Should Conservative party members decide that reality TV star Kevin O'Leary is the best choice to carry the party forward, they will have to contend with the party's own past. Attack ads against O'Leary have already been written, and they're quite effective. Problem is, the Conservatives wrote them.
My dad wrote about tax policy, to be sure, but it was in the larger context of how Canada ought to be in fiscal, social and constitutional terms. He was concerned about the expansion of the role of government because it would have to be financed with higher and broader taxes, which he likened to a forced confiscation of property.
Radical populism has shown its ugly face during this leadership race, and that face is the dual-headed hydra of Kellie Leitch and Kevin O'Leary. The concern is that if radical populism in the Conservative Party is left unchecked, it threatens to overtake meaningful and nuanced candidates like Bernier and Chong.
After the success of Donald Trump, multiple candidates are venturing into that version of the imitation game - in tone, in style, in tactics or in substance. Their failure to recognize fundamental differences in the political culture and the leadership selection processes in both countries will be their undoing.
There are issues requiring tough decisions that a few selfies will not provide him with enough cover nor will they help him to change the channel to better issues or allow for better optics. His recent foot in mouth moment over his comments on Fidel Castro is just this past weekend's storm cloud. We also have other storm clouds developing on the horizon.
The previous Conservative government, imperfectly but sincerely, applied a principle-based lens to foreign policy decisions. This approach periodically won acclaim across the political spectrum, finding adherents even within the Liberal Party. Yet, to some Canadian Liberals, this approach was not only wrong-headed, it was entirely unintelligible.