Is Erin O’Toole Trying to Lose?

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on August 8, 2021

Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole started off his pitch to Canadian voters, assuming that Prime Minister Justine Trudeau will be calling an election soon, by trying to stoke fears of increasing infections due to the Delta variant as a reason why the Liberals cannot be trusted.

Many in the Conservatives base, including those who in theory should be friendly political commentators, rightfully ripped O’Toole for engaging in the sort of COVID-19 fear-mongering that has been more associated with the political left and was exactly the same messaging as Jagmeet Singh and the NDP had been putting out.

True North Media host Andrew Lawton pointed out that O’Toole saying it wasn’t the time for an election due to Delta meant that he had essentially given all the power in the situation to Trudeau by implying Trudeau and the Liberals had been doing a great job throughout the pandemic until he started thinking about calling a new election.

O’Toole was arguing for the Liberal status-quo instead of critiquing the Liberals’ authoritarian tendencies over the last year, poor health advice from people like Dr. Theresa Tam and Health Minister Patty Hajdu, or the needless ongoing spending on benefits that have left many jobs unfilled in Canada. 

It raises the question; is Erin O’Toole trying to lose the election to Trudeau? 

The question is mostly facetious, but it doesn’t seem too far out of the realm of possibilities that O’Toole has other political priorities that are concerning him more than beating Trudeau. 

The warring with the Conservative Party base by ejecting Derek Sloan from caucus using a fake scandal as an excuse, demoting Pierre Poilievre, and adding a carbon tax to the CPC platform, among other things, indicates O’Toole may be focused on reshaping the CPC into his own centre-left image so that, even if he loses to Trudeau, O’Toole can still keep a grip on the CPC in the aftermath of an election.


This being a potential motive was quite evident when Derek Sloan announced he would be starting a new political party (True North Party) which was attracting a lot of disaffected former Conservative voters O’Toole said “Good. I don’t want them in our centre/centre-right party.”

During Sloan’s tour of Alberta, he countered O’Toole dismissive remark about losing members of his base by showing at his rallies that the supporters he is attracting aren’t just former CPC voters but also donors and volunteers. 

This was just one of many white flag maneuvers O’Toole has made over his tenure as leader, it was very similar to the time he rejected the so-called “far-right” shortly after refusing to speak to Rebel News, an alternative right-leaning media source that is popular among the CPC base. 

Trudeau in all of this is the one benefiting the most from O’Toole’s purging of his own dedicated base, since Trudeau isn’t even particularly popular right now, and frequently gets beaten in approval rating polls by NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, but O’Toole inspires so little confidence it has helped keep Trudeau’s polling relatively stead, in spite of scandal, authoritarian actions, and poor management of the economy. 

If anything it would be more sad if Erin O’Toole was actually trying to win as his actions have only hurt the Conservative Party’s popularity and appear more to be an internal power play to quash opposition to him from the base and consolidate power with the centre-left faction of the party.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

5 responses to “Is Erin O’Toole Trying to Lose?”

  1. Steve McKinley says:

    Could it be he is controlled opposition like they used to do in socialist and authoritarian regimes?

  2. Steve McKinley says:

    Does his connections with Muslim Brotherhood agents have anything to do with it? Muslim terrorists would rather have Trudeau as PM because he gives them $10.5 million!

  3. Andrew says:

    I think O’Toole is improving, each of the past 2 days he’s made sensible campaign announcements, and he’s trying to appeal to the former blue liberals who want to see the budget balanced again within their own lifetime; ideally this decade.

    O’Toole has also said he wants to make Canada #1 for investment, so his head is in the right place on practical matters. If he’s able to win, it will be because he persuaded the rational among the laurentian elite and suburban Ontario households that he’ll make payments on the national credit card and his hands are steady. Let’s be honest with ourselves, $50/ton carbon rebate is better and more effective than a socialist, redistributed carbon tax which doesn’t even reduce carbon unless you can afford a $50k base tesla! Those businesses who run 10 freight trucks working long haul will save 10’s of thousands…even if it’s not as attractive as the election losing "scrap the carbon tax" jingo.

    • David says:

      I can bury carbon in the ground, called biochar, and it will draw in 3 times it’s weight so for every pound I place in the ground it draws 4 pounds of carbon that will remain there for thousands of years. Why exactly is it we are paying tax for something that isn’t even an issue?

  4. Debbie Johnston says:

    I haven’t seen O’Toole take a strong stance on anything, and there are certainly many things going on, that as a Conservative, he should be speaking out for, or against, in a strong manner. He seems content to allow Trudeau to determine the issue, and the tone of that issue. I want a leader that will show us he strongly believes in something, and is willing to fight for it. I haven’t seen that in O’Toole, at all. His statements are tepid, wishy-washy commentary, nothing more. It leaves me to wonder if there’s anything that’s important to him as a Conservative. He’s lost a large part of his base already with his duck and cover stance, along with his abandonment of Social Conservatives. He, unfortunately for the Conservative movement, doesn’t stand a chance of winning, ever.