It is sad to read, on CBC News, that “Conservative leadership contender Tony Clement is dropping out of the race to replace Stephen Harper … [because] … The Ontario MP said his campaign didn’t raise enough money to meet the “financial realities of this race.“
The report says that Mr “Clement said he would now turn his attention to serving interim leader Rona Ambrose and returning to the party’s shadow cabinet in the House of Commons.“
This latter bit is good news for Ms Ambrose and the parliamentary wing of the Party.
I, personally, did not believe Mr Clement, despite being an absolute fount of really good ideas, could beat Justin Trudeau, and I’m not sure that any of the other current leadership candidates can. We need a young(er), smart, fiscally conservative, socially moderate, principled internationalist, visionary Canadian Conservative to lead us past Trudeau’s Liberals in 2019. (S)he must be able to “reach” most Canadians with a message of:
- Good, sound, fiscal responsibility that does not threaten to slash and burn our social safety net;
- Social inclusion for ALL Canadians, young and old, rich and poor, gay and straight, brown and white, First Nations and “settlers,” that does not involve trying to turn the clock back to the 1950s or, even, to the year 2000;
- Principled responsibility in international relations wherein Canada plays a lead role in making and keeping the peace ~ the peace that underlies our prosperity ~ wherever it is threatened;
- Free(er) trade within Canada and with the whole world which will mean better lives for most Canadians; and
- Smaller, more efficient and effective, less ambitious and less intrusive government.