Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday September 1, 2020
With a New Leader, Conservatives Look to Unseat Justin Trudeau
In keeping with the general upheaval that has marked this year, the Conservative Party of Canada announced its new leader at an unusual time: in the middle of the United States’ presidential nominating conventions.
Mr. O’Toole, who is from Ontario, offered shout-outs to Indigenous Canadians, people who are “Black, white, brown or from any race or creed,” union members, L.G.B.T.Q. Canadians and people who “joined the Canadian family five weeks ago or five generations ago.”
During his leadership campaign, he pitched himself as a “true blue,” or hard-right-leaning, Conservative, without being too specific about policies. But his record in politics shows that he’s from the moderate side of his party.
During his debut news conference as leader, Mr. Toole moved to distance himself from the party’s social conservatives on issues like abortion.
That tack, Professor Marland said, may prove critical to expanding the party’s support in Eastern Canada and among women.
“I’m absolutely convinced that the Conservative leader is going to have to tackle social issues in a much stronger way than has been the case in the past,” he said. “Historically, this has been a problem for parties of the right.”
The contest to elect a new Conservative leader brought with it speculation that Mr. Trudeau’s government might fall shortly after it starts a new session of Parliament on Sept. 23 with a throne speech.
Regardless, a longer lead time to a vote may benefit Mr. O’Toole and his effort to expand the Conservatives beyond their base. (NYT)