It is recess time in the Ontario PC leadership.

It is like a middle school recess time. You should not need playground monitors but it is still a good idea to periodically look outside and make sure there are no brawls. We are pleased to report that nothing very much is happening that was not expected to happen.

What we can tell you is that everyone is in place and playing nice. The cut-off for nominations is the end of January and there does not appear to be anyone else rushing to get more signatures in ten electoral districts. The next important date is February 28 when the membership cut-off is supposed to take place.

The months of March and April are set aside for candidates to challenge each others’ memberships. This would be a minor tempest at best and will not be of much public interest. While this is an every member vote, the maximum votes from each electoral district is fixed at 100. They are going to be adding percentages in this exercise.

What is most interesting about the rules is that it will still be the losers who pick the winners—even if they are not there to do it. Counting the vote will be an exercise in taking off the losers and adding their second, third and possibly even fourth choice to the remaining candidates until somebody is at 50.1 per cent or better. With voting completed by May 7, the results should be known in a few days.

While it is a bit early for morning line handicapping, Oshawa’s Christine Elliott MPP is still the party favourite. The older Progressive Conservatives are solidly behind her and while she is unlikely to walk away with the first ballot, she should have a good lead.

The pit bull of the race is the much more aggressive Lisa MacLeod MPP from Nepean. With most Ontario Conservatives thinking of her as a more strident Christine Elliott, she is in a clear second place.

Of the three men in the race, Vic Fedeli MPP from Nipissing best fits the image of the successful businessman.

Monte McNaughton MPP from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex is now the darling of the Campaign Life and the religious right.

The one we think of as the guy in short pants is Barrie MP Patrick Brown. People have a lot of fun trying to figure out what the heck Brown thinks he is doing in this race. He is out classed, out gunned and out of his mind if he thinks he is going to achieve anything other than the most derision. He is likely to be the first one dropped from the race but God only knows what name his foolish supporters will put number two beside.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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