Author Topic: The Next Conservative Leader  (Read 119652 times)

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Offline Larry Strong

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The Next Conservative Leader
« on: November 04, 2010, 15:24:27 »
Posted with the usual caveats....


http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20101104/jim-prentice-leaving-office-101104/

According to the talking heads he is "unhappy"
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 12:33:58 »
My own recent post in the Liberal Leadership thread got me to thinking about the next Conservative leader. The recent vote on a proposal to debate "when does life begin?" saw both Rona Ambrose and Jason Kenney voting to reopen the debate and, therefore, against the prime minister and the rest of cabinet. The speculation is that both are positioning themselves to capture the social conservatives when, inevitably, the leadership race opens (2017? 2018?).

Who else might be a leadership candidate?

My guesses:

         
Rona Ambrose                                    Jason Kenney                                                                    Peter MacKay                                Jim Prentice
Alberta, DOB: 15 March 69                 Saskatchewan, DOB: 30 May 68                                        Nova Scotia, 27 Sep 65                Alberta, DOB: 20 Jul 56                                             
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I think Prentice, who, at 56 is the oldest of the four, has the best résumé but he is, I also think the least bilingual. Ambrose describes herself as a libertarian, Kenney really is an established social conservative just as MacKay is a social liberal.


Edit: spelling   :-[
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 15:20:54 by E.R. Campbell »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 12:51:47 »
I wouldn't count out John Baird, either, another career politician.
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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 13:06:34 »
Ambrose doesn't turn any cranks in leadership mode....the others are all viable, but low profile. McKay, I think, has been written off by most. Kenny and Baird are maybe's, but Prentiss has always had an aura of compentantcy the others don't have....He also walked away at the height of his time in, so he kinda retains that....
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Offline gcclarke

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 14:00:14 »
I know Mr. Prentice, having volunteered with his campaigns both when he was gunning for the leadership of the old PC Party, and then again for his election campaign as an MP candidate in 2004. He's really a great guy, and I was saddened to see him decide to leave politics. I certainly would welcome a return.

Can't speak to his French proficiency though.

Edit: Other than him, I'd probably prefer Kenney (despite and not because of his social conservative ways), Baird, and Ambrose.
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 14:45:56 »
My own recent post in the Liberal Leadership thread got me to thinking about the next Conservative leader. The recent vote on a proposal to debate "when does life begin?" saw both Rona Ambrose and Jason Kenney voting to reopen the debate and, therefore, against the prime minister and the rest of cabinet. The speculation is that both are positioning themselves to capture the social conservatives when, inevitably, the leadership race opens (2017? 2018?).

Who else might be a leadership candidate?

My guesses:

            
Rona Ambrose                                     John Baird                                            Jason Kenney                                                                       Peter MacKay                                   Jim Prentice
Alberta, DOB: 15 March 69                    Ontario, DOB: 26 May 69                        Saskatchewan, DOB: 30 May 68                                              Nova Scotia, 27 Sep 65                     Alberta, DOB: 20 Jul 56                                             
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I think Prentice, who, at 56 is the oldest of the four, has the best résumé but he is, I also think the least bilingual. Ambrose describes herself as a libertarian, Kenney really is an established social conservative just as MacKay is a social liberal.


Edited to add John Baird. Baird is a social liberal, like MacKay.

My, personal preferences:

First choice: Jim Prentice
Second:       John Baird
Third:           any of Rona Ambrose, Jason Kenney or Peter MacKay


If it is two Quebec native sons (Mulcair and either Garneau or Trudeau) then I suspect that Prentice's less than perfect French will not do him too much harm. He is ten years older than his colleagues, two years younger than Mulcair, but he has much more gravitas. I don't think he has much baggage on the social issues.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Larry Strong

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2012, 20:53:05 »
I wonder if there would be any resistance to another leader from "Alberta"......
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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2012, 21:01:31 »
Jason Kenney is an outstanding politician in my opinion. I'd vote for him as CPC Leader.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 22:32:33 »
I wonder if there would be any resistance to another leader from "Alberta"......


I've often discussed the Old Canada/New Canada theory - it's not mine but I can't remember where I first read it - which says that power is shifting from Old Canada, East of the Ottawa River, to New Canada which is  BC <=> ON. Thus it will be natural for the Conservatives to have a New Canada leader, with ON and AB being the places in which they elect the most people.


Edit: 2 X typos
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 10:29:09 by E.R. Campbell »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2012, 07:16:07 »
This, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the National Post, is an interesting analysis of (Conservative) political leadership. I'm not certain I believe it, not completely, anyway, and the parts that I do believe are applicable, I think, to all political movements throughout the Western world:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/10/02/john-ivison-conservative-backbench-has-lost-its-fear-of-stephen-harper/
Quote
Conservative backbench has lost its fear of Stephen Harper

John Ivison

Oct 2, 2012

Is there a common thread running between Rob Anders’ wild-eyed musings about how Tom Mulcair hastened Jack Layton’s death and last week’s abortion vote, in which a majority of Conservative MPs voted for a motion their leader had urged them to oppose?

I’d argue yes – the trained seals on the backbench are biting back and we are likely to see more unsanctioned behaviour in future, as MPs relish their new-found freedom.

So what the Sam Hill is going on with the party that brought you Canada’s first Orwellian government?

Groupthink is still alive and doing what it’s told, not least earlier this month, when 11 MPs and a senator used exactly the same lines at the same time, albeit in different places, while highlighting the government’s War of 1812 initiative.

But the narrative of Stephen Harper as Big Brother, so beloved of certain commentators, is becoming increasingly anachronous.

Simply put, I think MPs on the government side of the House who have been around since 2004, 2006 or 2008 are thinking about their legacy and resolving that always voting at their party’s call, and never thinking for themselves at all, is not how they want to be remembered.

There are no whispers of regicide in the Conservative caucus. Mr. Harper will remain Prime Minister until he or the voters decide otherwise. He remains respected for leading the party into majority government but he is not loved and, crucially, he is no longer feared. From Mr. Anders’ unique analysis to the willingness of a majority of the Prime Minister’s caucus to defy his wishes, it seems Mr. Harper’s power to chill his backbench has waned.

There is a widespread feeling on the backbenches that they have been taken for granted. A number say they are fed up being told what to do by “kids in short pants,” young enough to receive their briefing notes in phonics.

There have been rumblings from a number of Conservative senators, upset at being treated as a rubber-stamp by the Prime Minister’s Office, that they will start to send poorly thought out legislation back to the House.

Now it sounds like a group of Conservative back-benchers are talking about flexing their own muscles by voting against government legislation, if they don’t approve of it. “We haven’t decided on any particular bill yet,” said one MP.

The abortion vote was not, perhaps, a real manifestation of the disquiet on the backbenches. In fact, it proved to be a safety valve that allowed MPs to blow off some steam. The real danger to the Prime Minister would have been to whip the vote, storing up trouble for the future.

We’re not even talking here of the regular grumbling endemic to back-benches everywhere. A number of Conservatives are upset about the new rules for MPs that will require parliamentarians to contribute 50% of their pension in the future. But this kind of blatant self-interest is not what appears to be motivating the outbreak of independent thinking on the back-bench.

Rather, there is a sense that the Prime Minister and the select band of courtiers around him have gone too far in concentrating power in the PMO.

A micro-management strategy, designed in the early days to control the role of the individual MP and Cabinet minister in the interests of presenting a co-ordinated message, is deemed to have had its day. Cabinet ministers, who have become used to receiving mandate letters that detail priorities, with no leeway for ministers to promote projects they may feel are deserving, are typical of the short leash on which all Conservative MPs have been kept.

A number of MPs I spoke to argue they should now be trusted to act more independently, even if they use that freedom to voice whatever offensive and unlikely conspiracy theory comes into their heads.

After seven years of the opposition and their cheerleaders frothing at Mr. Harper’s “totalitarian rule,” it’s possible that the democratic deficit may ultimately be addressed by a most unlikely source – the bobbleheads on the government’s own backbench.

National Post


Some points of departure:

1. Prime Minister Harper's "Orwellian" and centralized style of government is nothing new in Canada ~ Trudeau and his Clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Pitfield, were far, far more "Orwellian" and power was more, even, in my opinion, dangerously concentrated at the centre;

     (The Clerk should be non partisan and should act as a policy "check" on the PM's political instincts, Pitfield was inside the PMO, in fact the PCO and PMO were, nearly, indistinguishable.
     It was a dangerous time for our Westminster system, we got very close to a US style "spoils" system without the Constitutional framework to check and balance it.)


2. Backbenchers have, traditionally, been "nobodies" when they are off the Hill, and backbench revolts are regular features of all Westminster style governments, in Australia, Britain and here, in Canada; and

3. My, personal, sense is that Harper is less "feared" than he is simply "remote." I think that Stephen Harper is the least "liked" PM since Mackenzie King ~ even men that many despise were noted for being good at managing their own team; not so Stephen Harper: he appears indifferent to the personal wants and needs of his team.

But: it, caucus leadership, is an issue and will be after the 2015 election when the Conservative leadership/succession can be discussed openly.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2012, 11:37:14 »
I think the discontent may stem more from PM Stephen Harper's control of who can say what, when and where with scripted talking points and party lines.  Only a select few are allowed to openly express themselves without being.  This may be a hold over when this was necessary as a minority government.

The problem is that the Conservative party has several people who have made scary and frankly dumb comments and have been more or less muzzled for their, and the party's, own good.  Anders, Gallant, Polievre etc are just a few examples of this. 

The conservatives are trying to appeal to Canadians by moving towards (staking a claim is a better description) the social center, which likely does not appeal to the old reform party originals that want to talk about things like abortion, gay rights etc, but not the way Stephen Harper wants to. In the end I think it might likely be a smaller handful making more noise than its actual size and making it sound like there is more discontent than there really is.

However after the next election, it will be interesting to see how vocal, if not divisive these backbenchers might become.
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Offline Haletown

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2012, 11:42:15 »
Who knew  Ivison could write comedy :)

Have to add James Moore to the list.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/ProfileMP.aspx?Key=170424&Language=E

I don't think Ambrose has a chance.

Kenney has worked very hard, has strong base and knows how to do politics.

Baird has a lot of the same strengths as Kenney plus he has the gay cred.

It will be an interesting race . . .  when it happens.

Will Harper go one more round?    Will the party transition power without spilling blood or will they go the way of the LPC?


Much entertainment to be had for sure.







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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2012, 16:26:58 »
Major edit because my Alzheimer's clicked in and I forgot John Baird!  :-[

Let me redo the list:

                         
Rona Ambrose                  John Baird                         Jason Kenney                  James Moore                     Peter MacKay                   Jim Prentice
Alberta, Age: 43               Ontario, Age: 43               Saskatchewan, Age: 44   BC, Age: 36                       Nova Scotia, Age: 47       Alberta, Age: 56
Libertarian                        Moderate                         Social Conservative          Libertarian                        Moderate                         Moderate


All lily white, no Francophones, one woman, all under 60, one under 40.

I remain convinced that Prentice is the best candidate ~ but I tend to overrate gravitas and underate the value of social conservatism. I agree with others that Ambrose is the least likely to lead the party. I also think that, on balance, MacKay loses to Prentice and Ambrose loses to Moore, so my choices are:

First:                    Jim Prentice
Tied for Second:  John Baird or Jason Kenney
Fourth:                James Moore
Tied for Fifth:       Rona Ambrose or Peter MacKay
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 17:02:24 by E.R. Campbell »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2012, 16:46:29 »
Let me redo the list:

                    
Rona Ambrose                  Jason Kenney                  James Moore                     Peter MacKay                   Jim Prentice
Alberta, Age: 43               Saskatchewan, Age: 44   BC, Age: 36                       Nova Scotia, Age: 47       Alberta, Age: 56
Libertarian                       Social Conservative          Libertarian                        Moderate                         Moderate


All lily white, no Francophones, one woman, all under 60, one under 40.

I remain convinced that Prentice is the best candidate ~ but I tend to overrate gravitas and underate the value of social conservatism. I agree with others that Ambrose is the least likely to lead the party. I also think that, on balance, MacKay loses to Prentice and Ambrose loses to Moore, so my choices are:

First:                   Jim Prentice
Tied for Second:  Jason Kenney or James Moore
Tied for Fourth:   Rona Ambrose or Peter MacKay
Curious, why no more John Baird on this round?
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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2012, 17:00:46 »
I could support Prentice.  He also will have been able to say that he's been absent from federal politics during a few very contentious years and so can't really be tarred with anything. He also has serious credibility in the 'real world' in part due to his most recent work with CIBC.

Besides that, a fairly moderate Conservative candidate would also stand the best chance of pulling in voters from the Centre who won't vote NDP and won't want to vote for Justin Trudeau to run the country.
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Offline bridges

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2012, 17:01:19 »
Career politician, career politician, career politician, lawyer, lawyer.   ....Sigh....
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2012, 17:03:18 »
Curious, why no more John Baird on this round?


Because I'm old and stupid!  :-[   :'(    ???
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2012, 17:05:41 »
Career politician, career politician, career politician, lawyer, lawyer.   ....Sigh....


In this day and age there's not much else. Justin Trudeau took a little side trip into teaching, but not for long.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2012, 17:11:37 »
Because I'm old and stupid!  :-[   :'(    ???
Not even close!  :nod:

Have to agree with the Prentice/gravitas assessment, but I don't know how good his chances have to be to drag him back into the fray from this gig with CIBC.
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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2012, 12:46:32 »
From the F-35 thread, reagrding questions in the House for Peter MacKay:

kinda makes me wonder if PM Harper is allowing a potential rival to rotate on the spit a bit here to get some visible political scars he can point to if his leadership is challenged.

Mackay looks bad.

Ambrose looks solid and competent  . . .   future Party leader when Harper is ready to go for his walk in the snow?


MacKay has, I think, a pretty strong and loyal following in the CPC. He is admired for bringing the PCs into the new party with few problems.

Rona Ambrose is a strong candidate but she may face a stiff challenge from the big, seat rich Ontario caucus. Jim Prentice can claim Ontario roots and can also suggest that he has transplanted himself back there. But my list is still this:

First:                    Jim Prentice
Tied for Second:  John Baird or Jason Kenney
Fourth:                James Moore
Tied for Fifth:       Rona Ambrose or Peter MacKay

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Hatchet Man

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2012, 13:13:01 »
Career politician, career politician, career politician, lawyer, lawyer.   ....Sigh....

Well the the last liberal leader wasn't a career politician or lawyer, and look how well that turned out for him and his party.

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2012, 15:20:49 »
Peter McKay plays rugby; he's got my vote.   :)
I even read works I disagree with;  life outside  an ideological echo chamber.

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2013, 07:27:48 »
Lawrence Martin, a commentator with whom I routinely disagree, makes an insightful contribution in this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/stay-or-go-harpers-party-has-to-know/article10869396/
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Stay or go? Harper’s party has to know

LAWRENCE MARTIN
Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Apr. 09 2013

If Stephen Harper is to serve his party well, he has a critical decision to make within a few months. He has to let it be known whether he will lead the Conservatives into another election.

If he delays that decision until next year, he will leave his successor – factoring in the many months it takes for a leadership race – up against the wall. The successor will have no time to establish a presence or record before going into the 2015 election campaign.

Mr. Harper has seen what happens when other leaders delay the decision. Brian Mulroney waited until the last year of his second mandate to turn the crown over to Kim Campbell. She had to call an election right away. She was unprepared and got trounced. Pierre Trudeau waited until his fourth mandate’s last year before calling a leadership convention in 1984, leaving John Turner little time – though he could have waited a bit longer – to call an election. He, too, was crushed.

The problem for Mr. Harper is that he needs more than a few months to make a well-informed judgment on whether he has a good chance of winning again. The assumption is that he wants another term. He loves power, he has had a good run and he wants to extend that run.

But the arrival of Justin Trudeau as Liberal leader has changed the political dynamic. If the opinion polls are to be believed – a big if – the Liberals are a big player again – meaning there are new risks in Mr. Harper’s trying to go for another win.

The Trudeau name is his worst nightmare. Mr. Harper’s animosity toward the Liberalism of Pierre Trudeau was what ignited and drove his political ambition. Nothing would plague him more than having a Trudeau succeed him and begin turning back his conservative advances.

Justin Trudeau is likely to enjoy a honeymoon, as most new leaders do, for several months after his coronation this weekend. Even by the end of the year, it might still be too early to know whether or not Sir Galahad’s bubble will burst.

By that time, potential successors to Mr. Harper will be becoming restless. There’s John Baird and Jason Kenney who would represent the party’s right flank. And there’s James Moore and former cabinet minister Jim Prentice who could represent the moderate side. But would any of them have a better chance of winning than Mr. Harper? Not likely.

The Prime Minister will bear that in mind. At the same time, he has the comfort of knowing that, should he step down, he will do so as one of the great Conservative success stories, having led the party from nowhere when he took over the Canadian Alliance in 2002, through the subsequent merger with the Progressive Conservatives and then three election victories.

If he decides to stay, he must not only face the Trudeau phenomenon but also the problem – as an Ipsos Reid poll shows – that people are getting tired of him and his secretive, closed style of governance. Some tried to defend him for his latest muzzling effort, one that targeted his own MPs. They failed to see beyond the abortion issue to the broader context, the gagging here being only one of dozens of examples of this kind of conduct.

Some leaders hesitate to reveal their departure dates, using the rationale that it leaves them as lame ducks. But American presidents are lame ducks for their entire second term, and still get much done. Jean Chrétien got more done after announcing in 2002 that he was stepping down than he did in the earlier years.

Conservative Party transitions have not been handled well. Besides the Mulroney-Campbell example, there was the wrenching internal party wars that followed John Diefenbaker’s election loss in 1965 and Joe Clark’s 1980 election defeat.

Mr. Harper can avoid the pitfalls of the past by making his decision to stay or go at a time his party would best benefit to know.


The progressives, a group within which Lawrence Martin is numbered, are putting a HUGE load of faith and hope on M. Trudeau's shoulders.

But, Mr. Martin is right: Prime Minister Harper must, eventually, step down and he needs to manage his departure better than most of his predecessors (in all parties).

My sense remains that the 2015 election is still Mr. Harper's to lose ~ and he can manage to do that. But 2019 is a different story. By then I am sure that Harper government will be stale and bereft of good ideas, sustaining a Conservative government will require new, fresh leader with new, fresh ideas. Although I would favour Mr. Prentice for 2015 I suspect that by 2019 he will be seen as "over the hill" and one of the younger contenders will be more likely to win the leadership and, potentially, the country.

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Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline ARMY_101

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2013, 08:26:31 »
My sense remains that the 2015 election is still Mr. Harper's to lose ~ and he can manage to do that. But 2019 is a different story. By then I am sure that Harper government will be stale and bereft of good ideas, sustaining a Conservative government will require new, fresh leader with new, fresh ideas. Although I would favour Mr. Prentice for 2015 I suspect that by 2019 he will be seen as "over the hill" and one of the younger contenders will be more likely to win the leadership and, potentially, the country.

Harper will stay the course for 2015 and beyond.  If he leaves at the peak after 10 years in office (i.e. 2016ish), balancing the budget, and with many positive achievements under his decade in office, he'll be leaving as one of Canada's greatest prime ministers.

Then again, Harper will (only) be 60 in 2019, and could very well remain leader if enough fresh ideas continue to be brought up and be implemented. (The party's policy declaration is far from fulfilled.)

As for my insights into the next leader, as someone involved in the party:

1. Jason Kenney (con: single male)

2. Peter MacKay (con: new son)

3. Tony Clement (con: he's Tony Clement)

4. Rona Ambrose (pro: she's female and is seen as the government spending savior when it comes to Public Works and the F35 project)

As someone who knows him and who has spoken to him, I don't see John Baird wanting or lusting for the PM job.

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: The Next Conservative Leader
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2013, 10:51:31 »

1. Jason Kenney (con: single male)

2. Peter MacKay (con: new son)

 

There was a recent Maclean's article about Kenney's role as the immigration minister, that hinted that Kenney may just be the next pick for PM, given his role in reaching out to immigrant communities and getting them to vote Conservative. The said article also stated that his outreach work was behind the Tories winning around seven majority immigrant ridings (some of which were traditional Liberal strongholds) in the past Federal election, if I can recall correctly.  I doubt being single or unmarried is a "con" that would prevent him from being a PM; there are other heads of government who are unmarried.


Maclean's excerpt:

Quote
Once charmed, the document added, ethnic communities could stay loyal for a very long time. Ten “very ethnic” ridings—where immigrants represent more than 20 per cent of the population—were targeted in pre-election Conservative advertising: four in Ontario, four in B.C., one in Quebec and one in Manitoba. On election day, May 2, the Conservative party won seven of them.



The aforementioned article even began with anecdote of how Jason Kenney abruptly left a rally for the Sikh since he didn't want to be seen as endorsing a group that favoured that the Sikhs carve out their own "Khalistan" homeland in India. This is one instance which shows he exercises good judgement, especially with regard to public perception.


Maclean's excerpt:
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Jason Kenney scans the dense crowd of roughly 20,000 Sikh Canadians in traditional dress and multicoloured turbans here to mark Vaisakhi—the annual celebration commemorating the foundation of this community originally from India’s northeast. Sitting cross-legged on the thin grey carpeting covering the enormous stage, the minister is inwardly cringing.

He doesn’t like what he sees. In front of him, a dozen yellow and blue Khalistan flags are splitting the crowd near the podium, held by men fighting the hot early May sun in T-shirts. The man at the mic, speaking Punjabi, suddenly speeds up and radicalizes his tone. He speaks of genocide, of violent clashes and of the independence of Khalistan—a country that a faction of Sikh nationalists would like to carve from India. It’s too much. Kenney, who’s picked up some Punjabi since becoming minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism in 2008, stands mid-sentence, crosses the room and exits as three baffled Conservative MPs look on, unsure whether or not they should follow.

At the bottom of the steps, Kenney puts his shoes back on and raises his hand as if to rip off the orange bandana that all visitors wear inside Rexdale’s Sikh Spiritual Centre. He takes a deep breath, and restrains himself. A Sikh organizer approaches, looking contrite. “You are trying to exploit my presence here,” Kenney shouts, his stare fixed on the man in a white turban. “This is not a civilized way to behave. I warned you, and you did it anyway. I am aware that you would like to entertain the Prime Minister next year. You can forget it. He won’t be coming.” The minister makes his way to the exit, the Sikh organizer fast on his heels, apologizing profusely.He finally pulls off his bandana and explains that Sikh nationalists are now waging their war in Canada. They hope to convince the roughly 450,000 Canadians of Sikh origin, the majority of whom live in the suburbs of Toronto and Vancouver, to put pressure on their families still in India, but also on the Canadian government, to support their demands. They want Ottawa to recognize a genocide in which Sikhs were victims, in 1984 in India.

(...)

“It was an extremist speech,” he says. “I had to leave the room, otherwise the community would think I endorse such a campaign. Certain groups have sometimes tried to wield my prominence to advance their cause. I have to be vigilant at all times. They shouldn’t be encouraged to reproduce, in Canada, the tensions of their homelands.” It’s a message he reiterates to new immigrants from China and Tibet, Greece and Turkey, Israel and Iran.


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Moving on, here's another article which explores other rising Tories who may be headed for the cabinet...

National Post link

Quote

John Ivison: Ambitious young Tories hoping for Cabinet posts are mere pawns in Harper’s game

Watching Michelle Rempel in the House of Commons Thursday, it was obvious why so many people think she’s a lock for a job in Cabinet when Stephen Harper shuffles his deck this summer.

The 32-year-old from Calgary is pretty — can we still say that? — and shrewd. She was taking part in a debate on climate change and revealed that as a 10-year-old “science geek,” she read about Earth Day and started worrying about climate change.

She had been preceded by Michael Chong, the 41-year-old from Fergus, Ont., who is less pretty but telegenic in his own way and an excellent debater. He gave a vigorous defence of the government’s environment policy, such that a jury would be left with a reasonable doubt about the opposition charge of negligence on the file.

The received wisdom in Ottawa — and therefore the least likely outcome — is that Mr. Harper will refresh his Cabinet this summer by promoting the best and brightest of his parliamentary secretaries into key portfolios.


While Mr. Chong is clearly able, he resigned from Cabinet in 2006 because he did not support a government motion recognizing Québec as a nation within Canada. Mr. Harper rarely forgives or forgets, so the MP for Halton Hills may have to be patient before he is rehabilitated.

But the consensus is that Ms. Rempel, and her fellow parliamentary secretaries Chris Alexander, Candice Bergen, Shelley Glover and Pierre Poilievre are Cabinet bound.

Hmm. All five have done their time in the trenches and been good soldiers, often accepting politically dangerous assignments with enthusiasm.

But they are already the friendly public face of the government, appearing nightly on political talk-shows and acting as the front-line of defence when the Conservatives are taking fire.
When the accusations fly that the Tories are a bunch of old, white guys who are happy to befoul the environment in their quest for profit, they wheel out Ms. Rempel, not the 70-year-old minister, Peter Kent.

When Vic Toews, the Public Safety Minister, has said something perceived as particularly outrageous, they send out Ms. Bergen to explain what he really meant.


Is Mr. Harper really going to put either into some invisible portfolio such as Minister of State for Seniors? He could drop them into a senior portfolio but we have seen that movie before, when he over-promoted Rona Ambrose in 2006. It didn’t end well.

In any case, there is a natural progression in politics and parachuting someone into a top job would create a brigade of malcontents from those passed over.

It seems that to be young, telegenic and quick on your feet in the Harper government is as much a curse as a career-enhancer.

That’s not to say there will not be promotions from the ranks of parliamentary secretaries. But, this being Canada, merit is a tertiary consideration behind gender and geography. Good candidates for promotion like Mike Lake, James Rajotte and Rick Dykstra are likely to find themselves falling short on both counts.

Only one in four Cabinet ministers is female, so there is a drive to fill any vacancies with women.

Then there is the delicate provincial balance. For that reason, Winnipeg MP Ms. Glover is likely to ascend, since it seems certain that Mr. Toews will retire.

Gordon O’Connor, the chief whip, is 74-years-old this year and may also step down, which would open a Cabinet position from the national capital region. Mr. Poilievre’s luck would be in, were that the case.

Peter Penashue’s apparently doomed bid to get re-elected in Labrador means Mr. Harper is going to have to find another minister in Atlantic Canada. New Brunswick MPs Rob Moore and John Williamson would be ready and able to step up, even if the latter has annoyed his former boss by recently arguing for more independence for backbench MPs.

And then there is the linchpin of the whole shuffle — Jim Flaherty.

The Finance Minister says he knows what is going on — he is going on. But suggestions that he will call it quits this summer continue to abound.
If he does, candidates for his job would include Tony Clement, the Treasury Board president, Ted Menzies, currently Minister of State for Finance, and John Baird, the Foreign Minister (who is quite happy where he is, thank you very much).

Of the other heavy hitters in Cabinet, Jason Kenney is the strongest performer in Cabinet and has done a good job at Immigration. But that may work against him as Justin Trudeau seeks to usurp the Conservatives in the suburbs. In any case, having the Prime Minister and Finance Minister from the same city would likely cause palpitations east of the prairies.

James Moore, has turned Canadian Heritage, from a “shield” department, where the Tories were always playing defence, into a “sword.” He has also performed well in Question Period when asked to pinch-hit for the Prime Minister. For the record, he is 36 and his attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder.

Lisa Raitt is another who is widely judged to have performed well in her Labour portfolio. She is overdue a move — something she would undoubtedly welcome, since, as has one smartass noted, three years in labour is enough for any woman.

The job for the Prime Minister, therefore, is quite simple: placate the revolting backbenchers through promotions (or by bringing in a less confrontational House Leader and chief whip); usher in a younger Cabinet, without removing all the stars who stem the tide of opposition criticism on a daily basis; fill in the major departures with replacements of proven ability; and, last but not least, shake up departments that need a new vision — Fisheries, Defence and Industry spring to mind.

Fortunately for him, the Prime Minister understands that there are no true friends in politics and so doesn’t try to cultivate any. The results have been clinical but, generally, effective.

The young and the restless in the government caucus may have to seek solace in the fact that they are mere pawns in this particular game of thrones.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 11:06:07 by S.M.A. »
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