The event was hosted by the University of Manitoba Campus Conservatives on March 19 and billed as a chance to hear from Fletcher in his role as the minister of state for democratic reform.Naturally, the gap between how the event was advertised by the Cons and what Fletcher did with the opportunity to speak to students raises a couple of important questions.
David Safruk, a politics major and incoming arts student council representative on the University of Manitoba Students Union, said the talk had very little to do with democratic reform.
"It turned out to be like he was in the midst of the campaign trail," said Safruk, who wrote a comment piece about the event in the U of M student newspaper, The Manitoban. "I believe it was much too partisan."...
(The Campus Conservative responsible) said he can understand some students were disappointed Fletcher didn't spend more time talking about democratic reform, because that is how the forum was marketed on posters around campus. He spoke for 45 minutes, McCreary said...
Fletcher said he was invited to speak at an event hosted by student Conservatives and he went with the intention to discuss how Conservative principles benefit students.
"I think Conservative values are student values," Fletcher said. "I was there to speak about the Conservative party and the role Conservatives play on campus. I wasn't asked to be there in a general way."
Namely, is there anything more likely to depress interest in politics than have an event which promises to have the minister responsible for democratic reform discussing the prospects to improve public participation turn instead into an infomercial for the Conservative Party? And is there any doubt that the Cons are entirely happy if the end result is to frustrate anybody who cares enough about improving Canada's political scene to expect better than their constant partisanship?