Experts weigh the strengths and weaknesses

The length of the Conservative leadership race (six months after it was announced in early March) has pros and cons to the party’s good luck in the next election, which some critics have made wise. More advantageous than supporting and suggesting that other critics would have had a shorter period.

Leadership candidates must participate in the race by April 19th and register members by June 3rd, but the voting to select a leader will not take place until September 10th.

Barry Cooper, a professor of political science at the University of Calgary, said the delay would “give the Liberal Party a great opportunity to reorganize” and leave the Conservatives vulnerable to a sudden election call.

“I think it’s entirely possible for Justin Trudeau to call for early elections again,” Cooper told The Epoch Times.

The leaderless summer election “will certainly put the Conservatives at a disadvantage,” he said, but rushing early voting after June 3 to meet the call for federal elections would also work. There wasn’t.

“I think it’s probably Candice. [Bergen, interim leader] She will have to do her best. … [Otherwise]The winner [the leadership] It will be quite confusing. “

“Vulnerability is the name of the game in politics,” said Jacqueline Biollo, principal of the Aurora Strategy Group, but choosing the right Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader is more than preparing for the summer elections. It suggests good risk management.

“CPC’s approach to leadership races is vulnerable only to internal failures, strategic planning, communication, and lack of election preparation, not specifically summer elections,” Violo told The Epoch Times.

“A momentary vote [for leadership in response to a federal election] The CPC will look even more confusing and hopeless, “she said. “Summer elections with interim leaders who already have the opportunity to build a reputation with Canadians may increase their confidence, or at least the support of voters.”

Epoch Times Photo
The Conservative MP Pierre Poirievre will rise during the question period at the House of Commons on December 6, 2021. (Canada Press / Adrian Wild)

Biollo said the process CPC chose was “strategic to ensure fair competition with well-defined rules” designed to revitalize the party in a pool of candidates. thinking about. But she said the party was also “desperate to improve” in the previous two leadership races and “desperate to find a suitable leader to confuse the current minority.” increase.

Some MPs wanted a faster process. According to CBC News, New Brunswick State Assembly member John Williamson sent an email to his fellow lawmakers on February 23, calling for a leader vote by July 1, and new leaders can prepare for the fall elections. I did it. Alberta Parliamentarian Chris Wakentin told the CBC on February 25 that “a significant portion of the caucuses” feels the same. Both MPs support Carleton MP’s Pierre Poilievre leadership bidding.

Tom Flanagan, a former political science professor and later CPC who led Stephen Harper’s leadership race for the Canadian Alliance, says earlier dates would have helped Poirievre.

“Early dates are in favor of insiders who are already up and running. I think I’ll postpone the choice. It was done until September, at least in part, to give outsiders a fair chance, “Flanagan said in an email.

“I think it’s unusual for the deadline for membership sales to be so long. It takes some time to see if the sale is valid, but three months seems to be long. Candidates Leave more time to discuss with each other. “

Leadership applicants are required to participate in the contest until April 19th. As in 2020, they will have to pay a compliance deposit of $ 100,000, which will be refunded after the election race, in addition to the admission fee of $ 200,000. Members vote for candidates on ranked ballots.

Jeffrey Hale, a professor of political science at the University of Lethbridge, believes that the party has “taken a measured and balanced approach” to its schedule and entry fees. Ballot background “.

“The June deadline provides a three-month period for the sale of new members … a process until the next leader recruits candidates and jeopardizes the opportunity to organize for the next election. Will not be postponed, “he said.

“The three-month period of membership sales during the summer gives candidates the opportunity to visit membership lists and persuade compelling people, and also consider ballots for second and third options. Will be piled up. “

Candidates so far

Poilievre was the first person to declare his candidacy shortly after the race was announced. Ontario Parliamentarian Leslin Lewis will begin bidding on March 8, and former Premier of Quebec Jean Charest is planning a campaign launch event in Calgary on March 10. Mayor Patrick Brown of Brampton, Ontario will also announce a bid later in the week.

Others who may wear a hat on the ring include Ontario Parliamentarians Scott Aitchison and Parry Sound Muskoka. Former MP of Leona Alleslev, Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill. Independent Ontario MPP Roman Baber; Former Cabinet Minister Peter MacKay; and longtime Member of Provincial Ontario Michael Chung.

Epoch Times Photo
Conservative Leslyn Lewis will rise during the question period at the House of Commons on the Parliamentary Hill in Ottawa on December 2, 2021. (Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick)

Harper’s minister, Rona Ambrose, decided not to run, even though many Tories wanted to do so. Former Premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall also excluded running.

Nelson Wiseman, a former professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said this summer that “no one wants the next election,” so CPCs don’t have to worry about it. But he believes the party should have restricted leadership votes to existing members to prevent whimsical and dishonest people from influencing decisions. He says that if the party gives up funding from membership and leadership drivers, it will benefit in the long run.

“If you want to build a party, an executive of people who support the party, the votes of those who have been members for 15 years and renew their membership each year are on par with someone who just signed up in June. Wiseman said in an interview that he was voting for the September leadership race in second place, would never do anything to the party and would never participate. “

“People who actually have membership-and they are the ones who are most likely to visit door-to-door, work in the office, and send envelopes-privileges. they.. “

Lee Harding


Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.