Editorial – Leadership might bring new hope

Richard Froese

Where is a good federal opposition leader when it’s needed the most?
Erin O’Toole was turfed as the leader of the Conservative Party by the caucus in a 73-45 vote Feb. 2.
While Alberta can expect six more weeks of winter, according to Balzac Billy, the political groundhog gave O’Toole his walking papers. He became leader Aug. 24, 2020 to replace Andrew Scheer, who was elected May 27, 2017.
Why has the Conservative party struggled to find a strong leader who can win the support of voters from across Canada since Stephen Harper served as prime minister from Feb. 6, 2006 to Nov. 4, 2015?
The Conservatives will choose its third leader in a little more than six years.
Canada has needed a strong Opposition Party and leader since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government took office.
Trudeau has been criticized for many actions and uncontrollable spending that has accelerated since the COVID-19 pandemic reached Canada in March 2020. Alberta is suffering as he opposes the energy industry under his priority to battle climate change. Yet, the Opposition leader hasn’t been strong and effective to keep Trudeau and the Liberal government accountable.
Trudeau and his colleagues are probably laughing about the Conservatives. They can’t seem to get their act together, he probably thinks.
O’Toole didn’t have the confidence of enough voters in the last election Sept. 20, 2021 to form government. Outside the Conservative party, people didn’t really know his name or face or much about him to vote for the party’s local candidate to make him prime minister.
Peter MacKay was seen as a heavy favourite to become leader in the last leadership race with 18 years as an MP who served in several different cabinet posts over the years.
When it comes to choosing party leaders, name recognition is a key.
Things can get only better for the Conservative party and the Official Opposition as members elect a new leader.
When people elect new leaders of various political parties, local governments and organizations, it’s a time to review and reflect on the past and build for the future. Looking at the results in the past few elections, the Conservative party has been strongly supported and represented in the western provinces. Alberta has been predominantly Conservative blue on the election map.
The Conservatives have to broaden their scope to secure support in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.
Who will be the best person to lead the party back to power to help Alberta and the rest of the country grow the economy?
Time will only tell in the coming months.

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