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Commentary

The Good, the Bad and the Compromised: The Conservative Leadership Race

Tue, February 28, 2017   |   Author: Peter Vogel   |   Volume 24    Issue 9   

Who will become the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada? You might have faced this question or a similar one lately. Have you have been asked which candidate(s) are best, or how a particular candidate stands on a certain issue? Then this is the Communique you have been waiting for! Now you can speak to the main issues and speak knowledgeably on which candidates are strong, and which are compromised.

Based on what the various candidates have said and done, we would like to provide some points for consideration on the 14 contestants. The order that they are presented is roughly the order of best to worst, though some are equally bad, and others equally good.

Brad Trost and Pierre Lemieux: Trost and Lemieux have perfect pro-life voting records. Trost speaks out boldly on topics that matter to social conservatives, especially abortion and traditional marriage. He is also proposing a motion to privatize the CBC. Lemieux has spoken out against euthanasia in a leadership debate and has a friendly leadership style. Both are firmly opposed to assisted suicide. These men are the best of the field from a socially conservative point of view. They have fought unpopular battles and deserve respect.

Andrew Scheer and Maxime Bernier: These two have opposite points: because of his voting record, Scheer is considered to be pro-life but, because of his statements since he began seeking the leadership, he is unlikely to advance the cause of the unborn. Bernier, on the other hand, does not have a pro-life voting record. He did not vote on Cassie and Molly’s law, and is pro-choice. However, in his closing remarks at the Manning Networking Conference debate, he made a point of saying that if he were elected leader and MPs wanted to have a debate on abortion, he would allow that. We could be sceptical and say that he is saying this just to get socially conservative votes, but he would welcome debate on other ideas that are usually untouchable for politicians in Canada, including supply management and privatizing Canada Post. Both MPs voted against C-14 which legalized assisted suicide but Scheer has also spoken about the need for conscience protections for doctors.

Kellie Leitch and Stephen Blaney: These two candidates are known for their hard-line stances on immigration. Blaney is not known to be pro-life, but he did vote in favour of Cassie and Molly’s law. Although Leitch has said that she is pro-life, her voting record on legislation dealing with this issue is not good; she did not even vote on Cassie and Molly’s law. Both voted against C-14 and have spoken about the need for better palliative care options.

Lisa Raitt and Erin O’Toole: Both of these candidates voted in favour of Cassie and Molly’s Law, showing at least some concern for the unborn if they were killed in the commission of a crime but they are not generally considered pro-life. Both voted for getting rid of the traditional definition of marriage from the Conservative Party’s platform but, in their favour, both of them voted against C-14.

Chris Alexander and Andrew Saxton: Both of these men are former MPs who lost their seats in the last federal election. Both voted against Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312 (to study the definition of human life), so neither can be considered pro-life. Alexander has spoken out against M-103 (on Islamophobia). Neither of them had the opportunity to vote on the issue of assisted suicide, but neither of them have opposed or promised to re-visit it.

Deepak Obhrai and Michael Chong: Both of these men are very pleasant and have immigrant connections; Obhrai is an immigrant, and both of Chong’s parents immigrated. Neither is pro-life! Chong voted against Cassie and Molly’s law and Obhrai did not vote on it at all. Both are in favour of same-sex marriage, and both voted for C-16, the transgender bill. Both are in favour of assisted suicide, having voted for C-14.

Rick Peterson and Kevin O’Leary: Neither of these businessmen have been MPs in the past, and both have significant and sensible ideas on fiscal matters. Both know why and how to balance a budget. Kevin has big-time name recognition, but Rick speaks fluent French. More importantly, neither of them is pro-life, for traditional marriage, or opposed to assisted suicide. Kevin has said that these issues, as well as the legalization of marijuana are “done” meaning he would not want to re-visit them.

Kevin O’Leary is possibly the most opposed to socially conservative ideas, but he is probably the most gifted candidate at explaining why the Liberal’s fiscal plans are wrong and will not work.

Also, on the topic of fiscal responsibility, four of the fourteen candidates would not sign the “Future Generations Protection Pledge”. This pledge asked candidates to:

  1. present a balanced budget to the House of Commons within 24 months after taking office - stopping the federal debt clock;
  2. after the budget is balanced, commit to running ONLY balanced budgets in all times outside of war or natural disaster;
  3. and legislate a debt repayment schedule, dedicating a portion of annual revenues towards eliminating the debt.

This is a very sensible pledge, one that is in agreement with CHP policy. The four candidates who did not sign are: Chris Alexander, Stephen Blaney, Michael Chong, and Erin O’Toole. None of them are strong social conservatives, and none of them responsible fiscal conservatives either.

This race shows huge differences of opinion and policy among the contenders. If one of the ‘best candidates’ wins, it will be a victory, but there will still be a large ideological divide between the winner and many others in the party.

CHP Canada remains united on the issues that matter most: the protection of the pre-born, the definition of marriage as God created it, and opposition to physician assisted suicide. We are fiscally and socially conservative.

We should pray that God will give the Conservative Party a good and wise leader. But we must also stand firm on our support of the only federal political party that will not compromise on the most important issues. Join CHP Canada today.

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