Autopsy of an electoral defeat, as a francophone Conservative

dominic-therrien(Ottawa) The Conservative Party should be more room to Quebecers attract more women in its ranks and improve relations with the media to help get his message said a star candidate training, Dominic Therrien, who was defeated in the last election in Quebec.

In an open letter entitled “Diagnosis of an electoral defeat according to a French conservative” and published on his blog yesterday that candidate in the riding of Trois-Rivières makes recommendations to contribute to a “debate of ideas” among conservatives.

“The goal is obviously not to wash dirty linen in public or the settling of scores, said the lawyer and former professional baseball player in the organization of the Atlanta Braves in an interview with The Gazette. Diagnosis I asked is relatively neutral in order to participate in this debate of ideas that will be in the party. ”

Mr. Therrien nevertheless expresses some conclusions with unusual candor in conservative ranks under Stephen Harper. This is actually one of the few detailed analyzes presented by a candidate in the last elections in the wake of the defeat of 19 October.

“My experience in the last election showed me that we need to make more room for francophones and Quebecers in our party, especially at senior levels, if we want to progress and become a truly national party” he wrote input
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It is true that the party is from 5 to 12 members between elections of 2011 and those of 2015, should Mr. Therrien. But these gains have only bring the CCP at about the level it was in 2006 and 2008 in Quebec. In addition, “we must admit that this is not the Conservative Party of Canada, which saves most of those elected, but their reputations / personal skills in their respective areas,” he adds.

In a context where more than a third of the seats in the House of Commons are in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces (where the Conservatives were swept), “a truly bilingual and national integration of our party seems most priority pressing to expand our electorate while maintaining our base, “insists the candidate.

The media

To do this, training should among others improve relations with the media in order to transmit their messages more effectively and positive. “For example, include a phrase repeatedly used by the Conservative Party of Canada in Quebec during the campaign:” Quebecers are more conservative than they think. ” This is a strong and effective message, but at the same time has a certain admission of failure. If Quebecers, after nine years of Conservative government, do not realize they are conservatives, is that we have not necessarily been able to make this demonstration. ”

According to him, the Harper Conservatives have done wrong in maintaining tense relations with the media, “a losing battle that serves us very badly,” he said. “In the twenty-first century, the omnipresence of the media of all kinds (traditional and social) is inevitable and I do not see how not to cooperate with media organizations can be a strategic advantage.”

The fairer sex

It finally notes that the party must question its difficulties in attracting more women in its ranks. Less than 20% of Conservative candidates were women in the last elections, against nearly half in the NDP.

Other Conservatives made some comments on the election defeat and Harper years, but not as detailed as this “diagnosis” posed by Mr. Therrien. For example, the new interim leader Rona Ambrose promised to abandon the “evil” that has sometimes characterized the attitude of the troops Harper for 10 years. And some, including one of the potential candidates for the party leadership, Jason Kenney, said that the tone of the campaign was too negative.

Dominic Therrien lost against the incumbent Democrat Robert Aubin by nearly 8,000 votes in Trois-Rivières. Stephen Harper visited the riding twice during the campaign.

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