The establishment press wanted a MacKay coronation. The voters decided otherwise.
From the beginning of the CPC leadership race, the establishment press tried to set the narrative.
First, they pushed Jean Charest, someone who has become totally out-of-step with the Conservative base.
That didn’t work, and Charest decided not to run.
Then, the big push went to Peter MacKay.
MacKay received a huge portion of the attention in the establishment media, the same media who often ignored Leslyn Lewis while giving tons of coverage to US politics.
MacKay was even endorsed by the Toronto Star, a paper widely hated by many Conservatives.
Notably, Erin O’Toole, Leslyn Lewis, and Derek Sloan all embraced independent media. Lewis did interviews with The Rebel, as did Sloan, and O’Toole regularly spoke with True North.
O’Toole, Lewis, and Sloan also agreed to participate in the new Independent Press Gallery leaders debate. Lewis had to miss the debate due to illness, but MacKay then dropped out, rendering the event unable to proceed in its original form.
Still, O’Toole and Sloan showed up to the event, putting in the effort.
This was a big reason why O’Toole won. In many ways, O’Toole is a more centrist Conservative, yet he showed respect to social Conservatives and made clear there was a place for everyone in the CPC.
This could be seen in what happened in the Conservative Caucus when Derek Sloan was demonized by the establishment press for his comments on Theresa Tam.
There was a push within the Conservative Ontario Caucus to kick Sloan out, yet O’Toole was reportedly one of the few MPs who advocated for keeping Sloan in the party. Meanwhile, reports indicated that MacKay, or MacKay’s people, wanted Sloan gone.
So, O’Toole, Lewis, and Sloan all did what core Conservatives wanted, which was to reach out to independent media, and start to reduce the power of the biased, anti-Conservative establishment press.
Meanwhile, MacKay did the opposite. He avoided Independent media, doubled down on the establishment press, and even ran away from Rebel News reporter Keean Bexte after one of the debates.
It didn’t work.
The decisive win for Erin O’Toole, and the strong support for Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan, showed Conservative Members embracing candidates who embraced Independent Media, and rejecting the choice of the establishment press.
This was a rebellion against the establishment media elites, and it marks a historic turning point for Canadian politics.
Photo – YouTube