Thursday, March 23, 2017

Leitch slides, O'Leary gains in Conservative Leadership Index

Kellie Leitch is falling back and Kevin O'Leary is moving forward in their bids to lead the Conservative Party, according to the latest update to the Conservative Leadership Index.

Fellow contenders Andrew Scheer and Erin O'Toole also improved their standings in the index thanks to some key political endorsements.

The index is a composite of four leadership race metrics (endorsements, contributors, fundraising and polls) that has been developed to help gauge the state of the 14-candidate race to replace Stephen Harper as the party's permanent leader.

You can read the rest of this article here.


  1. The deadline to get a membership is March 28. Pre-paid credit cards are still acceptable as long as you are legitimate. $15 is a small price to pay to have a chance like this for any type of Canadian libertarian. Marc Emory says he has been wating all his adult life for a conservative leader like Maxime Bernier. I realize he has liabilities, and probably never becomes PM, but I have watched him speak his principles for a decade now. More freedom, less government, respect, responsibility. If we can somehow even get him near that PM seat the debate in Canada for be forever changed. I believe Max wants to take a wreaking ball to federal power, and I very much hope all like-minded people will try to take our future and country back in a big way. We may never get this chance again. Bernier 2019, think about it.

    1. I do not believe Bernier wishes to take a "wrecking ball" to federal power; he does want Ottawa to respect provincial jurisdiction. Prime Ministers since, Mackenzie King have slowly and steadily crept into areas of provincial responsibility. For example: In the budget Canada promised to fund 40% of the Broadway-UBC subway line proposed in Vancouver by Translink. That is great except the entire project falls under the realm of provincial responsibility some of which has been delegated to municipal governments; City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, and the provincial transit agency Translink.

      Thank you all good people of Prince Edward Island whose tax dollars have gone to fund my rapid transit. I know I subsidise your potatoes and probably paid far too much to film who knows how many renditions of Anne of Green Gables on that little piece of paradise in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is probably a fair trade-what Canadian boy didn't have a crush on Megan Follows?

      However, it is not very efficient and it certainly muddies the waters of transparency and accountability. In the end we create mountains of administrivia so we can send taxes to Ottawa only to have Ottawa remit the money back to Victoria.

      I expect Bernier once leader will round some of his edges. A Bernier government wouldn't retrench back to the silos of the 19th century. The Nuns wouldn't be called upon to re-staff St. Paul's Hospital on Burrard Street. I think Bernier will give up substantial tax room to the Provinces. More tax room would be welcomed. Vancouverites and British Columbians should not have to rely on the generosity of Ottawa to build a subway-especially when it's our money!

    2. Bede,

      Good to see you are on board the Bernier train. I'd much rather be pulling in the same direction as debating you can wear a guy out.

      If you want to call it decentralization 2.0 instead of violent imagery like a wreaking ball, that is fine. I'm just having a bit of fun.

      Bernier wants to take the ax to federal spending, and I want to help him swing it. His two-tier flat tax will put hundreds of CRA agents out of work, and potentially sparks an economic revival in Canada the likes of which we thought we'd never see.

      No need for me to preach to the choir I'm sure. It is encouraging that you support Bernier as well. I would have pegged you as a Scheer guy at a guess. If a somewhat moderate N.Ontarian, and a someone more rock-ribbed B.C conservative can agree and be excited about Max, then you know there is really something cooking here.

      Good luck and fingers crossed for a new conservative golden age in the not to far future. The world surely needs it.

    3. I would be for Scheer except Le Petit Trudeau is proving so inept that we need to get rid of this Government sooner rather than later. If the Tories can split Quebec they can win Government. Bernier has the potential to sweep Quebec.

      Scheer would be a great leader but, I think it would take two elections. Lisa Raitt I also like. She may get my second vote.

  2. Probably not going to happen, ARJ. This campaign has been a sleeper, notable only for having too many candidates for a proper debate. So the guy with the most name recognition(O'Leary) will win by default.

    I have no idea why the bottom ten candidates are even in the race. They know that they have no hope of winning, and any idea that they might raise their profile enough for eventual
    cabinet consideration must be dashed by now. If they wanted any influence at all, their only play was to drop out and endorse one of the candidates that might actually win, to give them some momentum before the new membership cutoff, but now it's just about too late.

    1. I really think you are going to be disappointed by the results.

      O'Leary has the most name recognition among Canadians not necessarily Conservative members, he doesn't speak French and the contest is decided on constituency points. I understand why you are bullish on O'Leary but, I just don't see it. I'll agree O'Leary has campaigned well but, he is just not very likable. I know the same was said about Trump but, Trump was up against an even more unlikable candidate in Hilary. O'Leary has Bernier who is a people person, a populist.

      People need to pay money to vote in the race and O'Leary is starting from the back on this metric, especially when Bernier is dominating the libertarian populist message. I just don't see O'Leary signing up sufficient new members to win. Current members are likely already supporting another candidate. Truth be told I could see O'Leary either making it to the last ballot or going relatively early.

      When Corbyn won the Labour leadership he did so thanks to the many thousands possibly hundreds of thousands of Tory and Liberal Democrat supporters who became nominal Labour members to vote for him and in so doing improve the chances of their preferred party at the next election. Likewise, Trump was able to appeal and gain the support of "forgotten" Regan Democrats both during the primaries many of which are open to all, unlike the Conservative race, and on election day.

      I think O'Leary has the potential to win, at this point, I see him as the underdog not the favourite.

    2. Hi GI,

      I never thought Bernier would be this close to winning as it is. I see nothing in the numbers to suggest that O'leary is a forgone conclusion. On my personal ballot I am currently planning on putting Max, followed by a bunch of nobodies, followed by the strongest contenders, followed by O'Leary in last. That is a 14 point gap on just my ballot. I am open to arguments why I shouldn't do this, but currently it is my intention.

      Not to be a broken record but more freedom, less government, respect, responsibility are principles I am willing to fight and die on any political hill for. The chances of winning aren't my main concern, putting forward principled conservatism is.

      Don't want to disparage other candidates, but I'd like to outsource the Boston loudmouth to China.

    3. The other big problem with O'Leary, where does he live? He has a residence in Toronto but, is he a resident of Canada? The Tories don't want a leader susceptible to charges of "He's only visiting". Given, O'Leary probably is more capability than Ignatiev of defending himself. He probably returns to Toronto for holidays instead of France but, no Canadian is going to vote for a part time prime minister or a part-time Canadian for that matter.

      Who is going to pay $15 to vote for this guy? Does anyone know a single person who has joined the Tories to vote for O'Leary? I'm a member and I have not met a single person.

    4. AJR79,

      I'll give you one good reason: You'll only get 10 votes.

      From a forming government standpoint or strategy I think Bernier gets them there. I like the idea of a woman going up against Trudeau, so, Lisa Raitt will score high with me. Scheer would be competent and so would O'Toole but neither excites me. Blaney is fine as well but, if it is going to be a French Canadian Bernier has far more charisma.

    5. ARJ -- It would not surprise me that most Bernier supporters would do exactly what you are doing: put Bernier first, O'Leary last. But if Bernier and O'Leary are on the final ballot, then their supporters' later choices won't be tallied.

      The only people whose down-ballot preferences matter are those whose 1st choice is eliminated. O'Leary and Bernier are on the socially liberal wing, so why would an Obhrai or Leitch or Scheer supporter switch to Bernier over O'Leary down-ballot? Many won't care which of those two win and, on average, their votes will split equally between O'Leary and Bernier downballot, which will advantage O'Leary. I suspect that a large percentage of Leitch and Scheer supporters are from the core of the old Reform Party, which stemmed from discontent at Mulroney giving too much preference to Quebec. They're not going to vote for Bernier down-ballot.

      I don't really care who wins. I'm simply reading the polls and, with what I know of Conservative voters, I see that Bernier probably will come 2nd on the first ballot and won't have enough room to grow from there. A more socially conservative candidate like Scheer might have some room to grow in later ballots, but according to polls he is starting from very far behind and instant runoff means no opportunity for opinion to coalesce around a darkhorse.

      Of course, you can criticise O'Leary for having no French skills, for being aloof, for campaigning from outside the country. But everyone knows that, and he is still ahead in opinion polls.

    6. O'Leary complaining about voter fraud shows his campaign knows they have not signed up enough people.

      Opinion polls are not the same as Conservative party members many of whom care that O'Leary does not live in the country, speaks poor French and is aloof.

      I'm prepared to be wrong but, other than a high profile, the tea leaves do not look promising for O'Leary.

  3. I was almost ready to be disappointed in this interview of Maxime by Mark Steyn since it didn't appear he was going to ask about the documents.

    Turns out he does near the end, and Max's answer is fantastic. Was a bit worried about that old story, but no longer. You can check out the interview here Well worth the time if you are interested in him at all IMHO.

  4. bede,

    Trump hasn't even reached the infamous, in this case, 100 days yet and the administration has already hit train wreck status. Canadians generally, and Conservatives in particular, won't place their confidence in an hum, hum, untested newly-come politician. Trump just broke that template.

    1. Train wreck status? That's a little harsh. He was elected to overturn the apple cart, the fact he has controversial policy proposals should surprise no one. He hasn't done anything. He's tried to impose two travel bans and repeal Obamacare. As yet he hasn't succeeded but, he also has another 45 months to get it done.


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