There could be as many as 14 contenders for the upcoming Conservative leadership contest on-stage in Moncton tonight. Which candidates will take their cue from the Hair (Stephen Harper) and who will want to try the President-Elect Donald Trump style is the question?
The Moncton event is our first chance to hear from some of these contenders. They have been coming (and one going) for a while and nobody has paid much attention. If you had to pick one to emulate the Harper approach, it is likely to be Maxime Bernier. The MP for Beauce, Quebec takes you straight down the Conservative line with the exception of advocating legalized marijuana. Other than that, he is just as boring as most of the other candidates.
The candidates who might steal the show could be either Kellie Leitch, MP for Simcoe-Grey or Chris Alexander, the former MP and former ambassador to Afghanistan. Leitch tells us that her hero is Donald Trump and she is the one who thinks immigrants to this country should be tested for their knowledge of Canadian values. (Whatever they are?)
It was Alexander and Leitch who introduced the Tory tip-line for ‘barbaric cultural practices’ in the last federal election. Leitch’s latest talking point has been for getting rid of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
But Alexander did her one better in Edmonton the other day. He was talking to a fair-sized crowd of Conservative supporters. They were outdoors and there to object to carbon taxes and he got them chanting “Lock her up” to keep warm. This chant was in reference to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. It was not only a disgustingly ignorant chant but did not reflect any Canadian value that we can think of.
But it is the very fact of having up to 14 nonentities willing to put down a $100,000 deposit and provide 300 signatures from Conservative party members in 10 electoral districts that has us wondering. You would think that alone would keep the numbers down. These wannabes’ do not even seem daunted by the spending limit on their campaigns of $5 million each.
And even one or two more are expected to jump in. We have still not heard a firm ‘no’ from Boy Wonder Kevin O’Leary. He might be studying Donald Trump’s style before making his announcement.
In any event, Babel-on-the-Bay will not be announcing its Morning Line on the Conservative leadership until mid March. And please remember a morning line is just a handicapper’s aid in assessing the possibilities in a race. You only need a few visits to race tracks to know how often the morning line can be wrong.
Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry
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