January 20, 2016

Kevin O’Leary as Conservative leader? The good, the bad and the ugly

Brian LilleyArchive

Kevin O’Leary as Conservative Leader? My view that he’s not the right person is already on the record but if having his name in there is creating a buzz about the race, that’s good.

As for the man himself, I’ve never met him but I see both bad and good things.

He has good presence to sell a political message, has built a sizeable fortune, has a successful track record, name recognition. He’s concerned about the economy and believes the feds and progressive provincial governments are headed in the wrong direction but what kind of policies would he enact instead?

In the interview that kicked off speculation about him running, O’Leary said he is neither Conservative nor Liberal but politically agnostic. He keeps repeating that point.

Asked about ISIS, he denounced Stephen Harper’s decision to join the international coalition, saying we shouldn’t fight at all but should instead negotiate the peace.

I know O’Leary is good at business and a good negotiator but how do you negotiate with a group that believes we should submit to the caliphate or die?

He points to our peacekeepers in Cyprus as an alternative. ISIS presents a more complex and violent conflict. If he thinks he can bargain with them, I’m not sure he’s qualified.

Other negatives? He lives in Boston and for more than a decade has been making donations to American liberal Democrat politicians like John Kerry, Barack Obama and more, which is worrisome for anyone that wants a strong Conservative Party going forward.

If Kevin O’Leary is changing or has moved over towards conservative positions that differ from his past views and donation record, he should explain where he stands now.

Being a successful capitalist doesn’t mean you’re a conservative. Leading the Conservative Party of Canada should mean you actually are a conservative.


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commented 2016-01-21 14:12:15 -0500
There is hope for the CPC and they will only prevail if they reject the likes of O’Leary who’s only resemblance to a conservative is his ability to make money. Seriously, works for the CBC, donates to democrats, and lives in another country? Hell, I’m more qualified than he is. Please, for all our sakes, let this story die a quick death.
commented 2016-01-21 13:48:52 -0500

Glad to see that you are able to accept reality – a real conservative is unelectable in Canada.
commented 2016-01-21 10:08:43 -0500
Deiter, the reason I ask that question of you is that, even though I am a true blue hard core Conservative, I am also a pragmatist, a realist. I really don’t think a “full on” Conservative party would get voted into office and I would rather have a “slightly right of center” Conservative party than the Liberals or NDP.

What are your thoughts on that?
commented 2016-01-21 10:04:09 -0500
Deiter, do you think that a full true blue Conservative party would have a chance at taking the PMO?
commented 2016-01-21 01:47:32 -0500
Another CINO. Seems there is nothing but CINOs.

There’s no hope for the CPC.
commented 2016-01-21 00:33:44 -0500
Please God – let Kevin O’Leary be the conservative leader.
commented 2016-01-21 00:16:55 -0500
It’s obvious that Kevin has been watching ‘far too much’ US-TV.
If Kevin had used the time to learn about the blatant, black and white differences in Political Party Leadership contests between Canada and the USA, he would be agreeing that his entering a race to lead the CPC "is a terrible idea’.
Aside from Canada and US ending up electing ‘Party Leaders’, how their Parties finally arrive there, are totally different.
1. The USA has high, tv and public exposures through each and every of their their states’ ‘leadership caucuses’. Canada has no ‘caucuses’ along with the ‘exposures’ that go with them.
2. The USA has separate, nationally-televised debates between each their two major Parties’ declared candidates who wish to be their respective Party’s Leaders.
Canada has none.
Kevin, this is not Donald Trump’s America, where the mouth of moneyed maverick, against the rules of the political establishments, can ‘actually win’.
commented 2016-01-21 00:01:09 -0500
Yeah sure. The ‘visiting entrepreneur’ in negotiations with Isis. I’m out.
commented 2016-01-20 23:16:19 -0500
Sorry Kevin, I’ve changed my mind. If you think you can deal with people that put someone in a cage and burn them alive, I don’t want you running the ship.
commented 2016-01-20 20:32:51 -0500
Not looking good for O’Leary. Donald Trump gave to the demorats also tho…He said he always betted on the winners. Don’t like his stance on Isis at all tho. Isis and Islam must go.
commented 2016-01-20 20:12:43 -0500
WTF? He thinks he can negotiate with ISIS? LOL! I agree with Brian. He would be beheaded in ISIS’s Dragons Den if he even set foot in their territory or they would hold him for ransom and take all of his dough and then light him on fire and drop him in a Shark Tank. I think he’s been reading too many business reports and not enough news on the Middle East. And you can’t run for the leadership of a party without being one of them. He was intriguing at first, but now, uh….no.
commented 2016-01-20 20:00:32 -0500
O’Leary mirrors my own sentiments – we should NEVER have gotten involved in the internal strife in these backward ME nations – most of it was provocateured by western intel/security agencies. I also would not open this nation to the same tribal friction by importing it here through immigration.
commented 2016-01-20 19:43:14 -0500
He does not seem to have a good grasp on the Canadian political system, though he may be a real good businessman. Take his offer to fund oil and gas if Notley steps down. If Notley did step down she would be replaced by another in the NDP, likely someone even worse – it would not be a general election as he seemed to desire. Not only that, the Leader of the Official Opposition should not be looked at as an entry level job.

Maybe he can negotiate with ISIS. Perhaps ISIS would agree to only beheading people on Tuesdays; or maybe they would agree to let the person live a full ten years before marrying them or making them a sex slave. Hopefully we will never find out.
commented 2016-01-20 19:08:27 -0500
Maybe O’Leary can take Emma Watson to Syria and together they can negotiate with the Muslims, ask them to stop killing and beheading and raping and all of that. Give them a few hugs and try and find out what is at the root of their problems.
Hell, the two of them can take jackass Turdeau and his singing wife along. She can sing them a nice song and JT, Kevin and Emma can do their magic and turn these filthy swine into respectable folks and then bring them all back to Canada.
Someone should tell O’Leary that leading a country is not like being on the Shark Tank where he can bully and no one is able to stand up to him for fear of losing out an investment of money from the sharks.
He might be successful in business and has been able to make a boat load of money, BUT, that is a far cry from running a country.
commented 2016-01-20 19:06:24 -0500
I like O’Leary for the same reason I like Trump- he’s self actuated, is beholden to nobody, so he is independent of the party system and the Bytown political oligarchy – that’s important in a leader – someone who cannot be influenced or bribed or coerced So far I’m split between him and Elmer’s boy but Peter MacKay will have to prove tp me he will act independently of the oligarchy before I park support there.
commented 2016-01-20 19:05:03 -0500
Negotiate with barbarians? O’Leary seemed like an interesting possibility but now he is dead to me.
commented 2016-01-20 18:58:50 -0500
I’m a fan of O’Leary but I don’t think he is an appropriate choice. I agree with the previous comments – “reject solely on his stand on ISIS,” “negotiate with ISIS? Sorry, I’m out.” I’m definitely out too. Keep up the excellent work Brian and I also thank you for bringing this info to the forefront.
commented 2016-01-20 18:51:04 -0500
Ya, even Trump’s not cocky enough to say he’d negotiation with daesh.
I think O’Leary needs to read The Art Of The Deal.

commented 2016-01-20 18:50:09 -0500
Thanks for digging this up Brian. All anyone really knows about O’leary is that he’s a successful business person, but his policies were always unknown. I’m not so sure now that he’d be a good leader for the cons. The opposition could have a field day with his record.
commented 2016-01-20 18:47:27 -0500
I would never vote for O’leary, he is just a pompous ass. His views on fighting ISIS and terrorism are beyond comment.
commented 2016-01-20 18:45:13 -0500
Negotiate with ISIS ?
Has he not heard about the mass graves, the genocide and sex slavery they are involved in?
That puts him in an entirely new light for me.
Sorry, I’m out.
commented 2016-01-20 18:39:21 -0500
O’Leary is from Montreal – too close to the Demarais and Dussault families of Montreal – had enough of that over the last 60 years.
commented 2016-01-20 18:29:46 -0500
Thank you Brian for digging that up for us, as I know that us conservatives are going to be asked to vote on a candidate by one method or another.
commented 2016-01-20 18:29:23 -0500
I would reject Oleary solely on his stand on ISIS. He would negotiate peace… How is this a rational position given the option of " convert or be killed"? There is no middle ground here. Peace in this context is impossible.
commented 2016-01-20 18:17:00 -0500
I’d be a better PM than Oleary, and Just about any of you would be a better PM. But if he where to get precariously appointed by some king maker like Dion did and ran, the Conservatives would end up in 3rd place.
commented 2016-01-20 18:14:59 -0500
NO. I am leary of Oleary, No thanks. And having his self interested backside in the running hurts the party brand. tell him to jump in a lake. one very far north or one very far south.
commented 2016-01-20 18:01:47 -0500
Well we just learned something about O’Leary, he might be good at finances but he knows nothing about Islam and ISIS and the ideology they follow
This isn’t a war you can go in and negotiate a peace, they would cut your head off before you spoke two words.
I was leaning towards him as a leader of the Conservatives but his judgment or lack of it concerning this is worse than Obama and Trudeau which tells me a lot, best he keeps doing what he is best at and stay out of politics