Décarie says “All the so-cons are mobilizing behind me because I’m the only candidate who is running that actually represents their values.”
Richard Décarie, a socially conservative former Conservative staffer, says he’s running for the CPC leadership.
He was an organizer for the party in Quebec, and served as the deputy chief of staff for Stephen Harper between 2003-2005.
According to a report by the National Post, he has already assembled a team of prominent Canadian social conservatives:
“His campaign manager is Russ Kuykendall, who managed Tanya Granic Allen’s 2018 Ontario PC leadership campaign and was deputy campaign manager for Brad Trost’s 2017 federal Conservative leadership campaign. Mike Patton, who handled Trost’s communications in 2017, will be doing the same for Décarie. Trost himself will be campaign chair, meaning he’ll quarterback fundraising. Trost finished fourth in the 2017 race, which had 14 candidates on the final ballot.”
Trost proved influential in the previous leadership race, as his supporters helped contribute to Andrew Scheer’s victory. At the time, Scheer was perceived as more socially conservative than second-place finisher Maxime Bernier, who had run as more of a libertarian.
Unsurprisingly, Décarie is taking socially conservative positions on key social issues:
“He said his own takeaway is that you have to be clear about what you stand for. “If you have pro-life values, you need to put them ahead in your policies,” he said. On same-sex marriage, he said his own view is that it’s a religious concept and should be between a man and a woman, and anything else should be a civil union with the legal rights that entails.”
It should be noted that the membership of the Conservative Party had voted to end the party’s past opposition to same-sex marriage.
Time will tell if Décarie gains any traction in the race, as many Conservatives feel Scheer’s inability to explain his position on social issues (combined with media bias) cost them a very winnable election. A Décarie led-party could face even more difficulty in appealing to the voters who the party failed to win over in 2019.
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