed by Pierre Poilievre and Stephen Harper when they donned the Canadian Alliance banner.
Nomination contests, especially those to nominate the candidate most likely to win the election, are a great opportunity to build a political party's support base at the constituency level through the selling of new memberships. The more candidates that run for the nomination contest, especially high profile candidates like Lisa MacLeod, Jan Harder and Steve Desroches--all of whom Susan Sherring indicated (in her Ottawa Sun column last Wednesday) are interested in running for the federal Conservative nomination--the greater the opportunity for the Conservatives to cement their legacy in the new riding of Nepean for quite some time. Nepean-Carleton has long been a Conservative strong hold at both the federal and provincial levels but the new riding of Nepean poses new challenges for the Conservative Party, especially amoung the many young families moving into Barrhaven.
A 'Must-be-a-Member' clause only serves to protect Party insiders from a serious, high profile candidate coming forward when the opportunity presents itself. It prevents candidates, from other levels of government, from making the leap to the federal level, just as it prevents someone from the private sector or a non-partisan organization, like a journalist, from stepping forward to run. It only benefits Party insiders and therefore is not in the best interest of the Conservative Party's supporters in Nepean, nor voters in general.
You would think that Pierre Poilievre, the author of the new Fair Election Act, would understand this and would know that it contravenes the very values of grassroots democracy he and his Party leader once championed.