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Vicky Mochama: The voice of Metro News.

With reality-TV flair, Conservatives chose the 'nice guy' leader: Mochama

In many ways, Saturday's Conservative leadership selection reminded me of the first season of Paradise Hotel, writes Vicky Mochama.

Maxime Bernier supporters enraptured by Saturday's Conservative leadership race results.

The Canadian Press

Maxime Bernier supporters enraptured by Saturday's Conservative leadership race results.

Poised to pick a bombastic-yet-unknowing reality TV businessman then finding a leading contender in a Quebec libertarian, the Conservative Party of Canada picked a man who definitely has a Wikipedia page.

The Saturday night selection of Andrew Scheer was done with a dramatic panache worthy of some of the best reality television producers. It is a nail biting style that, let’s be honest, I did not think the Conservatives had. 

Polls closed at 4 p.m., but the party didn’t announce a leader until well into the evening. 

This could be thanks in part to the fairly technical way the party votes for its leader, involving ranked ballots and a complex points system.

Back in 2004, they had to figure out all this by hand, but this year the process has been automated. 

In all likelihood, the computer had already done the math by 4:30 p.m., and was onto planning world domination by the time the Conservatives crowned Scheer. 

But why squander the chance to own the airwaves? And why not become a trending topic on social media where I, a millennial without cable, could follow along as people united to hate on Kevin O’Leary? 

The producers of America’s Next Top Model, The Bachelor, Survivor, Project Runway and other fine reputable fare could not have done better. It would only have been more delightful if, in Andrew Scheer’s first speech as leader, he announced that he wasn’t here to make friends.

In round after round, Maxime Bernier led the ballots until the very last one in which Scheer juuust outscored him. 

In many ways, it reminded me of the first season of Paradise Hotel when after a season of mostly being ahead, Dave, an affable kind man, ended up being screwed over by his partner, Charla, a “nice girl” with the heart of a supervillain.

Sure, the nice guy won on Saturday but at what cost?

For most Canadians, Scheer is not well known. A field of 14 candidates during an unruly time did not help him. As the country heads towards the 2019 election, the stakes are high: modest overall economic growth is being challenged by a recession affecting Calgary and Edmonton, and a heated housing market in Toronto and Vancouver while internationally, an overgrown and dangerous infant threatens the stability of global peace.

The party managed a couple hours of drama. Now they’ll have to produce several seasons of the Scheer Show.

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