First, they will tell you that Conservatives win when they run as Conservatives. Not really. They win when voters are exhausted by years and years of incumbent Lib governments and they finally turn to the Cons as part of an unstoppable desire for change. #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
Second, they win when they move to the middle and shave off the SoCon edges. What did Harper do after 2004? He put the f***king clamp down on the Randy Whites to ensure that he didnt have to carry that big heavy bag of SoCon rocks around in a gen elxn #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
Since he left we've seen twice in a row that you cannot seem to win the party's ldrship without embracing the SoCons. Scheer was one and that was easy. O'Toole has either become one or sufficiently masqueraded as one to get their votes. Either way... #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
He bears that burden now and he has to figure it out. The second thing that Cons will tell you is that Leslyn Lewis has shown there's a way to be a SoCon and remain appealing. Don't believe it. Yes, she outperformed expectations. #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
Yes, she's a living example of the voter coalition they need to build to win - urban, female, not old and white. But I am a contrarian on her upside. She's compelling. But I don't believe packaging SoCon views better makes those views acceptable to voters #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
In fact, I think there's a HUGE risk that my friends in the #CPC will convince themselves that they've found a way to nuance and present SoCon policies to the public as part of a spectrum of acceptable opinion. That would be nice for them to think #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
Because it suggests that they might be able to avoid choices that are hard as hell and that involve taking stands that might alienate key portions of their base in order to appeal more broadly. All parties must deal with this hardship. But... #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
the modern post-Harper edition of the #CPC has made this challenge uniquely brutal on itself. They are now so reliant on the SoCons in intramural exercises that standing up to them later becomes a punishing thing to contemplate. So pretending the circle #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
can be squared by putting Leslyn Lewis on TV is just that: Pretending. It won't hit O'Toole tomorrow. Or next week. It won't rob him of the ability to slam Liberals right away out of the gate. But before the next elxn O'Toole has to box up and contain #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
the SoCons just like Harper did after '04. Or he will lose, just like Scheer did. And it isn't JUST the SoCons. It's also the extremism. Destroying the CBC, absenteeism on climate change and other positions that his social media campaign highlighted #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
Now become coalition killers. They become barriers to a big tent approach. And he has to figure that out. My guess is that we'll see a false start. His team will bullshit themselves into believing these things can be reconciled. Maybe by whispering that... #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
he's always been a moderate at heart and he just did what he had to do in order to beat MacKay. That won't work. The real secret of his campaign's success was coherence. Replacing that with incoherence in appealing to the general public would be a... #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
violation of their own logic. Hard choices and clear positions are required or he will run into the same brick wall that is still stenciled with Scheer's outline. If MacKay had won he could have done it because his victory would have been a mandate. #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
But O'Toole's win means that no such mandate exists. It will require a breach of one sort or another - with the voters that gave him the leadership. Or the voters that hold the key to 24 Sussex. The third task O'Toole faces is Quebec. Sure, he won it #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
hands down in the ldrshp and that spelled MacKay's Waterloo. But that counts for nothing in the general. It isn't even so much that O'Toole has to win even Harper-esque seat totals - the Libs and BQ make the province tough. But like climate change #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
he can't afford to send a signal of indifference. Compete for those Bleu seats, win a few of them, connect with Legault and get better at French. Making that effort is vital to avoiding self-disqualification. It will also make him a better Leader #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
Final point: The voting debacle. It was a mess. It hands opponents and media a talking point/question mark. But it doesn't matter. It's all about what comes next, not what happened on a Sunday during the summer during COVID. No one watched anyway #cdnpoli #CPCLeadership
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