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It’s just my opinion, of course, but the last thing the Conservative Party of Canada should be doing is entertaining the distraction of leadership talk.
Throughout the campaign we observed Erin O’Toole building a connection with Canadians, campaigning and communicating effectively.
But if the party is looking for something constructive to do, how about a communications effort to let Western Canada in on the best kept secret in the Conservative platform. Their policies including a commitment to deal with Bill C-69, the so-called “no-more-pipelines bill”; the silly one-way tanker ban legislation and fiscal federalism need to be better known by westerners. The trees that supplied the paper for those pages of the platform fell in the proverbial forest unheard, unseen. There is very good policy there for the west. Let somebody know about it.
Rather than a misguided focus on the leadership, the party might also get busy developing a campaign strategy option that contemplates winning without Quebec. The endorsement from a popular Quebec Premier and the embarrassing bow to the discriminatory Bill 21 availed nothing to the party in terms of seats. Maybe it’s time to realize that wooing those votes close to futile. And given the principles that must be compromised and the attendant anger it causes in the rest of Canada – it is simply not worth it.
Consider how compelling voters might view the only national party to actually stand against things like Bill 21 and offer an alternative to asymmetrical federalism. Yes, that’s right, this country even has an academic-sounding term for one province getting treated differently than all the rest.
Granted, winning without Quebec would not be an easy feat, but neither is it impossible. The support in the rest of Canada for a national party to finally to take such stands might surprise.
Erin O’Toole is not the problem. In fact, he is well positioned to lead on these matters in this national moment.
Brad Wall is former Premier of Saskatchewan
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