BONOKOSKI: Conservatives tend to eat their leaders before they can grow up

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It seems the Tories would rather chew on their leaders after a failure than give them the chance to grow in their own skin

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Erin O’Toole is now more controlled than he was when he ran for Conservative leadership, and he is now accused of “betraying” the pack by becoming more centrist and neglecting the core Tories whose right – the wing’s ideals made him a little too uncomfortable.

The first public challenge has already been taken up. It comes from Bert Chen, an elected member of Ontario’s Conservative National Council, who says O’Toole’s centrist movements cost the party valuable seats and diminished support in urban areas, thereby annoying many members. party principals.

“The comments from the members… is that Erin has betrayed their trust, and Erin’s leadership based on these results has failed, and he has to go,” Chen told The Globe and Mail.

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“Responsibility and integrity are at the heart of what the Conservatives want from a leader, which is why we don’t like Justin Trudeau. But Erin O’Toole has shown that he is no better than Justin Trudeau.

These are strong words.

  1. Conservative Party Leader Erin O'Toole speaks at a press conference in Ottawa, September 21, 2021.

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  3. Opposition Conservative Party of Canada Leader Erin O'Toole speaks during a campaign stop at a constituency office in Markham, Ont., September 19, 2021.

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But the election is barely over. We are now in the midst of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and no one has yet found a solution that will not bring the economy to its knees.

Now is not the time for relatively petty politics.

Chen started an online petition to force a review of O’Toole’s leadership because the Conservative Party’s constitution states that the national council is responsible for holding referendums in response to valid petitions, but does not specify the conditions. of validity.

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During a leadership review, party members can vote on whether to begin the process of selecting a new leader.

But it’s not as if O’Toole is going to slip away without eventually facing such a vote since the party’s constitution requires a leadership review at the party’s first national convention after an electoral defeat.

This agreement is scheduled for August 2023.

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After the election, O’Toole said he was disappointed with the performance of the Conservatives and promised to launch a review of the party’s electoral strategy. But he has vowed to remain in charge of the country, arguing that the country could participate in another election campaign in just 18 months. The party has yet to release details of the review, including who will lead it.

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But you can’t kick a leader out just because you can.

Chen, however, said he did not trust O’Toole’s review and that the Tory leader had not been repentant enough in his public comments on the electoral defeat.

What is he supposed to do? Get on all fours, cry uncontrollably and ask for forgiveness?

O’Toole had a long career in the Canadian Armed Forces. The soldiers do not apologize after the losses. They band together and learn.

Chen added that he was concerned that O’Toole’s hardline comments about China might have made Chinese Canadians uncomfortable.

Well, hard.

Conservative Senator Don Plett told The Globe it was too early to draw conclusions about O’Toole’s leadership, given the expected scrutiny of the party’s management of elections.

“Now is not the time to point fingers, in my opinion, until we know what went right and wrong,” Plett said. “When you lose you always say you could have done better. When you win, you are happy.

“I can’t tell you with solid information that he could have done better.”

Meanwhile, the lynching evenings have already come out.

markbonokoski@gmail.com

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