I have been pondering these posts for a long time before putting fingers to the keyboard. Now that ballots have been mailed, this seems like the appropriate time to talk about the campaign to replace Andrew Scheer as the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
This race has been on since October 2019 and the Leadership race was launched early 2020 with the original date to have a new leader selected was last weekend. COVID-19 came and took two candidates, Marilyn Gladu and Rudy Husny, out of the race. One candidate was booted out, reinstated by the courts and then booted out of the race again. After all the dust settled there are four candidates vying to be the next Leader of the Opposition, and hopefully the next Prime Minister of Canada.
The final four to appear on the ranked ballot are (alphabetically): Leslyn Lewis, Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole and Derek Sloan. I Have voted for Peter for Leader in 2003, for the Progressive Party of Canada and Erin for CPC leader in 2017. Both have qualities I need to see in a leader, but only one name will be in my number one spot.
For the this and the three next posts I’ll take a dive into the candidates for the party leadership, alphabetically. Today I’ll look at Dr. Leslyn Lewis, followed by the Hon. Peter Mackay, the Hon. Erin O’Toole and rookie MP Derek Sloan
I find Leslyn Lewis to be the most interesting of all the leadership contestants. I also have respect for her campaign; of the four campaigns, she is the least mistake prone and appears true to the message she is communicating.
I liked how Lewis performed in the English debate. I liked her responses to the post-debate scrum on Canada’s systemic racism. If I was prepared to wait a two-term election cycle before seeing a Conservative Prime Minister I might be willing to put Lewis number on my ballot. Serving as a Minister in a Conservative government will prepare Lewis to be a successful Prime Minister in her own right. We’ll have to see if either MacKay or Lewis will be brave enough give Lewis in a role that allows her to shine.
I listened to former MP and a previous leadership contestant Tony Clement interview Dr. Lewis on his podcast; And Another Thing Podcast, I was duly impressed with the clarity of her answers and honestly the last spin she gave – it was very refreshing. In the interview she noted that she does a lot of the policy, speech and video writing herself, she does know that will change to a degree if she becomes leader, but I doubt she’ll be completely hands off – making sure her message is HER message will be a constant focus, and possible challenge for the staff in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition. Lewis’ background and education are interesting. What was most interesting is how she and her team have been able level the playing field, meet and exceed the criteria of the Conservative Party leadership organizing committee.
I am intrigued by her Masters in Environmental Studies from York University; has the Conservative Party ever had someone that might be as qualified as Dr. Lewis to talk about the environment? Though her platform on the environment mirrors most of what was talked about in the 2019 election and what other leadership candidates have been saying in this leadership contest.
Unlike one other candidate, Dr. Lewis’s personal values, the ones she was brought up on, these values about family values and qualities of generosity, hard work and equal opportunity may those that Canadians, of every political stripe. It’s not beyond belief that Lewis’ values would challenge those of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party that a Conservative Leader could stir a self-confidence in voters that recently may have belonged to Liberal voters.
To learn more about Dr. Lewis, her policies and background please visit her website www.leslynlewis.ca.
Thank you for taking a few minutes of your day for reading RHBS Post #292. Stay safe (and healthy)
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