Neither O’Toole nor MacKay is exciting, but English-Canadian politicians rarely are, and excitement isn’t Canada’s national forte anyway
The government’s performance should generate great interest in the selection of a new Opposition leader. But the Conservative leadership race is attracting little attention, including from the majority of potentially interesting candidates. The absence of Rona Ambrose, John Baird, Maxime Bernier, Jean Charest, Jason Kenney, Pierre Poilievre and Brad Wall, though often understandable, is a disappointment. Canada needs a strong alternative government. Of course the pandemic has overshadowed everything, but the Conservative problem has been aggravated by the most boring nomination process possible: ballots mailed in with a complicated preferential voting system will be determined by the operation of machines and announced with the absolute minimum possible incitement of public interest. Bring back live conventions.
Canada needs a strong alternative government There are five candidates; the only ex-ministers are Peter MacKay (foreign affairs, defence, justice) and Erin O’Toole (veterans’ affairs) and one of them is almost certain to be the leader. The other three candidates, Jim Karahalios (twice disqualified, I mention him only in case he somehow tries again), Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan, are long-shot social conservatives. MacKay, 54, was leader of the old Progressive Conservative party and agreed to unification with the Canadian Alliance (Reform party), to reassemble a unitary Conservative party, in 2003. He was deputy party leader under former prime minister Stephen Harper, and a Nova Scotia MP for 18 years. O’Toole, 47, was a captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and has been the MP for Durham (Ontario) for eight years. Both men are lawyers; MacKay has the declared support of 39 MPs and O’Toole of 32.
All five candidates would permit private members to introduce bills to restrict abortion, but MacKay and O’Toole would vote against such measures, and MacKay would require cabinet members to vote against such restrictions, as well. Governments should not have, nor aspire to have, the right to inflict childbirth on a woman who does not wish to have a child. Abortions will occur and they should be sanitary and un-stigmatized. But it is morally offensive that the Liberals and other parties consider abortion to be an equivalent act to birth, a matter of “reproductive rights,” and attach no credence whatever to the concept of the rights of the unborn at any stage. The former leader of the Bloc Québécois, Gilles Duceppe, considered the Roman Catholic Church (which is chiefly responsible for the survival of the French language in Canada) to be an organized conspiracy against abortion rights. Religious freedom includes freedom from atheistic oppression. The Conservatives are the only federal party that evinces any concept of the inherent sanctity of life and the conceivable existence of a superhuman intelligence of any description; this is a matter of toleration and not of belief.
All five candidates want to end this government’s war on the oil and gas industries and build the economically sensible pipelines. MacKay and O’Toole, as well as Lewis, want to move the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which should no longer be controversial. Lewis and MacKay want to reopen the office of religious freedom. MacKay, having seen as defence minister when that department took over the old Nortel buildings, how the Chinese had wired it up for industrial espionage by Huawei; wants to exclude China from the 5G networks, and O’Toole wants to emphasize economic, defence and cultural association with the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Both are good ideas. All candidates wish to repeal the May 2020 firearm ban, and MacKay and Sloan seek some other liberalizations (they’re all right). MacKay wants to review the temporary worker program and Sloan wants to cut back immigration by 60 per cent (a bad idea that looks like vintage bigotry). O’Toole wants to end funding for the CBC English language television service (the French network is even more obnoxious, and we need a better public broadcaster, not an asphyxiated one). MacKay wants to build up Churchill, Man., as a port and naval base and seeks an enhanced early warning system in the North and promises to meet the two per cent GDP NATO target for defence spending (as does Sloan). These are all excellent proposals. MacKay and O’Toole want to retain Bill C-16, which protects gender expression and identity under the Human Rights Act (an absurd measure but a politically correct totem after all Trudeau’s gender nonsense; can’t we just agree that there are two sexes and all adults can sort out their own sexuality?) Lewis and Sloan want it repealed. All candidates want to abandon the carbon tax. Karahalios and Sloan want to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, and the fact that all of them are quiet on the environment incites hope that they would avoid the “green terror” being pursued by the present government. The best climate policy for Canada would be to contribute to serious neutral research on what actually is happening, since the fetishistic insistence on the “settled science” of “98 per cent of expert opinion” is bunk and there is no consensus on what is actually happening to the climate. There is nothing original from any of them about tax policy, private medicine or reform of international institutions.
The policy positions of the two viable candidates are not very original, apart from MacKay’s support of an increased military, but they are not reactionary either. MacKay is more experienced and is running as essentially a Mulroney-like candidate, more worldly and conservative than the Clark-Stanfield tradition, and more accessible to centrists than Harper. O’Toole, who was a centrist at the last leadership convention in 2017 when he came third behind Scheer and Bernier, is now seeking the Harper vote, and the mantle of the Reform wing. Generally, the Mulroney route is the way to victory; Harper could never win unless there were four parties and won his one majority in 2011 on the freakish defat of the Quebec Liberals by the NDP. (Brian Mulroney was the only Conservative leader except John A. Macdonald to win two or more consecutive full-term majorities — Robert Borden’s re-election in 1917 was a war-time coalition.) O’Toole has the advantage of speaking French with more ease and fluency than MacKay, who has made an effort and is not acoustically irritating in that language but could not be called bilingual.
Neither is exciting, but English-Canadian politicians rarely are, and excitement isn’t Canada’s national forte anyway. Peter MacKay is reliable and competent and more experienced, and unlike Harper, open to innovative suggestions. Erin O’Toole is an unknown quantity; he would be acceptable but if I were a delegate, I would, via Canada Post, cast my vote for Peter MacKay.Read more: National Post »
Nope, anyone who would openly commit adultery is NOT trustworthy! Why do we insist on giving ConradMBlack, one of the of the most vile egomaniacs and a convicted felon - a podium? Oh, and this moron loved Canada so much he *rescinded his Canadian citizenship*. I'll take my politics from Canadian journalists only please and thank you.
How sad. Liberal 2.0 MacKay is too much like Trudeau in his virtue signalling. Nothing in Canada is ' exciting' !!! Kiss if death there It realy does not matter who they pick if they keep going with the distasteful personal attacks and pointless political rhetoric. Talk policy and maybe someone will listen.
Neither will get my vote... both are incompetent red necks. Why are there no capable Candidates willing to run? Why are there no women? Bad news for democracy Globalist thugs, Black owes CRA 20+million. That is over 20,000 CERB payments Conrad. There is a lean on his mansion. Move out and pay your taxes criminal
Choosing a leader or voting now days is like shopping at the dump! The party system is dead. Bet that endorsement made your day Peter😢 Who cares what an ex con thinks lets move on Conrad black...same traits as Trump...liar, cheat, self centered, greedy, generally slimy. I think the only difference is that Trump hasn't been in prison...yet!
Conrad black: thief, con man, traitor. Enough said about what you think! Pete McKay is a small C conservative. He is not a true conservative, however this is the best approach if his party wants to win again. PeterWho? Oh, ‘would’ you! Well, I guess that’s sailed, since you are no longer a citizen of this (too-good-for-you) country, hmn?
You know your choices in the past didn't serve you well, in fact you served your choices... Mackay is certainly the best candidate , with the most experience, with social values that are in sync. with the vast majority of Canadians and also is a good person capable of relating to all Canadians. Lordie, who cares who you’d choose.
Jailbird says what? Lord Conrad the convicted felon. He’s not even a Canadian. He gave that up. As such, He should also give up commentary on the same. Out of a sea of duds, I choose this dud. Dear mr. black..... North America is politically bankrupt across the spectrum Ah, the best of a bad bunch technique! You’re pathetic! canpoli ridiculous
Thank you for this ConradMBlack. I found your summary of the differences between candidates to be very helpful. Peter is done Nope. MacKay is rusty and wishy washy. He has folded and backtracked on the least criticisms instead of telling off detractors. Leslyn Lewis is probably the best shot at leading a Conservative victory. She will get every break imaginable plus she seems really smart. .
Ok there convict. Will they be flying to New York if they get elected criminalsforMacKay Nope I'd pick LeslynLewis over these two. Need someone who can win across Canada and in the major centers. Who cares what a convicted velon has to say Surprised Black didn't endorse the racist. PeterMacKay Thats not good
I wish someone could talk Rona Ambrose into running I WOULD NOT Hey Conrad—some of us would like to hear more! How about coming down to Trinity-Bellwoods Park about...right now? Thank you Lord Black! I usually agree with the opinions of ConradMBlack, but not this time. Think the CPC_HQ has to move away from the establishment candidate and try something new. The old boys of the party will not bring a conservative win next election. cdnpoli
The Conservative leadership race is not meant to be exciting, it’s meant to chose someone who could be Prime Minister. In that sense, it is failing as perfectly as the last time. It was a good snapshot of the differences in key positions of the candidates, but he didn't say enough to justify why one is better than the other.
Thank you Lord Black, this was helpful. Much appreciated. Kiss of death? I choose Erin O’Toole. Yes No. Never. Nope. Thats ok your just a jailbird anyway! I would choose Peter to but I dont give a rats as what a pardoned felon says. Very disappointing MacKay's going to win not because he's great, but because everyone else sucks.
Slim pickings Who really cares what Conrad Black thinks? hey National Post, that Black dude became irrelevant 20 years ago, surely as a rag that wants to be known as a national newspaper you people can dig up something a little more from this millennium? yikes.... Yeah, it's not exciting, but if Conrad Black says go for McKay,,,,,I wont be. Time to check out the others.
No bloody way! i bet thats an endorsement Peter would rather pass on
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