Friday, September 23, 2016

Why high-profile candidates may be sitting out Conservative, NDP leadership races

The list of people who have declared they will not run for the leadership of the Conservative Party or the NDP is more illustrious than the list of contestants already in the race or mulling a bid. Could it be that some of these opt-outers already consider the 2019 federal election a lost cause?

On the Conservative side, former heirs apparent like Peter MacKay and Jason Kenney have decided they have better things to do than take over the party. Other leading figures within Stephen Harper's government, such as John Baird and James Moore, both now working in the private sector, have also said they will be sitting this one out.

Instead, a group of Conservative MPs with low name recognition have thrown their hats in the ring, while others with similarly limited profiles are expected to declare their intentions soon.

You can read the rest of this article here.


  1. At the start of the week Justin and the Liberals looked to be assured of re-election. Today they are still heavily favoured, however, it was not a good week for the Government or the PM. We now know, if the extra 20 billion in deficit spending had not already indicated the PM likes to spend money, we know now with the Liberals spending over $1.1 million moving well paid political staff to Ottawa that Bill Morneau does not control the purse strings. The whole Maryam "I don't know where I'm from" Monsef debacle is on the verge of unbelievable. Ms. Monsef was supposed to be screened by the Liberal Party, The RCMP, PMO and PCO-none of them discovered an abnormality existed and that says something very scary about our vetting system for Government. Mainly, that it is inadequate to ascertain or able to verify even the most basic facts submitted by potential cabinet minister and other who wish or need high level security clearances. Never mind the growing litany of promises not accomplished. 25,000 Syrians arrived late, decriminalised marijuana still many months if not years away, all the while the Liberals do nothing about unregulated dispensaries, the list goes on. this Government like all governments experienced growing pains. Justin's growing pains are more severe than many. He is still heavily favoured at the moment for re-election but, Transmountain is coming up and bound to lose him votes as are a host of other unpopular decisions. The negotiations with the Provinces over a new health accord will not be easy. Sending troops on "Peace development missions" will likely involve casualties. Justin is still favoured but, this was not a good week for the Liberals. Pierre Trudeau was reduced to a minority at the 1972 election if Justin continues his rather amateurish governing style history is more likely to repeat itself.

    1. You started off well in your post then dipped into silly propaganda. A mass majority of Canadians approved the way he handled the Syrian refugees, and by pushing the time table it got agencies and people ready for them. In the end he looked like a strong leader in human rights to most Canadians, so that was a strange example to start with.

      Nobody wants a rushed, badly thought out marijuana law, that will be one of the first of its kind in the world. He looks prudent, and Canadians seem to approve on his go slow approach on this. Most Canadians know he has to get that one right.

      All of the proposals I've heard is for our troops going into non-combative zones. Your points are the type of silly criticism that has his approval rating to well over 60% as practical Canadians just shake their heads when they hear it. It just pushes Trudeau to keep doing what he's doing when you say things like that.

      No doubt he has to get the purse strings under control, as that could hurt all of Canada in the long run. But your BS about Morneau and moving expenses is just silly. Morneau's job is to figure the long term billions and not someone's moving expenses. My gosh.

      There's lots of things to criticize Trudeau on, but you've somehow chosen some odd examples that most Canadians just shake their heads at. This is the type of off criticism that keeps Trudeau popular with a very smart electorate. But maybe Trudeau knows that, and he's leaving these traps for you to fall into, to make those who criticize him look awful. And people are still naive enough to call him dumb? You may have just shown he's a lot more like his Dad than any of us has ever imagined.

    2. Fred G,

      You started out well then fell into silly propaganda. My point is simply Justin is not living up to the very high expectations, he stated, promised and assured Canadians he would keep. A pattern has developed; High minded promises are followed by delay or inaction.

      Your criticism of my criticisms is all well and dandy but, your mocking style has an echo of authoritarianism that is unbecoming of someone living in a mature democracy.

      Good citizens help keep the Government accountable and honest by asking questions and assessing, analysing and recording Government actions or lack thereof. This is especially true in terms of taxation and government expenditure and citizen participation in this process the very basis and foundation for Government and democracy in Canada!

      I may have odd examples but, it is noted that you don't defend the actions of the Government so much as criticise me. Obviously, at some level you must consider the Governments actions indefensible and my criticisms just.

      A strong leader on human rights does not negotiate an extradition treaty with a country generally regarded as the largest abuser of human rights in history with a track record of tens of millions of needless deaths! I mean come on! Are you really fooled by this smoke and mirrors? I know a number of Liberals who are rolling in their graves! Real human rights leaders such as John Humphrey, Ronald St. John Macdonald, Caen, Frank Scott would be appalled! Simply holding discussions with China helps legitimise their actions and legal system. I do not believe that is the human rights record most Canadians want where instead of condemning Chinese abuse we recognise their right to a different legal system that legally uses torture, executions, mass arrests, denies freedom of speech, expression, peaceful assembly or religion, has no due process, right to a free trial or even legal representation! What a wonderful leader on human rights Mr. Trudeau is and how wonderful it is that Liberals feel the need to be complicit in some of these crimes by cozying up to communist China! Bravo! Well done!

      It is becoming clear that Morneau is one of the weakest Finance Ministers in a very long time with little influence in the PMO. There is no check on government spending within the Government.

      The job of the Minister is multi-faceted. You are right he can't necessarily worry about a few million here or there but, it is the pattern that is worrisome not the individual expenses. A 10 billion deficit triples to $30, $2.2 million to move two aides, hundreds of thousands more for nannies. The pattern says one thing: Liberals will spend taxpayers money without regard to the usefulness or benefits, if any, such spending provides ordinary Canadians.

      The perception becomes; They're only in it for themselves. Trudeau can't even be bothered to defend himself anymore having the skilled Toronto lawyer now Government Leader in the House of Commons Ms. Chagger do it for him. It's sad. Canadians want and pay handsomely to see their prime minister answer questions in the House of Commons not pass the buck to a rookie M.P. What leadership!

      Sneaking out the chamber and leaving the heavy lifting to a rookie! This Government already is off-course. Mulroney had high approval numbers once too you know Fred G, So did Harper, the bigger they are the harder they fall.

      They can still turn it around we're a long way from the next election but, if the next three years are like the last one Justin will be lucky to repeat his father's 1972 minority.

    3. Fred G.,

      Harjjit Sajjan uses the term "Peace development" mission not peacekeeping. Commentators have indicated the potential sites are in Africa where currently there is no peace to keep. Currently 12 UN peace operations are on-going in Africa with a total casualty count thus far of some 1200 soldiers. The Defence Minister toured Africa earlier this year. So, Fred G., unfortunately your information is outdated.

  2. Fred G,

    First my bias: I'm a Liberal. I would agree that the PM has strong political instincts when it comes to listening and learning from Canadians. He is a natural retail politician and is genuinely liked by many Canadians. That's the good news.

    The PM is learning and growing each and every day. However, he has shown a need for political mentorship when it comes to certain hot-button issues that quite suddenly come out of the woodwork. Though he is to be commended for instructing Treasury Board to modify rules as it relates to personal expenses, his failure, and that of his most senior staff to initially recognize the red flag related to unreasonable personal expenses, shows the need for the benefit of seasoned political mentorship. He won't find that on staff.

    All prime ministers don't know what they don't know. That's why they are left to rely on personal judgment and experience. The PM's, clearly failed him in this instance.

    Regular calls to a trusted mentor are only a dial away. It's always politically smart to reach out to people like Chrétien and Martin. It costs zero political capital, and has only upside, going forward.

    1. Of course he could easily be making the calls, its not like anyone is going to tell the public who he calls for advice and when he calls them....this isn't exactly unique.

  3. Five months ago I pointed out here how the CPC media message against Trudeau was ineffective. The polls bear this out.

    I agree with Fred G. that now the message is moving from ineffective to counterproductive.

    The CPC comes to be seen as the negative, devoid of economic ideas, bastion of social conservatism party. This path does not lead to forming a government.

    The election is many years away. There is no need to rush with half-baked criticisms. E.g. does any one remember conservatives complaining about how Bombardier was about to get a ton of money while Alberta wasn't getting anything? How did that turned out in reality: generous support to Alberta, and not a cent (yet) to Bombardier.

  4. Polstats,

    I'm not a member of the Conservative Party and I don't need your advice.

    What is counter-productive is promising electoral reform then refuse to hold a referendum on the subject. What is counterproductive is to agree to a GHG reduction plan at Paris without any plan to implement, then, only begin to hold negotiations on the subject with the Provinces seven weeks before the deadline. Finally, just to increase the counter-productivity and garner ill will with certain premiers you may need in your camp, threaten to impose a national carbon tax! That is counter-productive and shows a general disregard for the promise he made at Paris.

    Your overly partisan rhetoric is noted. Canadians can see through the sycophantic revelry the media often portray toward Trudeau. Canadians know when they are being governed well and when politicians are taken advantage of.

    I don't need your advice Polstats, on how to be a good Canadian. Perhaps if you cared more you'd have a more critical eye?

  5. WGS: no one was talking to you. I couldn't care less what you think or whose advice you need.

    My post which was in reply to no one in specific makes an observation on the current CPC strategy.

  6. There is a correlation between third placed parties that go on to undisputedly form government within about a decade, and undebatably one term governments. The R. B. Bennett government of 1930-35 is the only example, prior to that of Justin Trudeau's Liberals, of the former, and it is also the only completed government since the 1870s to satisfy the latter. In Ontario provincially, there were five examples of the former, three of which satisfied, and were the only cases (out of ten governments) since the 1870s of the latter. From this perspective, at least, I don't think one need entertain that the heavyweights of the Conservatives or NDP are being defeatist at all, whether they would be "going with the odds" or not.


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