Friday, February 28, 2020
The Con Leadership Fiasco: Is This All There Is?
The deadline has come and gone. Nominations for the Con leadership race are now closed.
And one thing is immediately obvious, this country has never seen a lousier line-up.
In fact so bleak is the situation, that when I think of the two front runners, Peter MacKay and Erin O'Toole, I can't help but think of this...
Sam Rowley's award winning photo of two mice fighting in a London subway station.
For that's how low the Cons have fallen.
So low that even Andrew Coyne calls the leadership race a fiasco.
A race that was supposed to be an opportunity for renewal for a party that, despite its failure to break through in 2019, was well placed to defeat a weakened Liberal government in the next election, has instead dwindled to a contest between two serious candidates and a collection of rookies, oddballs and outsiders. The word “fiasco” comes to mind.
And suggests that even the candidates he calls "serious" are mediocre.
Even the serious candidates leave much to be desired. Mr. MacKay has the more impressive résumé on paper, but only on paper, his series of cabinet posts noteworthy for the footprints he failed to leave behind. Besides his brief stint at veterans affairs, Mr. O’Toole is distinguished mostly for finishing third to Andrew Scheer and Maxime Bernier in the 2017 race.
Coyne largely blames Stephen Harper.
Stephen Harper was in power for nearly a decade, yet failed either to recruit much in the way of new talent or promote from within. You could count on one hand the ministers in his cabinet who had any real reason to be there other than slavish personal loyalty to the leader, the one principle to which his government was committed.
And I certainly agree with that. Harper made them who they are and the Cons are still his grubby party.
But what Coyne fails to mention, is that another big reason the Cons can't attract any decent candidates is that the party is now more American than Canadian...
And thanks to Andrew Scheer is also riddled with religious extremists.
Which explains why the sleazy O'Toole is crawling on his belly trying to attract the social conservative vote.
In a new fundraising email, Conservative leadership candidate Erin O'Toole takes a shot at rival Peter MacKay for insisting on a solid caucus front on so-called "conscience" votes, accusing him of behaving "just like Justin Trudeau does."
O'Toole said in the email that he would allow both caucus members and cabinet ministers in a government led by him to vote their consciences on "moral issues" — an apparent reference to votes on abortion and a clear play for the support of the Conservative Party's powerful social-conservative wing.
And because those religious extremists are so powerful, and control so many convention votes, sooner or later MacKay will also be forced to crawl before them.
It's going to be an ugly spectacle, and no decent Canadian can vote in good conscience for a party like that one.
A party that would savage our country, by first savaging its values.
Which is why I'm hoping the Con leadership race will be as weird as the last one...
Even if it has only half the number of zombies.
Let them show Canadians again who they really are.
And why they must never be allowed to form another Canadian government...