The CPC base, many CPC MPs, and a growing number of the broader Canadian public are seeking strength in the pushback against the statist authoritarians.
Erin O’Toole’s time as CPC leader is over.
After getting decisively crushed by a 73-45 margin in the CPC Caucus vote, O’Toole officially resigned from his position.
So, why did he fail, and what does his failure mean for the CPC?
A failed experiment, betraying the base
Erin O’Toole tried an experiment:
Could he betray the CPC base and turn the CPC into a Liberal-lite party, and convince a large number of Liberals to switch over?
O’Toole seemed to view the CPC base the same way that CBC and the establishment press view it. He felt the base could be easily fooled and manipulated.
Unfortunately for O’Toole – and fortunately for Canada – he was completely wrong.
The CPC base is made of hard-working, Patriotic, and politically-savvy Canadians.
They quickly realized that O’Toole was trying to play them for fools, and O’Toole ended up the fool in the end.
O’Toole’s downfall began with the carbon tax betrayal.
O’Toole had campaigned as the ‘True Blue’ choice in the leadership contest, and castigated his chief opponent – Peter MacKay – as ‘Liberal-Lite.’
Yet, after winning the leadership, O’Toole started to change his rhetoric.
At first, it was subtle, and many gave him a lot of leeway since he was new to the job.
However, all the subtlety disappeared when O’Toole announced he was bringing in a carbon tax.
Remember, this was after he had already signed pledges to get rid of the carbon tax:
“I, @erinotoole promise that, if elected Prime Minister of Canada, I will: Immediately repeal the Trudeau carbon tax; and, reject any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.” #cdnpoli
“I, @erinotoole promise that, if elected Prime Minister of Canada, I will: Immediately repeal the Trudeau carbon tax; and, reject any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.” #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/xH3uPCKkU6
— Franco Terrazzano (@franco_nomics) April 15, 2021
“Aaaand here’s the close up. The pledge in unequivocal. @erinotoole is promising to scrap Trudeau’s carbon tax and not impose any future carbon tax.
If he moves forward with today’s proposal he will be clearly breaking his promise. #cdnpoli”
Aaaand here's the close up. The pledge in unequivocal. @erinotoole is promising to scrap Trudeau's carbon tax and not impose any future carbon tax.
— Franco Terrazzano (@franco_nomics) April 15, 2021
Not only did O’Toole betray those pledges, but he betrayed the CPC base and his own colleagues.
After all, he first leaked the announcement of the carbon tax plan to the CBC, and he didn’t even consult with his MPs about it.
Many learned about his betrayal only when the CBC report dropped, and were forced to go out and defend the plan without having had any say over it.
O’Toole put his colleagues in the position of being forced to pick between loyalty to the ‘leader,’ or sticking with the party’s previous promises to their supporters.
Not only did O’Toole put them in that horrendous position, but he became increasingly authoritarian internally, which was seen in how he removed those who disagreed with him.
Furthermore, O’Toole adopted a Liberal-style lecturing tone, as if his carbon tax betrayal was ‘enlightened’ and anyone angry over his dishonesty was wrong.
That was the beginning of the end for O’Toole, since he robbed himself of the goodwill and depth of support amongst the party base that would have enabled him to remain in power.
Wishy washy on the brutal assault on our civil liberties
While the carbon tax betrayal began O’Toole’s serious problems, he made things worse and worse as the pandemic went on.
Across the country and political spectrum, many Canadian politicians embraced authoritarian statism, making Canada one of the most restricted and locked-down places in the world.
Governments destroyed people’s livelihoods, massively curtailed their freedom, and sought to demonize anyone who dared resist.
‘Big government’ surged to an unprecedented level, as Canada became less and less free.
All of this happened while Canadians could look to our neighbours to the south, to Scandinavia, to the UK, and to other jurisdictions around the world where lockdowns were either non-existent, or far less strict.
Our politicians told us this was all ‘necessary’ and ‘unavoidable,’ yet they were proven incorrect by the fact that other similar nations were doing a much better job protecting the freedom of their populace.
Amid all of this, Erin O’Toole was weak and wishy-washy.
While many CPC MPs clearly wanted to take a stronger stance in favour of individual liberty, the CPC under O’Toole’s leadership was scared of taking strong stances, vacillating between support for restrictions, and mild criticism that failed to impact public opinion.
As a result, it was left to organizations like the National Citizens Coalition, Independent Media, dissident conservative politicians, and the PPC to speak out against the assault on our rights and freedoms.
O’Toole’s weakness left the country without a major political party – with representation in Parliament – to oppose the rise of authoritarian statism.
But that didn’t mean opposition didn’t exist.
It did – among the groups I mentioned above, and among a growing number of Canadians who were fed up with the Trudeau Liberals and the Premiers who continued to restrict us and lock us down.
This has culminated in the Freedom Convoy, made of Patriotic Canadians who have had enough, and are making their voices heard.
O’Toole’s leadership – which was already on life support – began to finally fall apart amid the Convoy, as he vacillated on whether he supported it or not, even as MPs like Pierre Poilievre, Leslyn Lewis, Candice Bergen, and others stood up for the Convoy. Clearly, many CPC MPs themselves had had enough as well and decided to stand up for freedom.
A fitting denouement
As word leaked that O’Toole was going to face a Caucus leadership vote, he released the following statement:
There are two roads open to the Conservative Party of Canada. One is the road of Randy Hillier and Derek Sloan. It is angry, negative, and extreme. It is a dead-end; one that would see the party of Confederation become the NDP of the right. 1/5
— Erin O'Toole (@erinotoole) February 1, 2022
“There are two roads open to the Conservative Party of Canada. One is the road of Randy Hillier and Derek Sloan. It is angry, negative, and extreme. It is a dead-end; one that would see the party of Confederation become the NDP of the right.
The other road is to better reflect the Canada of 2022. To recognize that conservatism is organic not static and that a winning message is one of inclusion, optimism, ideas and hope.
There is a report tonight of members of the Conservative caucus who are unsure of what road to take. They are, it is said, bringing a letter to caucus to trigger a vote on my leadership of the Party.
I’m not going anywhere and I’m not turning back. Canada needs us to be united and serious!
It’s time for a reckoning. To settle this in caucus. Right here. Right now. Once and for all.
Anger vs. Optimism. That is the choice in simple terms.
I will accept the result of this vote. The signers of this letter must accept it, too. They brought it. They’ll have to live with it.
Rebecca and I are committed to our Party and conservatism in Canada. We look forward to continuing the journey.”
That statement could have been written by the Liberals or the establishment media. It’s stunningly tone-deaf, as he talks about anger vs optimism while angrily demonizing his critics and seeking to divide the party.
It’s also deeply ironic, given that he postured as a defender of Derek Sloan when it served his interests in the leadership race, and then removed Sloan later on, an early example of the flip-flopping and lack of willingness to stand up for his colleagues that would end up being emblematic of his leadership.
A party freed to embrace liberty
Now, with O’Toole gone, the CPC is freed to embrace the defence of individual liberty.
They can stand up against lockdowns, they can stand up for lower taxes (including repealing the carbon tax), a smaller government, free speech, decentralization, sound money, lower federal spending, an end to stifling political correctness, and a foreign policy that defends Canada’s interests and values.
And most importantly, they can ensure that the dangerous authoritarian statism of the Liberals & NDP is confronted and defeated.
Photo – Twitter
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