The Canadian Tory Party will not win the next election with the current candidates simply speaking with the possible exception of one. They are not politically competent or in tune enough, and/or are too right wing to get enough votes and importantly, most are not bilingual and sufficiently bicultural enough. In addition the Trudeau PR bilingual machine is likely to remain sufficiently strong though it will weaken.
Sorry folks ever since John Turner, that is way far back, I have called it correct as to who would be the next PM. Years before young Trudeau entered the leadership race all while people thought he did not have enough experience, I wrote to him saying he would be Canada’s next prime minister. I still recommended Harper for another term but holding my nose while recommending him.
Why did Trudeau win? It is because he inspired over a tired angry leadership that people were tired of. Harper just no longer connected enough to Quebec to make up for more Liberal oriented Toronto that got to fully distrust his top down leadership as that Tory leader was famed for.
And Canadians, unlike most Americans are not so much against the elites like Trudeau being from a rich urban family background. It might be more helpful though for a federal party leader during the next election to be non-elite in disposition. It is in part behind my reasoning why I think one of the current Tory leadership candidates might pull it off and become PM. And one that is socially soft enough ideologically to pull in some urban voters while fiscally hard to keep the base.
On the other hand, I think this anti-elite politics is not going to be a giant decisive factor in the next federal election that candidates Kellie Leitch and Kevin O’Leary think it will be?
Firstly, Canadians including central Canadians in particular are deferential to authority more than Americans who are practically revolutionary compared to us. The anti-elite attitudes may be gaining resonance in Canada but are not sufficiently powerful.
That is why Justin Trudeau, a rich, money inherited politician having gone to the most expensive and prestigious private school in Montreal (and establishment McGill University) won. It is not such a factor that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth; no, make that a gold plated one.
Besides, even hard working fairly dynamic “populist” Trump did not win the American popular vote. If Leitch and O’Leary, two high profile, strong anti-elite messaging candidates think it was a struggle for a super media savvy (albeit foot in the mouth) Trump to win, they will face many more obstacles. That is in winning a federal election, let alone the leadership with their fairly right wing, neo-Trump agendas, at least in Canada.
A real problem is that few, maybe except two or three candidates are fully or nearly bilingual This is Canada 2017 folks and if you cannot speak both French and English very well, you should be disqualified as a candidate. That is unless you have made a super plan you are fully dedicated to to learn the other language in a year or two before the next federal election.
As a language professor and political hack, I would say even such honourable plans are too ambitious for 90 percent of those in that non-bilingual situation who want to be PM. We are talking of many candidates gaining competency to be able to debate on matters of complex policy on a media intense stage and in a fairly short time.
The list of candidates for leader is overall truly uninspiring. Max Bernier may be the best despite leaving around secret cabinet documents with his former biker girlfriend in the past when he was foreign affairs minister.
He knows though how to create some excitement in a room. He is fully bilingual, lots of cabinet experience AND business experience. He would likely turn over many more votes in rural Quebec to Tories and eventually help to make further gains in rural Ontario and the West and Atlantic provinces. Toronto could be his Achilles heel and a lot of Montreal.
I would have supported Rona Ambrose but she cannot run as interim leader and besides I am not sure she has enough fire inside her to go all the way to becoming PM at the present moment.
I am also still not sure about Bernier but one thing for certain, he brings out a lot more excitement than the rest except maybe O’Leary. Yet the latter one is too negative in generating excitement for most Canadians, besides his French is horrible.
I doubt if Mr. Bernier is leaving documents out these days especially to his Conservative rivals to make it so easy for him to be undercut. He has learned a lot since that unsavoury episode which now should be largely forgotten after so many years passing, as well.
Bernier wins, O’Leary comes second at best if he does not crash from big foot in the mouth and third with Leitch. Trudeau gets a minority government for a year or two if he can hold on and Bernier becomes PM. It is a fifty-fifty proposition. Unless a really big hitter enters, that is what I am calling for now. Go with Bernier, he is the only one with the capacity to win back the country among the current crop and his policies are general,y sensible if not magnetizing.