In a word, the Conservative  convention was “purposeful.” Time may be Pierre Poilievre’s friend, after all.

Mark McQueen

I borrowed today’s headline from a March 1986 column written by The Globe and Mail’s Jeffrey Simpson. The subject of the piece was then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s first party convention following his historic landslide election victory, and it had been a more raucous affair than organizers would have hoped for. The Montreal event was teeming with 3,000 attendees, as you’d expect for the governing party, but the government had experienced a series of stumbles leading up to the event; and tensions occasionally flared as a result. So much so that Terry Mosher immortalized the moment in this editorial cartoon.

In the wake this of weekend’s Conservative get-together in Quebec City, I’ve been reflecting on what I saw and heard this time, relative to all of the federal and provincial party conventions that I’ve attended, dating back to 1976.

In a word, this convention was “purposeful.”

By their nature, political conventions of every stripe are a potentially dangerous brew of heartfelt Members, long hours, reams of passionate policy proposals, national media attention and late-night hospitality suites. Whether you’re in government or Opposition, there’s a risk that some random member, or a wacky policy idea, will capture an undue amount of attention — or, worse, momentum — taking away from whatever the party was hoping to accomplish at the event. Ever thus.

Mr. Poilievre’s first convention as our Leader had none of that. There wasn’t a knife in sight, unlike maybe half of the conventions of yesteryear.