A house divided.

The Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario is in turmoil. Since last Wednesday, the party has been playing its own Game of Thrones. Slights—real or imagined—are earning retaliation and factions of the party are preparing for the fights to come.

The Queen’s Park conservative caucus got behind Vic Fedeli from Nipissing as interim leader but the party hierarchy opted for a fast and furious leadership race that could produce a new leader by the end of March. And there is lots of time for more mistakes to be made.

The first reality for the party to face is that there are no 200,000 Tories eager to vote for a new leader in March. It depends entirely on how aggressive and well funded the candidates are and how many come forward. The only ones bringing in new money would be newcomers such as Caroline Mulroney and Rod Phillips. Whether either of these untried conservatives can put together the organization needed, is the question.

The lucky leadership candidates are the ones with an existing organization. This includes social conservatives in Ontario who might have nobody stronger than Monte McNaughton from Southwestern Ontario to support. These people are still smarting from the way they were used by Patrick Brown and they will probably stick with Monte out of spite.

There is no telling what an organization such as the Ontario Landowners Association might do in this situation. Randy Hillier, who was one of their founders, might be up to another fight.

The guy who lacks the credibility with the party is Vic Fedeli, the caucus choice. Even if Toronto Mayor John Tory’s ego got the better of him and he jumped into the race, he would at least beat Interim Leader Fedeli, the former mayor of North Bay.

The Toronto media are always trying to promote former Toronto councillor Doug Ford as an option. While he might be saying, in his mother’s basement, that he is in, he will go nowhere unless he figures a way to pay the memberships for his late brother’s Ford Nation. He could hardly hide it the way Patrick Brown hid his paying for his Indian Sub-Continent members.

Our guess is that the Ontario PC’s are challenging the world of hackers to have fun with their leadership. They will have to use somebody’s software for remote voting. Will it be hacker-proof?

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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