The Garden City Refugee

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CPC Leadership Race 2020

July 9, 2020

Thoughts on the 2020 CPC leadership race:

1. My first choice remains Stephen Harper, but I know he’s not running.

2. My second choice is Maxime Bernier, but again, he’s not running.

3. Of those who are running, Derek Sloan looks like he’ll be my #1 choice. He’s been the only one who seems to have the courage to deal with the issues head-on, and as he says, without apology.

4. I like what Leslyn Lewis brings to the table, but her performance in the debate was awful. As someone who has performed poorly in front of cameras, I can sympathize better than most, but I’m not running for public office. She just doesn’t have a good public presence and if elected as leader, Justin Trudeau will literally eat her alive.

5. Erin O’Toole’s campaign seems to be going exactly the opposite of how his last attempt at the leadership went. In his first go-round, he started slowly, then he ramped it up later in the campaign, after many of the ballots had gone out and been filled in. This time, he started strong and is now fading badly down the stretch. His latest faux pas was accepting the endorsement of Christine Elliott. You know, the deputy premier in the PC-turned-NDP government of Doug “Closed for Business” Ford, whose lust for dictatorial power apparently knows no bounds. After meeting O’Toole in here in St. Catharines, I thought he’d be atop my ballot. Now, I don’t think he’ll even be on it at all.

6. I suppose I should mention Peter MacKay, only because he’s officially in the race. My first impression of him was “Brian Mulroney 2.0” and nothing I’ve seen or heard from him since has changed my opinion. Back when Mulroney was running for the leadership, I knew right away he was bad news, and I get the same feeling with MacKay. He’s much too slick for my liking, and the last election already proved that the Liberal-lite approach taken by Andrew Scheer won’t work.

7. The candidates are taking plenty of shots at Justin Trudeau for running up astronomical deficits and growing much too cozy with China and its oppressive regime that squashes human rights like a bug. Yet no one seems willing to take on the virus-themed human rights abuses committed by Trudeau and the once-conservative Ford right here at home.

8. Whoever wins the leadership not only has the job of defeating Justin Trudeau, but also of draining the swamp within the party. There are factions that still view Bernier and the PPC as more of a threat than Justin, and every single member of that high and mighty leadership committee who disqualified Jim Karahalios and Richard Décarie simply based on their views needs to be purged from the party.

9. What I really want to know from all the candidates is what they’ll do after being elected leader, not before. Too often in recent years, we’ve been burned by leaders saying one thing before the vote, then doing a 180 right after their ascension to power. See Scheer, Andrew; Brown, Patrick and Ford, Doug.

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