Editor’s Note:In his column series on the upcoming CPC Conservative Party of Canada leadership race, Bob Mok article takes an inside look at the background and the political views of each of the frontrunners. For the previous article, please go to http://096.ca/news/659472
There are fourteen candidates competing for this leadership contest and there were many polls taken over the last few months. The latest analysis published by CBC on March 23, 2017 identified the front runners using a “composite” index. This index is a composite of four leadership race metrics (endorsements, contributors, fundraising and polls) that has been developed to help gauge the state of the 14-candidate race.
The five leading candidates were identified as: Maxime Bernier, Kevin O'Leary, Andrew Scheer, Erin O'Toole, and Kellie Leitch. We have introduced Kevin O'Leary in our last article so let us look at the others now in more details:
Maxime Bernier– 54 years old. A Quebecer who ran for political office and became MP in 2006. Maxime held several cabinet posts including Foreign Affairs Minister, a post he resigned after a scandal over classified files he left at the home of his then-girlfriend, Julie Couillard, who had ties to members of the Hells Angels biker gang.
Bernier is a die-hard Libertarian, who seeks to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, and self-ownership. His notable policies included the dismantling of Canada’s supply-management system for dairy and poultry, breaking Quebec’s maple-syrup cartel and opening the airline industry to foreign ownership.
Implicated recently in a scandal that involved the signing up of thousands of Tamil members improperly by his organizers, his popularity is expected to drop. Bernier is still the candidate that can best capture the Quebec votes if he becomes the Conservative leader.
Kellie Leitch–46 years old. She is a former pediatric surgeon who entered federal politics in a 2010 nomination race in the riding of Simcoe-Grey. In cabinet, she held the labour and status of women portfolios. In the 2015 election, she and one of her current leadership rivals, Chris Alexander, attracted controversy by announcing a “barbaric cultural practices” tipline.
Kellie has invited comparisons with Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric with her plan to screen newcomers for “Canadian values.” She also wants to dismantle the CBC and crack down on environmental activism with new legal penalties for “illegal interference” in natural-resources development. Eliminating the carbon tax and stopping the legalization of marijuana are important planks in her leadership platform. Kellie has captured the support of many traditional conservatives who want to preserve the “core values” of the party.
Andrew Scheer – At 37 years old, Andrew is the youngest leadership candidate and has spent nearly his entire adult life in politics, having served as a Saskatchewan MP since 2004. He has no prior experience in cabinet, but did serve as House Speaker for four years, the youngest person ever to hold that office. Mr. Scheer currently has the most support from within his own caucus, with 23 MPs and six senators endorsing him.
Andrew Scheer is running on a fiscally conservative platform, promising to balance the federal budget in two years, open up the airline industry to foreign competition and create tax exemptions for parents of students in independent schools and parents collecting Employment Insurance benefits.
He was born in Ottawa and represented Regina since 2004. Andrew feels that he can bridge the East-West divide in Canada. He is fluent in French.
Next time, we will look at the profiles of more front running registered Candidates. We will also try to assess their chances of winning the leadership race.
我们鼓励所有读者在我们的文章和博客上分享意见。We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit the FAQ page for more information.