Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What MPs' endorsements say about the Conservative leadership race

Though six months remain before Conservatives choose their next party leader, nearly half of the Conservative caucus has already backed one of the 12 contestants officially in the running. Two of them, Andrew Scheer and Erin O'Toole, have received the bulk of these endorsements. 

But if endorsements are at all reflective of organizational strength and membership support, where these endorsements are coming from might be as important as the number each contestant receives. 

You can read the rest of this article here.


  1. I follow politics pretty closely but I can't say I have any real idea who Andrew Sheer or Erin O'Toole are. Wasn't Sheer the House Speaker, the main job requirement being to be neutral and not take a position on anything? And I guess Erin O'Toole has nine months of ministerial experience in one of the smallest departments? (Why is Veterans' Affairs still a full-fledged Department?)
    How can either people with nearly no public profile have a serious chance of winning the leadership of a party with a serious shot at forming the next government?


    1. The Speaker does far more than referee debate. He is the chief administrator of the Commons responsible for its budget, security, staff and upkeep. Scheer's profile in the role was about average. Speakers don't usually attract too much attention. Scheer perhaps had a higher profile than some due to the renovation plans approved under his watch that are due to begin in the near future. In total I believe the renovation and restoration of the parliament buildings is in the order of a billion dollars!

    2. Having a leader who is new to the public can be a good thing. Unknown usually means few negatives. With three years before the next election plenty of time remains for the next leader to become known. As Leader of the Opposition he or she shouldn't have too much trouble landing in the media spotlight.

      An unknown also will juxtapose the new leader well against the over saturation of Trudeau's media style. Smart and understated has often performed well in Canada. Who can forget Dr. John Hamm, Darrell Dexter, or "Steady" Eddy Stelmach even Mike Harris was a relative unknown until he became Ontario Tory leader.

  2. Éric,

    They need to find their own mold. If they try for their own version of Justin Trudeau, they will fail miserably. People will go with Trudeau every time over Trudeau-lite.

  3. I don't think endorsements mean as much as they once did. Where endorsements do help is by providing lists of riding members to the leadership candidates. On the larger question of whether endorsements bring votes I am less certain. In the past I think the pull was stronger but, never universal. Today I think regional pull to have as great an effect as endorsements if not more.


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