The CPC convention has come and gone. When you look back at it there wasn’t all that much excitement. A possible exception being the motion on marriage which generated a lot of interest and once passed brought us into the 21st century, but that was about it. The media tried to make the campaign review sound interesting, but it was pretty much old stuff and really just gave delegates a chance to vent one last time before the party came together and moved forward towards the next election.
We had the obligatory photo ops of potential and actual leadership candidates, but we aren’t all that much further ahead in knowing who will run and will any of the big name candidates such as Kenney and MacKay enter the race, although Kenney at least advised that we will have to wait until the end of the summer for a decision from him.
Still nothing concrete from MacKay, Raitt or Clement so party members are still in wait and see mode. It does give Chong, Bernier and Leitch a chance to get out ahead of the big names and sign up supporters and organizers which could make things more interesting down the road when the big names throw their hat into the ring. Will the present supporters of the declared candidates stay with them or drift to the bigger names? Will they stay with their present choice or move on a second ballot to one of the bigger names? Such is the fun of political leadership races.
Of course we did have Kevin O’Leary there to feed the media with his lines and promote himself. Whether or not he ever enters the race; all the exposure is good for his business as the more media exposure he gets the more interest there is in his funds. It is a win-win for O’Leary, even if just a distraction for the majority of the delegates. If O’Leary ever wants to get serious, he will soon find that it is not as easy a game as he thinks. It will be interesting to see if he listens to advice (which he is always telling budding entrepreneurs to do) or just shoots from the lip and plows blindly ahead.
Rona Ambrose did an excellent job and although delegates wisely voted to block attempts from a small group who wanted her to enter the leadership race, she should be thanked for her efforts as interim leader. The tribute to former leader Stephen Harper was as it should have been IE dignified and respectful and Harper’s address although brief, hit the mark.
Now it is onwards and forwards as the party comes together to elect a new leader and prepares for the next election. For all the doubters out there- remember 1968 and how Trudeaumania led to a sweeping victory of Pierre Elliot Trudeau (154 Liberals to 72 Conservatives) and how that was followed by his near defeat in the next election in 1972 by Robert Stanfield. In that election Trudeau only managed to win 109 seats to the Conservative 107 and Pierre Trudeau had to rely on the NDP under David Lewis to stay in power.
In politics, no one is ever guaranteed a win.