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Ousting of candidates in first days of election campaign shows overall lack of party preparation: expert

Last Updated Sep 15, 2019 at 7:57 pm PDT

FILE: A woman marks her ballot behind a privacy barrier in the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges, west of Montreal, on October 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Graham Hughes
Summary

A UBC political scientist says this issue isn't contained to any particular party

He says party associations have become nothing more than vehicles for the candidates ahead of elections

Without more robust organizations we criticism or controversy of poorly vetted candidates will likely continue

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Days into the federal election campaign party leaders have been called upon to defend or drop a number of candidates, primarily over controversial social media posts or past comments.

Max Cameron, a UBC political scientist, says this issue isn’t contained to any particular party, and it exposes a general lack of organization and preparation.

“We’re going into an election where a number of parties are well behind even in terms of even having people nominated in ridings across the country,” he explains. “I think that the gaffes will be demoralizing. I think that they expose weaknesses in these organizations…and I guess there will be more to come.”

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He says party associations don’t do much between elections–and that’s a problem.

“We’ve got a real need in our country for better trained and organized funded robust party organizations with much deeper involvement and engagement in them,” he says. “The reality is that they have become vehicles for candidates and that’s all that they do and that, I think, is a real weakness of our democracy

Cameron would like to see Canada’s parties be real mass organizations with substantial memberships that exist between elections.

Without that, Cameron says we will continue seeing criticism or controversy of poorly vetted candidates taking much needed energy from parties and their leaders come election season.