He lost the last election in every conceivable measure: fewer votes than the Conservative Party of Canada got in 2019, fewer seats, losses in key regions like Toronto and Vancouver, and losses in key demographics like women, new Canadians and particularly Chinese Canadians.
Worse than losing, Erin O’Toole sold out his fellow conservatives by running a centre-left campaign.
After winning the party’s leadership by claiming to be an authentic, common-sense conservative who would fight against carbon taxes and push back against “the radical left,” O’Toole later reverted his stance on almost every major position.
The things O’Toole seemed to be most passionate about on the campaign trail were his Liberal values. He’s pro-abortion, he’s bought into the leftist cult of climate alarmism, he’s a champion of big government spending and borrowing and he’s a proponent of celebrating the latest leftist cultural fad — be it denying that biological women exist or his habit of hectoring the world’s most tolerant country to be even more tolerant.
We get it, Mr. O’Toole, you are a Liberal.
His top strategist, Dan Robertson, gleefully stated so much right smack dab in the middle of the recent election.
“Erin O’Toole is the most Liberal leader the Conservatives have ever had,” he gloated on Twitter to a confused electorate.
I thought Conservatives didn’t like being called Liberals?
O’Toole is just that kind of Conservative, I suppose.
But does he still have a mandate as leader?
A popular Saskatchewan senator launched a petition asking this very question and proposing an opportunity for members to vote on giving O’Toole another shot.
Senator Denise Batters, who, it should be noted, came from the Progressive Conservative wing of the party and supported Red Tory candidate Peter MacKay in the last leadership race, made an eminently reasonable plea about a leadership review based on three points.
First, it is party convention for members to review a leader in the immediate aftermath of an election loss.
Second, the current leadership review vote is not scheduled until 2023. If the members decide at that time to replace O’Toole, it leaves the party in a precarious position — they would be left scrambling to find a new leader in a minority Parliament where an election could be triggered at any time.
Third, O’Toole does not seem to be up to the task of leading the Conservative party. Don’t get me wrong, he’s up for the task of leading a political party — just not a conservative one.
Mere hours after Batters released her statement and launched the petition, news broke that O’Toole had expelled her from the Conservative caucus. He did it via voicemail, no less.
Nothing says strength and confidence quite like firing someone who disagrees with you.
O’Toole has now ousted two vocal critics from the party: National Councillor Bert Chen and Senator Denise Batters.
Much like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, O’Toole talks a good game about being a feminist and welcoming Canadians of diverse backgrounds. But again, like Trudeau, it’s based on one condition: they must be sycophants.
If O’Toole was confident in the new leftist direction he was taking his party, he would welcome the chance to touch base with his party and ask members to rally around him.
Instead, he fires anyone who dares suggest he consult the democratic will of the party.
So, does O’Toole still have a mandate? We don’t know — he’s too afraid to ask.