Well that didn’t last long.This morning former Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was in the leadership race, now he is out.
The Globe and Mail cited a long time senior staffer named Christ Froggat as saying Baird was seriously considering a run.
“A month ago he would have dismissed the idea. I think now it is something he is strongly considering,” Froggatt told The Globe.
Hours later a statement from Baird was pretty definitive in a statement issued to the media.
“While I have, indeed, received expressions of interest and am tremendously flattered by the support, I will not be running for leader of the Conservative party of Canada,” Baird said.
“When I retired from politics, I spoke about starting a new chapter in my life. I am extremely happy with this new chapter and will remain dedicated to my work in the private sector.”
Other than that not much of an update on the leadership front as potential candidates except the glee in the media at the idea that Red Tories could take over the Conservative Party of Canada once again.
The Ottawa-only publication iPolitics has a piece that trumpets Jean Charest and Brian Mulroney, pointing to a long scheduled speech Mulroney will be giving to raise money for the Albany Club in Toronto next week.
According to sources cited by iPolitics this is going to be about Mulroney telling the party how it has to change:
“Before they choose a leader, they need to have a conversation about the soul of the party, and he’s the one to do that,” said a source close to the former prime minister. “How does the party make its way back to the centre?”
“Back to the centre.” Really?
Look, I think some of what the Conservatives reached for during the last campaign was them grasping at straws and I have said so but was the Conservative Party under Stephen Harper some far right machine? No.
If you want my thoughts on what needs to be done you can read my day after the election column here.
The fact is the Red Tory/Harperite split is being played up by media types desperate for a horse race and a fight. Can anyone really tell me, anyone that actually has a clue about the Mulroney years that is, that most of Harper’s caucus would have been out of step with the Mulroney PCs?
They may have made different choices on policies but the idea that there is a major ideological split in the Conservatives on these old battle lines is false.
The Conservatives do not need to become more progressive because progressivism and conservatism are competing ideologies. You cannot actually meld them, it would be like having the "push me – pull me" party.
Can the CPC and the wider conservative movement learn lessons from the last ten years in power and the last election? Absolutely.
Do they need to learn those lessons from a bitter old prime minister still upset that an inquiry into his bad behaviour was called after he demanded Stephen Harper call such an inquiry? No.
READ Brian Lilley's book CBC Exposed -- it's been called "the political book of the year.”
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