Lots of news in the CPC Leadership race:
- The Globe and Mail reports that “when it comes to who should be the next leader, it appears Conrad Black has a preferred candidate – at least on the lunch circuit … The media baron recently sent out an email inviting guests to a Toronto luncheon for Maxime Bernier, the libertarian Quebec MP running to replace Stephen Harper as head of the Conservative party … [and] … When asked about the luncheon, Mr. Black replied in an e-mail that he doesn’t really know much about the Conservative leadership race … [but, he said] … “Maxime Bernier is an old friend whom I have not seen for many years, and John Reynolds [Mr. Bernier’s campaign co-chair] and I are introducing him to some people in Toronto, I understand John is doing something larger for him later in the day. I’m afraid I don’t have enough knowledge or opinions on this subject for an interview.”“
- Meanwhile, in the National Post we saw two reports ~
- First, that: “Support and name recognition for Tory leadership candidate Kellie Leitch has spiked on the heels of her proposing a “values” test for immigrants, according to a new poll that shows the issue seems to have traction with Conservative party supporters … [and] … Leitch’s controversial proposal to screen immigrants, refugees and visitors for “anti-Canadian values” has dramatically improved her profile and popularity among Conservative voters, says a new Mainstreet Research poll conducted exclusively for Postmedia … Leitch was the preferred leadership candidate of 15 per cent of Conservative supporters polled, trailing only Peter MacKay (at 19 per cent) in support among party faithful … The Mainstreet Research telephone poll, conducted Sept. 7-8, surveyed 5,250 Canadians, including 1,564 Conservative supporters (who are not necessarily Conservative party members) … [and] … Declared leadership candidate Tony Clement was third at 11 per cent, followed by Andrew Scheer (expected to enter the race) and potential candidate Erin O’Toole at nine per cent.“‘
- Second, Peter MacKay’s number don’t matter all that much because, the National Post says, “Peter MacKay’s announcement late Monday that he’s not seeking the Conservative party leadership has tossed the race on its head, freeing up a slew of supporters and opening a new path to the party crown for several candidates.“
In terms of consequences, the National Post suggests, in the article by Jason Fekete, that “Conservative operatives believe MacKay’s decision to bow out could favour possible candidates Erin O’Toole and Lisa Raitt the most, two Ontario Conservative MPs who also have strong ties to Atlantic Canada and have been friends with MacKay.”
Jason Kekete concludes by noting that: “Declared candidates for the leadership include MPs Bernier, Clement, Kellie Leitch, Michael Chong, Deepak Obhrai and Brad Trost, as well as former MP Pierre Lemieux …
… Former ministers and current MPs O’Toole, Raitt and Candice Bergen are weighing bids.” I think he should have added Andrew Scheer to that list.
Winnipeg doctor Dan Lindsay, Vancouver venture capitalist Rick Peterson and communication consultant Adrienne Snow (who is fundraising for a leadership bid) have also expressed interest.”
So, where does that lead Rona Ambrose and Michelle Rempel? Have both decided that it will be nearly impossible to unseat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2019 and that their best option is to wait until after the 2019 election and challenge for the leadership, then, as the proven, but still “fresh” new faces?
There has been considerable media speculation that both have ambitions post-2019, and that both want (and expect) a highly visible front bench post under the next leader, and that both need to work on their French and their support in Quebec, and that Ms Rempel, at least, is the “future” of the Conservative Party.