Conservative Party leadership race: Erin O'Toole当选为保守党领袖

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为什么没有那个姓庄的华裔议员?
 

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为什么没有那个姓庄的华裔议员?

提到....

Other names bandied about in Conservative ranks include Ontario MPs Pierre Poilievre and Michael Chong, as well as former Minister of International Trade Michael Fortier. But none have expressed any interest publicly.
 

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The Conservative Party is postponing its national convention as it gears up for a leadership race.

Initially planned for April, a news release from the party confirmed that the Toronto meeting would be cancelled in favour of meeting in Quebec City in the middle of November 2020.

The Conservatives said the party's National Council voted Friday to delay the policy convention "so greater focus could be given to the details and organization around the Conservative leadership election process."

After initially affirming that the new leader of the party would be chosen on Nov. 14 during that meeting, Conservative sources clarified to Radio-Canada that the date of the leadership decision had not yet been decided.

The party leadership organizing committee, which has yet to be formed, will be responsible for determining the date on which the results of the leadership contest will be released.

That new leader will succeed Andrew Scheer, who resigned from party leadership less than two months after increasing the number of seats the Conservatives hold in the House of Commons but ultimately failing to win the October election.

After the Oct. 21 vote, the Liberals won a minority government with 157 seats, while Scheer's Conservatives took 121.

In the aftermath, many party members were calling for his resignation and efforts were made to push him toward the exit.

After having initially resisted, repeating that his future will be decided by the wider party membership at the now-cancelled April convention, Scheer surprised everyone on Dec. 12 by announcing his departure.

He gave an emotion-filled speech in the Commons, saying that he made this decision because it is better for the party. His final plea to the party was to help Conservatives remain united. Scheer has said he will stay on as party leader until a new one is chosen.

As Scheer was addressing his fellow MPs in the House of Commons, Global News reported the Conservative Party had paid for part of his children's private school tuition.

Scheer's office confirmed to CBC News that the party was paying the difference between the cost of admission to schools in Saskatchewan and the higher cost of tuition in Ottawa, along with some other expenses. That cost was described as "minimal" but amounted to thousands of dollars.

His office insisted the tuition matter was not the reason for Scheer's resignation, but several MPs and other party members expressed unhappiness that they were unaware of the arrangement.

A few names of possible candidates to take over at the helm have already begun to emerge, including those of former interim leader Rona Ambrose, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, former Quebec premier Jean Charest and former cabinet minister Peter MacKay. Current members of caucus like Erin O'Toole are also expected to declare when the race is formalized.

Andrew Scheer became leader of the Conservative Party and leader of the official opposition on May 27, 2017, narrowly defeating Maxime Bernier after a tight leadership race.
 

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The aforementioned pundits will like that Charest is staunchly pro-choice: as Quebec Premier he called abortion an “inalienable right.” The 2019 election campaign seemed to cement in Canadian politics and mainstream media the idea that (conservative) politicians can no longer “check their religion at Parliament’s door”: not only was it insufficient for Andrew Scheer to vow never to legislate on abortion; the question of what he considered sinful came under questioning at press conferences and in opinion columns.

Many pundits would be fine with consigning people like Scheer to the backbenches, literally and figuratively, forever. Not a few conservative politicians would as well.

That needn’t be the outcome: Scheer was extraordinarily inadept at defending himself. Sometimes he barely seemed willing or able to try. For all I know, Charest might be of a mind to tear up so-cons’ membership cards and have security escort them out. But were he inclined to defend the Big Blue Tent as it used to stand, and as stands today after reunification under Stephen Harper, he would be well equipped.

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Charest voted for the Mulroney government’s 1988 motion proposing to protect access to abortion in the first trimester while criminalizing it thereafter. In 1990 he voted for Bill C-43, which codified that. (The bill died on a tie vote in the Senate.) I suspect Charest would not look like a dimpled deer in headlights trying to explain to a millennial reporter why he and other avowedly pro-choice politicians, not least then-Justice Minister Kim Campbell, did that — namely, because Canadian politics hadn’t yet vanished up its own backside. Its media hadn’t yet adopted holus bolus the literally uniquely Canadian idea that any legal restrictions on abortion whatsoever are ultra vires.

If modern Canadian politics is a quadrennial handbags-at-20-paces battle between Team Red and Team Blue to run things more or less the same, Charest is a veteran of an era when politicians actually tried to do big, risky, different, career-threatening things. He watched the country almost fall apart, and played a significant role in keeping it together.

Unfortunately, Charest accrued as much baggage as you would expect as Quebec premier. His reluctance to call an inquiry into corruption in the construction industry hangs around his neck like a toilet seat, given what we have learned since. UPAC, Quebec’s anti-corruption task force, is still investigating him with respect to illegal fundraising allegations, seven years after he left office. Charest says he is innocent of any wrongdoing. And it is inconvenient in the immediate circumstances that Charest used to collect a $75,000 salary top-up from the Quebec Liberal Party without donors knowing — he considered it purely “a private matter” — and that a new book contains allegations the party paid the mortgage on his Westmount home when he was leader of the opposition .

But at least he has some gravitas. He will not be easily sneered and sniped at. More to the point, he has some perspective: He remembers what politics was like before it was designed mostly to generate the maximum Twitter outrage. (Maybe he wouldn’t even get an account!) He is a reasonably serious person, at a time when an infuriating streak of contrarian unseriousness runs through Canadian conservatism: Scheer’s famous “I supported Brexit before it was cool” tweet might be the ultimate example.

Charest remembers when Canadian politics mattered, when existential issues hung in the balance. He sat in the first couple of rows, and he did get wet. At the very least, having an elder statesman in the race ought to force the others to behave themselves. Best case scenario, maybe some big ideas might escape the dusty vault they’ve been stuck in for 25 years.
 

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Third, his local name recognition would give the Tories a decent shot at becoming competitive again in Quebec, which is where the Liberals see their path to another majority government. The Tories also have a lot of ground to make up in Atlantic Canada, where many residents remember Charest fondly for his role in the “no” side of the 1995 Quebec referendum. And in Ontario, an eastern-based politician with environmental credentials could help the party to break back into Greater Toronto again.

Fourth is the French factor. While it’s certainly far from necessary the Tory leader be a francophone, it’s a fact that a leader’s performance in the election debates is crucial. Charest is perhaps the most bilingual politician in the country; there is no way the head of the Bloc Québécois would be able to run circles around him the way Yves-François Blanchet did to Scheer in October.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

These are, I think, some compelling reasons Charest should enter the race and attract attention from conservatives. But there’s no kidding this would be an uphill battle for him from the start. The Tories’ identity has largely merged with Western Canada, in part because this is their base of support and in part because the region’s interests align with traditional conservative principles. Some westerners would doubtless be very hesitant about turning the reins over to a Central Canadian.

But this argument actually speaks in Charest’s favour. Electorally, the party needs to grow in the east to compete with the Liberals, without sacrificing the west. It seems to me this is far more likely to happen with a familiar face to Quebec and Ontario who espouses western-friendly policies, instead of a western-based leader who tries to fumble together policy appealing specifically to the east. Given that Maxime Bernier drew support from several western MPs in his bid to become leader in 2017, there is some precedent for the idea Charest could gain a following in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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The current government owes some of its success to the support of disaffected, former blue voters. That’s not a reason for the party to abandon its principles; but there’s also something important to be said for bringing in a leader associated with the Mulroney-era Progressive Conservative party, now best remembered for advancing the U.S. and North American free trade deals that have so benefited the country.

What we need to hear from Charest, should he choose to declare, is policy substance. Promotion of pipelines, responsible budgeting and a rebalancing of fiscal federalism to address the west’s economic concerns would seem non-negotiable. But the party should be open to other ideas he may have, such as a more market-based environmental policy, especially if such an approach could be part of a good electoral strategy.

The former Quebec premier would not be able to win the contest as a “white knight” candidate by any means, in part because one has much to recommend in the presumed early frontrunner, Rona Ambrose. There is also no point dismissing the likely skepticism of the more regional and ideology-focused wings of the party. As the Post’s editorial board argued last Saturday, it’s every bit as key at this point for the Tories to develop policy and philosophy, which would include scrutinizing the positions of its leadership hopefuls.

Still, there is a place to look at the prospective entrants on their own merits, and not limit consideration to Tories who came of age in the Harper government. Reprising the style, strategy and policy of that era, without adaptation, has now been tried unsuccessfully. This doesn’t mean it’s time to jump ship and go back to the “reds”; but neither is it responsible to exclude outsiders from the movement’s past who could mount a serious campaign for the party if given the chance.

Even if Charest didn’t win the leadership, his participation in the process would be valuable and far from his distraction. By all means, small- and big-c conservatives should see the possible entrance of a big name like his as a good thing.

National Post
 

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Jean Charest is out — which means Quebec is wide open in the Conservative leadership race.

And with every member's vote in the province likely to carry a disproportionate weight, it's a vacant playing field that every candidate will want to occupy.

The roster of contestants for the Conservative leadership is far from final. But the list of names it won't include is getting longer. On Wednesday, former Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose ruled herself out. In an interview with Radio-Canada on Tuesday, Charest — the former Quebec premier and leader of the Progressive Conservatives in the 1990s — said he would not mount a bid for the leadership.

Charest likely would have had lots of appeal in Quebec, as well as the ability to sign up a significant number of new members there. But with Charest now ruling out a run, the race could end up with no candidate from Quebec among the top contenders.

The two Conservative MPs with the highest profiles in Quebec — Alain Rayes, Andrew Scheer's Quebec lieutenant, and Gérard Deltell, a former journalist and the last leader of the Action Démocratique du Québec (before it dissolved itself into Premier François Legault's Coalition Avenir Québec) — already have ruled themselves out.

Richard Décarie, a former deputy chief of staff to Stephen Harper, is working on a leadership bid as a social-conservative candidate. He's from Quebec — but the province's aversion to social conservatism will limit his appeal there. Pierre Lemieux and Brad Trost, two social conservative candidates, together took just nine per cent of the vote on the first ballot in Quebec in 2017's leadership race.

So Quebec could be a political vacuum that the other candidates have to fill. They would be wise to try — because Quebec's party members offer a lot of bang for the buck.

Quebec votes worth their weight in gold

All 338 ridings across the country carry equal weight in the Conservative leadership vote. Each riding is worth 100 points, and those points are distributed according to each candidate's share of the vote.

In other words, the candidate who wins 10 out of 20 votes in one riding ends up with the same amount of points as the candidate who landed 1,000 out of 2,000 votes in another riding. Ridings with lower numbers of party members offer candidates a chance to do a lot with a little.

The last leadership race offered a good illustration. Nearly 29,000 Conservative members living in Alberta cast a ballot in 2017 — an average of 848 members in each of Alberta's 34 ridings. In Quebec, meanwhile, there were just 9,669 voting members spread out across the province's 78 ridings — an average of 124 members per district.

Every vote in Alberta was worth an average of 0.12 points. Every vote in Quebec was worth 0.81 points — nearly seven times as much.

Even these numbers were skewed by the regions of Quebec that had a higher concentration of members, such as the West Island of Montreal or runner-up Maxime Bernier's Beauce riding; Beauce alone was responsible for over 1,000 votes. The 34 ridings in Quebec with the fewest members delivered a total of 1,600 votes in the 2017 leadership race — an average of 48 per riding. Each vote cast in those seats was worth over two points apiece.

He may or may not end up being the main beneficiary, but former cabinet minister Peter MacKay can take some credit for this voting system. It was one of the conditions of the merger that created the modern Conservative Party. MacKay, as leader of the Progressive Conservatives at the time, insisted on it — and he's defended it at party conventions ever since.

Who will be Quebec's candidate?

If MacKay does emerge as the winner, strong results in Quebec could prove to be decisive. The former Nova Scotia MP might not have as much support in places like rural Ontario and in Western Canada — where there are lots of Conservative Party members and where the old Reform Party and Canadian Alliance had significant support.

But it isn't clear yet which candidate is best positioned to become Quebec's top choice.

A recent survey by Abacus Data suggests that every candidate still has some way to go. The poll, conducted Jan. 16-17 with a sample of 302 respondents in Quebec, found that 46 per cent of respondents there did not know enough about MacKay to have an opinion.

That figure rose to 63 per cent for Ontario MP Pierre Poilievre and 72 per cent for both 2017's third-place finisher Erin O'Toole and fellow Ontario MP Marilyn Gladu.

About 13 per cent of Quebecers said they had a positive impression of MacKay, compared to 11 per cent who had a negative one. That split was six to eight per cent for Poilievre and five to three per cent for O'Toole. Considering the small sample size, this suggests no one is likely to have the inside track in Quebec from the get-go.


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An Abacus Data poll suggested that Peter MacKay is the best known of the potential candidates in Quebec. Still, nearly half of respondents didn't know enough about him to have an opinion. (The Canadian Press)


The endorsement of Quebec's 10 Conservative MPs will be highly coveted. They did appear to make a difference in 2017, with those of Rayes and Deltell being among the most valuable.

Winning Quebec won't be important just for the contestants in this leadership race — it also will likely be a major factor in determining the eventual winner's chances of becoming the next prime minister. Conservative support in Quebec collapsed after Scheer's poor performance in the first of two French-language debates in October's federal election campaign, significantly reducing the party's chances of forming government.

Conservative members motivated by a desire to avoid a third consecutive loss likely will be asking themselves which of the contenders can make the most gains in Quebec. Charest showed some promise on that score. The candidate Quebecers settle on as their next best option will have a leg-up on the competition.

 

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加拿大is not ready for a woman PM.
当然,女性中也没看见有合适的人选
 

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PP也不参选了。

人才匮乏啊!
 

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This column is an opinion by Kory Teneycke. He is a former director of communications for prime minister Stephen Harper, managed the recent Ontario PC Party Campaign, and is currently a partner at Rubicon Strategy. Teneycke has declared he will remain neutral in the federal Conservative leadership campaign and has recused himself from work Rubicon is providing for the Peter MacKay campaign. For more information about CBC's Opinion section, please see the FAQ.

Leadership races are an opportunity for political parties to course-correct. They are a place to test new policy approaches and hopefully capture the imagination of Canadians. At their best, they are made-for-TV electoral death matches. They are exciting!
At least they are supposed to be.

It is hard to imagine a race more boring than this one.

Only one heavyweight contender – Peter MacKay – has shown up for this Conservative Party Leadership contest. Which is one more than ran in the last one.

Most notably absent this time: Rona Ambrose, Brad Wall, Jean Charest and Pierre Poilievre. All would have been formidable opponents – and in the case of Ambrose, the odds-on winner if only she had entered the race.

The only person left standing in the way of a complete MacKay coronation is his political doppelganger, Erin O'Toole.

As columnist Paul Wells (among others) has pointed out, if you strip away the marketing, you'd require a microscope to distinguish the policy differences between MacKay and O'Toole. Both are sons of long-time politicians and come from the same old-Tory wing of the party. They even speak the same strained French.

One was the Minister of Defence and the other served in the Air Force. However, when this race for political Top-Gun started, many felt MacKay was starring as Maverick and O'Toole as his less-charismatic wingman Goose.

Or at least they did.

O'Toole has been running a surprisingly savvy, effective campaign.

Meanwhile, the past couple weeks have been marked by MacKay making unforced policy errors and communications gaffes, and lacking a coherent message.

His campaign has displayed the same early symptoms as Joe Biden's U.S. Democrat bid – a severe case of "front-runner-itis."

MacKay has been avoiding interviews, choosing safe platitudes and rhetorical bromides over hard policy announcements and making sharp contrasts with his opponents. The temptation to play it safe has cut many a front-runner down to size – some it destroys altogether (as may be the case with Biden).


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Peter MacKay addresses the crowd at a federal Conservative leadership forum in Halifax on Feb. 8. His campaign has been marked by several missteps in recent weeks. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

As in any arena, strong competition breeds strong competitors. A field of strong candidates fight more forcefully for their ideas. Their weaknesses get tested.

And through the fire of a leadership contest – the hotter the better - you harden them into steel.

Step forward John Baird.

Baird cut his teeth as a Young Turk in Ontario premier Mike Harris' government, later moving to Ottawa to become Stephen Harper's reliable Mr. Fix-it. In both governments he had a hard-earned reputation as a fiscal hawk. He is without question an instant A-list competitor.


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John Baird, seen here speaking in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Feb. 3, 2015, is a former Conservative foreign minister with a reputation as a fiscal hawk. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
Baird would be a comfortable choice for many conservatives with Canadian Alliance/Reform Party lineage.

He was briefly Pierre Poilievre's campaign chair and would have access to a ready-made team, augmented by those who were pushing Rona Ambrose to join the race.

Perhaps most interesting is what Baird could put together in Quebec. Jean Charest walked away after testing the waters, but that doesn't mean there isn't appetite for a leading candidate with greater proficiency in both official languages.

Since leaving public office, Baird has kept up his ties and profile in the political world. He served on Ontario Premier Doug Ford's transition team, and more recently conducted the autopsy of Andrew Scheer's federal election campaign (it has yet to be shared with party members).

He has also maintained strong friendships with Premier Jason Kenney and former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Team MacKay shouldn't despair, it is early days and there's lots of time to get their act together.

And O'Toole should keep swinging for the fences – he is looking better than he ever has.

But regardless if they are for MacKay, O'Toole, Marilyn Gladu, or none of the above, everyone in the Conservative Party should want Baird to join and make it a more dynamic race.

About the Author

Kory Teneycke

Kory Teneycke is a former director of communications for prime minister Stephen Harper, managed the recent Ontario PC Party Campaign, and is currently a partner at Rubicon Strategy. Teneycke has declared he will remain neutral in the federal Conservative leadership campaign and has recused himself from work Rubicon is providing for the Peter MacKay campaign.

 

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John Baird will not run for the Conservative leadership
 

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