After every election loss there is always a lot of soul searching and internal party reviews and of course blame.
Needless to say, the Conservative Party is doing that now. But before the “leaders in waiting” start sharpening their knives, they should first decide on just what and who the Conservative Party represents.
Dennis Matthews worked at the Prime Minister’s Office when I was there. He is a very bright person and last week he took to Twitter to post some thoughts and questions as the party goes forward. I couldn’t agree with him more. Rather than paraphrase his comments, I have copied them directly from his Twitter account. Hopefully the Conservative Party brain trust will also read them.
1. In pursuit of 40% of the popular vote, have Conservatives accidently become a minority proposition for voters? Whatever happened to the silent majority? Make a broader appeal and fall short, instead of trying to tack on voters to the 1/3 who are with us.
2. Values and emotions build political brands. Conservatives mostly stuck on taxes and finances (cognitive arguments). Why do we think values and emotions are the exclusive territory of Liberals and Trudeau?
3. The rural/urban divide is existential as our country changes. In the 65 ridings with more than 2500 people per kilometer, there are zero Tory MPs. Aren’t there policies that are extremely attractive to urban voters that don’t turn away the rural base? 3A) Lack of urban Conservative MPs is not the case in the UK or Australia. Maybe it is not about policies at all but how our brand is perceived on cultural, environmental and social issues.
4. It is good to play against type once in awhile. George W. Bush did this with his focus on aids in Africa. Can Conservatives find something that makes voters look twice?
There you go, the first four questions to start you off. Think about how you would answer them. What would you tell the Conservative Party leadership.