Kevin O’Leary was never in.

When TV personality Kevin O’Leary declared himself out of the federal Conservative leadership race the other day, it was a race he had never really been in. He came late to the party and left early. He brought nothing to it, he learned nothing from it and he left nothing behind. It was a was a waste of time and money.

O’Leary was another ill wind in the Conservative campaign. He left behind a bad taste and a kiss-off for candidate Maxime Bernier. He ignored all the party rules governing the race and gave Canadian politics the finger (Known as flipping the bird in his home-town Boston.) His support for libertarian, playboy Maxime Bernier was the ultimate insult.

If O’Leary was impressed with Bernier speaking French, it would be because O’Leary had no idea what was being said. What his advisers should have told him was that as definitely as he was making no traction in Quebec, neither was Bernier. If Bernier cannot win Quebec, what makes O’Leary think his endorsement will help?

And, by the way, O’Leary’s name is still on the ballot. That was just another rule he broke. Nobody is allowed to bow out at this time when voting is technically already in progress. Now he can be doubly embarrassed when the votes are counted. Did he really turn in 35,000 new members of the party? Did the people doing that for him spread that waste of money equally across 338 electoral districts?

Anyway, 35,000 memberships are not going to have much impact on the 250,000 federal Conservative membership. It is not like the provincial party in Ontario that was bought and paid for by Patrick Brown’s supporters. And if you do not think the Ontario Progressive Conservative caucus of MPPs in Ontario do not already hate Brown, wait for the 2018 elections.

If Bernier thinks O’Leary supporters would vote for a candidate such as him, he is more delusional about Canadian politics than the guy he called a “loser” and a “bad candidate” just a month or so ago.

Some of O’Leary’s votes might go to MP Erin O’Toole from Ontario, but they would have to be thinking Conservatives as opposed to the usual thoughtless ballot marking sign-up. And the funny part of this is that those new sign-ups are unlikely to be told how to mark their second, third, etc. votes.

The computer program being used to pick the winner in this confused contest is beginning to look even more questionable when you consider how many people voting who might not even mark a second or subsequent choice.

Maybe Kevin O’Leary will come back when the party announces the winner. He can be loser number 13 in the kick-line.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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