After an election defeat, it's become customary to blame the outcome on the party leader.
Because they lead the party, it's understood that they bear responsibility for their party's positive or negative image.
Often times, this candidate started their journey by running for an existing political party, and shaping it to suit their personal leadership style.
Such is not the case with Stephen Harper.
He was the one who took over the Canadian Alliance, and undertook the task of uniting the right, to create a "one stop shop" for conservative voters.
Within three years, he and the new Conservative Party had unseated the "natural ruling" Liberal government.
After two minority governments in 2006 and 2008, Harper finally achieved a majority in 2011.
It was during the 2011 campaign that I, as a 19 year old conservative, felt a calling to do my part.
I volunteered on the London West reelection effort of Ed Holde. Throughout a big portion of my youth, Stephen Harper was all I knew about conservatism in Canada. He created this party, and was leading it to another victory.
I've already heard calls of people wanting to rebrand: a woman leader; bring the progressives back; change our message; shift to the Left, etc.
These ideas could not be more wrong.
What the Conservative Party needs is a leader much like Stephen Harper, but perhaps a bit younger and with more charisma.
Don't forget that it was he that gave us almost a decade of continued power in the House. There is nothing wrong with our brand or message as it stands. On election night, one could hardly call the conservative's loss a "defeat" as we still remain the official opposition with almost 100 seats.
Voter fatigue doesn't mean defeat -- it means you just need to find a new voice to keep them captivated.
As they say, why fix what ain't broken?
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