Chris Lloyd: Canadian politics stunned as Conservative Party candidate reveals he is a performance artist looking to 'mess with' them

Candidate has been writing letters to PM's office for a decade - some of them revealing his true status

Andrew Buncombe
Thursday 14 May 2015 13:54
Chris Lloyd with Stephen Harper
Chris Lloyd with Stephen Harper

Canadian politics is reeling.

A media investigation has revealed that the man running as a candidate for one of the country’s main parties was in truth a “performance artist” whose intention was damage them. He had apparently enjoying poking fun at the political system for at least a decade.

This week, Chris Lloyd, the Conservative Party candidate contesting the Papineau constituency, was forced to resign after an investigation by CBC News found his candidacy was part of a so-called art project he was working on.

The channel revealed that Mr Lloyd had been writing a letter to the Prime Minister’s office every day, informing him of his identity.

“I have to admit, I think our democratic process is an incredibly cynical, broken, kind of twisted affair,” the artist told CBC Radio.

Dan Gardner, a columnist with the Ottawa Citizen, told The Independent: "I'm quite sure that at some point at least one cabinet minister will be outed as a Maoist performance artist engaged in a tedious and unfunny satire of a conservative politician."

The former president of the electoral committee won the official Conservative Party candidacy for Papineau in February. Reports say the stunt has cast doubt over the vetting process of candidates as Mr Lloyd did a number of strange and subversive things both before and after joining the party.

In April 2011, just months before going to work for them, Mr Lloyd sent the Conservative Party a cheque for $30 billion dollars for “F-35 Fighter Jets”.

In addition to running his conservative campaign, he was also a member of Leadnow, an advocacy group which actively seeks to prevent a conservative majority.

He told the crowd there was no real point to his art piece but that he was earnestly trying to unseat his Liberal opponent, Justin Trudeau.

“The easiest persona I’ve been able to summon up is to somehow convince myself that by taking on the Conservative candidature, I’m doing it to defeat some greater evil which is perhaps Justin Trudeau,” he said.

“I’ve been telling the Prime Minister about this whole thing from the get go with all sorts of imaginings and fantasies,” he said. “Like yeah, I’m going to become the candidate and mess with your party.”

It’s been reported that Mr Lloyd first contacted the Conservative Party in 2011 and asked to attend the upcoming national convention. While he said they were initially suspicious of him as he didn’t “seem” like a conservative, he proceeded to gain more responsibility.

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