According to some Conservatives, the Republican Party will see the largest number of Canadians to ever join a political party at one time in Canadian history. According to multiple Conservative Party of Canada sources, more than 400,000 people have joined the party, renewed their memberships, or are regular members, granted the ability to vote in the leadership race.
Conservatives claim they’re about to surpass another record with their membership
“The Conservative Party of Canada is experiencing unprecedented interest,” party leader Rob Batherson told CBC News. “In this post-pandemic period, I believe people are extremely motivated. They want to get involved in politics and help change things in Canada,” Melanie Paradis, a long-time Conservative strategist, agreed.
Three Conservative Party officials join Power & Politics to talk about the leadership race’s membership deadline as well as what the federal party can learn from the Progressive Conservative victory in Ontario last night. Batherson would still not confirm the 400,000 estimates or say how many people are currently members of the party.
“Sometimes campaigns hold back,” Batherson stated
Batherson stated that he could not expect the final count to be confirmed for several days.
He explained, “There’s a process for challenging names on the list. That’s why we don’t release statistics until well after the closing date, because we all want to make sure we’re putting accurate data out there.” When Justin Trudeau was elected Prime Minister of Canada in 2013, the Liberal Party had 127,000 electors. The CPC set a new record for new and existing memberships in a leadership race in 2020, with a total of 269,469 members. According to party insiders, this year’s election will far exceed that number. Because campaign teams frequently submit thousands of new memberships, Batherson intends the final tally to grow significantly in the days leading up to Friday’s deadline.
“Sometimes campaigns hold back,” he said, “so we need to be ready for a significantly increased number before June 3.” To accommodate all of the new memberships, Batherson said the party had to stretch its processing hours into the evenings and weekends. According to Paradis, the party is behind on membership refining. “As a result,” she explained, “there’s quite a backlog. I understand there is now a one-month delay, which is a significant amount of time.” Batherson stated emphatically that the party will do everything possible to ensure that a new leader is named on September 10.
As the deadline approaches, all six applicants have already been rushing to sign up supporters via social media and in-person
As the deadline approaches, all six applicants have already been rushing to sign up supporters via social media and in person. Candidate Pierre Poilievre told a large crowd in Saskatoon on Tuesday night that his supporters should encourage their neighbours, friends, and family members to vote. On Wednesday night, candidate Leslyn Lewis was in St John’s. She told CBC News that she keeps running into new people on her journeys across the country.
“People are gravitating towards such individuals who have the guts to speak out about different issues,” she said, citing her opponents to vaccine mandates among other things. “Those issues are important to people, and we’re seeing people from all parties gravitate toward candidates who will talk about them.”
Patrick Brown delivered his message to Montreal’s Muslim community at a dinner on Wednesday night. It was just one of Brown’s daily membership sales events, which numbered around 20. Brown told the lots of supporters who had gathered to hear him speak, “Help me create a political debate in our country.”
What did Lawrence Toth say?
Brown’s promotion sent out a remark to supporters on Friday, claiming that he is “on the verge of victory” after selling 150,000 memberships. On March 10, 2022, Jean Charest spoke to attendees at the Wildrose Brewery in Calgary, AB, during the launch of his Conservative Party of Canada leadership campaign.
Jean Charest spent the majority of his week on social media and on the phone. In an email, Charest campaign spokesperson Lawrence Toth said, “We have managed to sell membership fees in every single riding across Canada. Voting efficiency is crucial. We’ve concentrated on recruiting new as well as lapsed representatives in every riding and region. We are very pleased with our sales; we have re-engaged and signed up thousands of new members, as well as thousands of other people who have not participated since the Harper administration.”
“To try to psych each other out, the team members are always trying to inflate what they’ve sold,” Paradis said
“We are particularly encouraged to see participation from Quebec and Atlantic Canada.” Jamie Ellerton, Scott Aitchison’s campaign manager, said his team has worked the phones and running digital operations in preparation for the final membership push. Efforts will be made to ‘psych each other out’ — Paradise Roman Baber has been using social media to communicate with supporters on a nearly daily basis. None of the campaigns would say how many potential followers they’ve gained.
But it doesn’t mean they’re not looking behind them. “To try to psych each other out, the team members are always trying to inflate what they’ve sold,” Paradis said. “That’s just part of the race’s psychology… you want to keep your volunteers going and trying to push towards the… finish line.” The race’s next phase begins today. The six aspirants and their teams are now attempting to persuade the hundreds of thousands of voters to vote for them. “To be honest, we haven’t seen much even though they’ve been focused entirely on selling memberships to people on the ground,” Paradis said. “Right now, we’ll probably see more about what people think of as a serious campaign.”