Conservative leaders find themselves split from the base

Ottawa-Erin O’Toole claims that the conservative Caucus is united behind his leadership.

But can he be just as confident about the grassroots of the party?

Responses from a small number of third-party organizations representing the band of conservative followers suggest that the answer is probably no.

“If they keep throwing bases under the bus, no one will get on the bus,” said Sheldon Claire, chairman and chief executive officer of the National Firearms Association, “for now” conservative. He added that he would continue to be a member of the group.

Gun owners and their supporters were brought to court both when Autour ran for leader, first in 2017, and last year as well.

The community responded to shock, anger, and disgust during the September federal election campaign when Claire reverted to his promise to lift the Liberal ban on about 1,500 “assault-style” firearms. Is called. In the face of attacks from the Liberal Party, Outur has announced that even inserting a footnote into the online version of his platform will subject the issue to review.

Since the election, the misery between supporters and gun owners has intensified, given that no further explanation or explanation was provided for “a solid policy statement that was almost capricious and upset,” Claire said. It states that it is.

“I heard endless concerns about the direction of the Conservative Party,” said Rod Giltaka, CEO and Managing Director of the Canadian Firearms Union.

“Whether it is a viable option for gun owners and others who believe in property or basic human rights.”

The way the Conservatives decide to move on when Justin Trudeau takes on his third mission was by the National Rally (NCC), a group once led by young Stephen Harper, before the Conservative era. At the heart of the new campaign launched. Leader and later Prime Minister.

The campaign emphasizes the need to return to promoting “conservative values” such as freedom and shrinking government.

“If you’re going to be liberal light, people will vote for real liberal,” said NCC President Peter Coleman.

Other critics point to Otur’s plans to accept carbon prices and run a large deficit for 10 years, as an example of a leader away from conservative legitimacy.

Critics said the party’s national council was suspended by colleagues after Autour was recalled as leader and led an online petition to allow members to vote for his leadership earlier than was scheduled for 2023. Members of the association were included.

Some of the most vocal opposition to Outur comes from the party’s social conservatives. He is a group that worked together during a leadership campaign.

As part of that, he promised to legislate the protection of medical professionals who do not want to refer to patents for services that are morally opposed, such as abortion and dying medical assistance. When the federal campaign hit and Outur faced questions about the pledge, he appeared to have abandoned his promise.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the majority will be happy if there is a leadership competition, based on the feedback we receive from supporters of the organization about Mr. Otur’s leadership,” said co-founder Scott Hayward. Right Now, an organization working to select candidates against abortion.

Outur has also been criticized for his changing portrayals.

First, he ran as a “true blue” candidate to beat party supporters. Later, when he became a Conservative leader, he emphasized the need for more moderate and progressive to win more seats on the important election battlefields of Ontario and Quebec.

How to balance the desires and beliefs of the party’s foundation, which is concentrated in the prairie as well as the caucuses, with the Conservative Party’s appeal in Central Canada and those who consider themselves moderate. , O was a central issue. ‘Tools as a leader.

An O’Toole spokesman denied that there was a division in the class.

“The Conservative Party of Canada is a united team,” wrote spokesman Josie Sabatino. He added that he is focusing on the fight against Congress against “a surge in inflation, a return to economic trajectory, and opposition to Justin Trudeau’s censorship bill.”

“The conservatives are ready,” she said.

However, Coleman said that Autour has been “very quiet” since the end of the campaign, distracted by internal conflicts over whether the Conservatives, including their MPs, would support the vaccine obligations. He added that he was.

He said conservatives needed to win seats in the 905 region of Ontario and appeal more to the newcomer community, as they did under Harper.

“They have not been given a reason to vote for conservatives.”

As post-election reviews are underway, Tory leaders say no one has disappointed supporters of the shortage in Ontario and the loss of a populous Chinese-Canadian horseback riding. Told.

On the positive side, he boasted that conservatives increased their voting share and won new seats on the Atlantic coast of Canada. He argues that this proves that things are heading in the right direction.

The majority of his caucuses seem to want to keep Autour as a leader. Still, parliamentarians voted to empower them to revisit his leadership. This only happens if 20 percent of parliamentarians have signed a letter to force a vote.

Stephanie Taylor

Canadian press