Playing the Indian Card

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Last Call: Canadian Conservative Leadership

I follow politics more or less as others might follow sports: Go Sens! The strategy and mechanics of it fascinate me.

As the votes begin to be counted, here are my favourites for the Canadian Conservative leadership: the best candidates in order. I also expect them to finish in about the same order.

Maxime Bernier
Andrew Scheer
Erin O'Toole
Lisa Raitt

At this point, I think my preferences depart from what is actually likely to happen. I expect the next finishing candidate to be

Kellie Leitch

-- but she would not be so high as my fifth choice.

I actually like her "values test" idea. However, I fear the effect would be trivial. It is a gimmick, and her whole campaign seems gimmicky. This is not why I would not support her. It is more a problem with her public persona. It is vitally important for a leader to be likeable. Max Bernier leads in that category, and the other three listed are very good on it. Leitch is not likeable. She gives the constant impression that she is trying to put something over on you.

Next in actual vote, but not in my support, would be

Michael Chong

I like him, but I fear he would be divisive as leader. He supports a carbon tax, and M-103. I like him for leader of the Liberal Party. I think he will do about this well on the strength of non-Conservatives buying memberships in order to vote for him.

Next up, I predict, will be

Pierre Lemieux

I think Lemieux will do this well on the strength of being the favourite of the serious social conservatives. He is also personally attractive and bilingual. He would be doing better had he not lost his own riding.

All others are also-rans. Probably next in finish order will be

Steven Blaney

thanks to support in Quebec.

Rick Peterson might surprise. He has sounded good in debates.

There is a lot of love for Deepak Obhrai, but I do not think it translates into votes. Brad Trost gets squeezed out by Scheer as a Saskatchewan native son, and by Lemieux as the voice of social conservatism. Saxton and Alexander are too boring. Saxton actually makes this part of his campaign.

He has a point, but I do not think this is a message that will work in these times. As the election of Trump and Brexit show, the general public is mad as hell and not interested in "stay the course."

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