Two political junkies got together this week on Hot Politics. Host David McKie invited Max Fawcett, the host of the sister podcast Maxed Out, to wrap up the first season of Hot Politics.

Social media, clicks and disinformation were on the menu. Two former Conservative leaders recently delivered speeches about divisiveness and nastiness, particularly on social media. Erin O'Toole gave his farewell speech in Parliament, and former Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney spoke at a meeting in Halifax.

“Instead of debating our national purpose in this chamber, too many of us are often chasing algorithms down a sinkhole of diversion and division,” O’Toole said in his goodbye speech in the House of Commons in the final days of the parliamentary session.

Mulroney's speech said politicians will be judged by what they do, not what they tweet.

“The history is unconcerned with the trivia and the trash of rumours and gossip floating around Parliament Hill. History is only concerned with the big-ticket items Canada needs to talk about sustainable jobs differently — the big-ticket items that have shaped the future of Canada,” he said.

Max joined David to discuss how the divide is not just hurting the public’s perception of politicians, but democracy itself.

The elephant in the room at both speeches was federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.

“There was a lot in there that was directed, if you read between the lines, at Poilievre, being a follower of followers,” said Max. “That sort of describes Poilievre ... the searching for the viral moments and looking for clips rather than real debate.”

As the two dissected recent federal byelections across the country, Max pinned the current political landscape in Canada as uninviting.

To wrap up Hot Politics' first season, columnist @maxfawcett joined host @mckiedavid to discuss how political division is not just hurting the public’s perception of politicians, but democracy itself.

“I think a lot of accomplished people, whether they're in business, science or other areas of public life, are going to look at politics and look at the cost of getting involved and specifically the cost of being on social media and say, ‘Yeah, you know what? Not worth it … the price here is just too high.’”

Max and David also talked about the media tactics of each federal party as Max assigned them grades. He gave the Conservatives a fail.

“They routinely trade in conspiracy theories, nonsense about climate change, nonsense about federal policies. They misrepresent information to fit their worldview,” he said.

The Liberals weren’t doing too well, either, according to Max.

“They have to bring forward some new faces and new voices. They’ve got an opportunity right now because the current Liberal cabinet is firing on no cylinders.”

For a full report card of Canada’s political parties, tune into Hot Politics’ last episode of the season: Performance Politics.

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