Notes from a Conservative backbencher’s victory party

Ron Cannan appears to have had an historic win in the riding of Kelowna-Lake Country. At this writing, the backbencher has close to 57 per cent of the vote, making him one of the highest winning Conservatives, as he captures his third term and the party sweeps its way to a majority government.

I went down to Cannan’s victory party at the Delta Grand here in Kelowna to listen to his victory speech. I’m guessing here at least some of the themes he touched on were transmitted through him from the Conservatives war room and I think they give some insight into how the party views itself and its amazing victory:

-linking itself closely to our military. Cannan chalked up the Conservative win as a win for democracy, a right people in places like Egypt and Syria are dying to have and a right that has been achieved here because of the sacrifice of our “brave men and women.” He also cheered our veterans.

-mentioning the “successful elimination” of Osama Bin Laden by the U.S. and the need to stand by our southern neighbour. “Just another example of the importance of supporting our troops who serve with and alongside our NATO and UN partners around the world keeping the  peace and fighting corruption.”

-He compared the fight of Conservative “army” of campaign volunteers to the fight our soldiers are waging. “The fact is we won this battle street by street, door by door, voter by voter.”

The thing for me is that democracy is not like war. The goal should not be to defeat your opponent, but to engage them in dialogue and to work with them to find something that works for everybody.  A vote is not just a non-violent proxy for a bullet.

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