October 17, 2021

La Ronge Northerner

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Is the future of conservative leader Erin O’Dowd a permanent or temporary centrist turn?

(Ottawa) This Tuesday, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole tasted what awaits him when he meets his MPs in Ottawa for the first time since the September 20 election defeat.


The role of this meeting is not important: will the Conservative leader impose on his party permanently or will it be a lasting mistake during an election campaign?

This change could lead to conflict between the party’s reformist faction in the Western Provinces and the progressive faction, which is predominant in Quebec and the Atlantic.

However, the Conservative MP But by the end of Tuesday, Erin O’Toole should have a good idea if some elected officials want to make life difficult for her by the time party members formally vote on her leadership at the next national convention in Quebec. In 2023, it was presented in the party constitution after the election defeat.

The day after the vote, National Executive Committee member Bert Chen launched a petition calling for a referendum on the presidency before the 2023 conference. But his actions have not had a ripple effect until here.

Anonymous, Conservative MP from the West.

“The chef can pretend to have achieved a lot [au scrutin du 20 septembre]. Honestly, I think he is deaf to criticism. We did not win anything in this election, “said the radio-Canadian member, who predicted” very tense “discussions at Tuesday’s meeting.

In the last ballot, the Conservative Party received 11% of the vote, with 34% of the vote. These results are almost identical to those obtained by former President Andrew Shearer in the October 2019 elections. The latter announced his resignation two months later and could not pacify dissatisfaction as he had been wandering into the abortion affair during the campaign. He left the party leadership before being shown the door by members in a confidence vote scheduled for April 2020.

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A “necessary” review

In Quebec, the 10 re-elected Conservative MPs have already mentioned which brand they belong to and want to continue to reconsider party policies in the fight against climate change and on social issues. This review in particular received the blessings of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney during the campaign. Without hesitation, they want their captain to be given a second chance.

Photo by Oliver Pontient, archiving presses

Alain Royce, Conservative MP for Richmond-Artabasca in 2018

In my view this needs to be re-focused. We have to assume it and find a way to sell our conservative positions closer to certain communities and urban areas. We cannot impress the areas that have already voted for our party.

Alain Royce, Conservative MP for Richmond-Artabasca

During the council meeting, elected conservatives from Quebec would not hesitate to provide some statistics to their colleagues from other provinces. Of course, the Conservative Party did not win another seat in the province of La Belle, despite Erin O’Dool’s outstretched hand and the deal he gave to the Cubes during the campaign. But under his leadership, the Conservatives received nearly 80,000 more votes in Quebec than in 2019, or a total of 755,548 votes.

“More than 755,548 votes in Quebec, more than in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland,” the Conservative MP said on Monday. Argued.

“These are more conservative votes than British Columbia,” he added, noting the 741,043 conservative votes counted in ballot boxes in the province on Sept. 20.

In addition, 7 out of 10 Conservative MPs won their constituencies with 50% or more of the vote.

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In short, although he could not win new seats in Quebec, Erin O’Dowl’s centrist system paid dividends on his first attempt as party leader. In Alberta, the Conservative stronghold, three seats were lost (two to the Liberal Party and one to the New Democrats), but this was largely due to the mismanagement of Jason Kenny’s government.

As the leader said, the day after an election we did not win, we are sure to be disappointed, it is normal. After two weeks we have to act realistically and responsibly. Yes, we got more votes. Yes, we have increased significantly in Quebec and we are very proud of that. But we are going to analyze what worked and what did not. This will be a very effective exercise, “said Mr. Deltel.