Conservative leadership? Not even close

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More struggles are emerging for the Conservative Party. Wikipedia

Conservative Party continues to decline with “leadership race”

After less than two years as leader of the Conservative Party, Andrew Scheer formally stepped down on Dec. 12. Following his resignation, a few interested Conservative MPs have put their names forward in the hopes of becoming the party’s next leader.

Although this leadership shift provides an opportunity for the Conservative Party to produce a strong leader, unfortunately, this opportunity has been lost. By their recent statements, postings and actions, most of the potential candidates have already demonstrated that they lack essential leadership skills and this is extremely disappointing and frustrating to see, especially from individuals who hope to become Canadian Prime Minister.

In order to be a candidate, interested MPs had to pass certain qualifications, such as paying $25,000 and obtaining 1,000 signatures from people across thirty different ridings throughout the seven provinces and territories. By the last deadline on Mar/ 27, candidates will have had to pay $200,000.

While I agree that support from multiple constituencies should be required to verify candidates, in my opinion, this large payment is ridiculous since wealth never guarantees good and strong leadership.

As of Feb.29, eight candidates have been approved: Marilyn Gladu, Leslyn Lewis, Jim Karaholois, Derek Sloan, Erin O’Toole, Rick Peterson, Rudy Husny, and Peter MacKay. Despite the numerous candidates to choose from, none seem like a great choice to be the next leader of the conservative party because of their non-descriptive and unclear platforms, very rigid traditional conservative beliefs – especially regarding sexuality – and inability to think before speaking, posting, or tweeting.

For example, Gladu wants to create a “Canadian policy rooted in a better balance of fiscal common sense and social compassion.” Sloan wants “to stand against radical progressivism” as both said to CTV. These views may sound strong, but I have no idea what they mean, or what they involve. For individuals who want to become a leader of a political party with the goal of becoming prime minister, a job where clear communication is essential, it is unfortunate that Gladu and Sloan have already demonstrated their inability to clearly communicate their ideas.

Additionally, Karaholois is running with the goal of fighting against top-down coronations for the well-connected and established corporations, according to CTV. Does he not realize that his statement is contradictory? Isn’t this exactly the situation unfolding: individuals with both wealth and connections vying for the leadership of the Conservative party?

Although there have been some suggestions that the conservative party wants to modernize and change their views towards social issues, this is not demonstrated by any of these candidates, except for MacKay, who suggested that conservative MPs should march in pride parades. Although marching in pride parades demonstrates strong support towards all sexualities, these actions are meaningless when an individual’s personal beliefs don’t correspond. This situation may be problematic for both Lewis, who is against same-sex marriage and abortion and Sloan, who believes that the cause of an individual’s sexual orientation is “scientifically unclear” (CTV). [EIC’s note: they can all fuck off]

It also bothers me that some of these candidates, including Gladu, O’Toole and McKay, have promised to push for an election in October to take down the Liberal government, if elected as party leader.

In a Feb. 24 Facebook post, Gladu stated that her first action if elected, will be “to call on other opposition parties (for their support in bringing) down the Liberal government” (as reported by CBC).

However, calling an election will require the support of both the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois. As Jagmeet Signh emphasized, support from the NDP isn’t inevitable. As he said to CBC, “The NDP knows that (the Conservatives) make hurtful cuts to the public services and help the wealthiest and well connected corporations” and because these types of values and actions go against those of the NDP, they will not willingly join with, or support the Conservatives.”

Singh also emphasized that the NDP is dedicated to working with parties willing to work for the best interests of Canadians. “If the Liberals want to get things done for people, they can work with us to deliver. If not, they can’t count on our support.”

A similar desire for an election was also expressed by MacKay on March 2. McKay wants to “bring a notion of non-confidence to the House of Commons … to defeat the Liberal government as soon as possible”(CBC).

According to McKay, Trudeau should be removed from power as Canadian Prime Minister because of the problems caused by the recent rail protests. Although Trudeau may not have taken, or devised a solution to this problematic and controversial situation, at least he hasn’t made comments, like McKay, O’Toole or Gladu have, which have only worsened the situation.

After counter-protesters attempted to take down the barriers and remove protesters, McKay sent out a tweet: “Glad to see a couple of Albertans with a pickup truck can do more for our economy in an afternoon than Justin Trudeau can do in four years” (CBC). McKay’s attempt to criticize Trudeau backfired making it seem like McKay supported the counter-protesters and was against the Wet’suwet’en activists and their supporters.

While Trudeau may not always be quick on his feet and often has difficulty vocalizing his thoughts clearly and strongly, I would rather have a prime minister who thinks before he speaks or tweets, rather than simply saying something that worsens the situation and is difficult to retract. Gladu and O’Toole’s comments have also not helped the situation. O’Toole suggested that the action of blocking critical infrastructure be criminalized, and Gladu even suggested that the military be called in to enforce an injunction if the RCMP “can’t handle it,” according to CBC.

In my opinion, based on these types of statements and behaviours, none of these candidates deserve this leadership position. Despite this disappointing reality, one of these individuals will be chosen as the next leader of the conservative party on June 27. I only hope that whatever decision is made doesn’t result in further problems or political division for our country.

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