Why Erin O’Toole Can’t Win a General Election

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on January 22, 2021

The Background

Erin O’Toole has had a terrible record over the last two weeks.

O’Toole who ran as a “True Blue Conservative” in the leadership race started his campaign to distance himself from the conservative base by getting into a silly fight with Ezra Levant and Rebel media. O’Toole had done an interview with the Rebel, but to appeal to the segment of the population that would never vote for him, he denied that he did.

In gratitude for his attempt to portray everyone at Rebel as “far-Right” the Canadian Left and the media started attacking O’Toole as “Canada’s Trump”.  In the wake of the capital hill riot, O’Toole panicked and further alienated himself from the base by trying to throw Trump under the bus. None of this gained him any support.

Erin O’Toole’s war with the Conservative party base culminated on Wednesday when he booted Derek Sloan out of the party for his “pattern of behaviour” and “Not being a team player”, after an obvious botched insider leak to smear Sloan.

Problems with the Base

All of this will give him huge problems with the social conservatives within the party, as before they go to the polls to vote for O’Toole they would need to take the knife out of their back. O’Toole ran as someone who would be against “cancel culture” and always let socially conservative voices speak in caucus, that was a lie.


Canadian politics garners very little attention from the Canadian public who would often rather gaze at the more entertaining politics down South. Having a motivated and energized base show up to vote is very important for the Conservatives, and Erin O’Toole couldn’t do more to demotivate his base if he tried.

Splitting the Party

Any student of Canadian political history would never have been so callous with the Conservative base as O’Toole has been.  The current CPC itself is a relatively young party as its first leader was Stephen Harper who helped unite the reform and the Progressive Conservative Party.

Conservative politics seems to go in a pattern in Canada. There are two factions who realize they can never win when divided so they unite. Then the Centrist and elitist factions gain enough power they start to drive the party far enough to the Left that the base can no longer morally support it and form their own party. The great skill in being the Conservative leader is the ability to balance these two factions, a skill O’Toole seems to have no interest in cultivating other than a few occasional conservative platitudes. 


The great insanity here is that there already has been a crack in the CPC when Andrew Scheer forced out Maxime Bernier for his support of Conservative/Libertarian principles on supply-side management. 

There already is another party for disaffected conservatives to jump to in the PPC, and expect a fair amount of people to abandon O’Toole over this.

Expanding Nowhere

The reasoning that O’Toole will give to justify his behaviour will be to “build a coalition that can win”. Expect O’Toole to mirror Patrick Brown’s race to the centre-Left, as he basically scooped up Brown’s old team to be his new one.

While you can expect the Conservative party to have warmer relationships with groups like the NCCM and the World Sikh Organization, this rarely translates into votes for the Conservatives.

While O’Toole sacrificing Derek Sloan onto the altar of cancel culture seems to have garnered him the approval of Justin Trudeau for the moment, it has not won him the affection of the Canadian mainstream media who spent the week pretending that his slogan “take back Canada” is racist. The interesting part is that alternative conservative media is not coming to his defence, as they seem to reciprocate the same disdain that O’Toole had shown them. 


Perhaps the most predictable outcome of O’Toole throwing his base under the bus was the emboldening of the Canadian Left who got energized and pushed for O’Toole to conduct even more Maoist struggle sessions.

Take for example Bernie Farber, head of the Left-wing group Anti-hate network:

This was his response to O’Toole’s statement about diversity. In Farber’s worldview, the Conservative party is morally deficient because Candice Bergen once wore a hat, a MAGA hat at that, which somehow cause “harm”. I just want to know if there were any survivors of Hatgate 2020.

The Problem of Being Boring

Erin O’Toole has been stacking up obstacles to his election inside the party, and to be blunt, he does not have the tools to overcome them. If he was a talented and charismatic orator he could reframe the narratives that the media will try to throw at the CPC. He is a skilled politician and tactful liar, but he will not be able to grab the attention of the public in order to put his skills to good use.

If he continues to rely on the mainstream media to slander his political opponents then he is bound to run into a buzzsaw when going up against their golden boy in Trudeau. This is compounded when he fails to distinguish himself from Trudeau. Trudeau has every advantage here, he is taller, has better name recognition, and is much more physically attractive. 


While one might scoff at this, the fact that O’Toole is ugly will hurt him. Most people do not vote with their heads on policy (if you consume political content like this in your spare time you are clearly in the minority), but rather vote with their gut. Studies have shown that people tend to rate attractive people as more trustworthy and unattractive people like the opposite. O’Toole literally has nothing going for him at this point.


Barring an unforeseen major shift in fortune for Erin O’Toole he is dead in the water in the next Federal election. Expect a lot of infighting under the O’Toole regime as his only argument to his base will be along the lines of “we need to unite to beat Trudeau”.  

Negative arguments are traditionally ineffective in Canadian politics, Canadian don’t want to hear how much you hate the other guy, but rather for you to make the case as to why you are the better choice. The way things are going, Erin O’Toole is very unlikely to make the argument for Conservatism. 

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

8 responses to “Why Erin O’Toole Can’t Win a General Election”

  1. KG says:

    Problem is modern day conservative parties don’t seem to conserve anything or have any principals (UK, Canada and US). They try to appease the twitter mobs but the reality is there is no appeasing them, the fact that you say you have conservative values/beliefs makes you irredeemable. They continue to ignore hot topic issues like multiculturalism and immigration and allow for our institutions to be wrecked upon as CRT creeps its way into every facet of life. Even if Scheer won I guarantee he wouldn’t have changed Canada’s course at all culturally, maybe we would get some lower taxes (whoopie).

  2. kenek says:

    Otoole is clearly not a conservative, and has fone permanent damage to this failed joke of a "Conservative" party.

  3. Tim says:

    A good summary of the hapless situation, well done.

  4. Tim says:

    The PPC is the only way forward for Canada

  5. Gregm says:

    Just to clarify one thing to start with : Harper was uniting the Alliance Party and the McKay’s barely breathing PCs. The alliance party ended because Mannions loyalists refused to support Stockwell Day because they thought they had arranged Manning to win. they brought massive growth into the party but the old reformers chased out the games by sabotaging day strategically at the start of every New Year’s week for about a month and a half. That is a crucial lesson to learn that implicates the CPC back room, where most if not all of the corruption of the old PC party is/was.

  6. GregM says:

    2) Leftists in CDN politics For a long time have bitched about not wanting to "be American" When it comes to conservative politics but the same wing nuts Imitate leftist Americans, sometimes Word for Word. Conservatives should learn a lot from President Trump. Clinton was set up to cheat and win in 2016 but Trump who did her so she couldn’t cheat enough to beat him. They set things up exactly the same in 2020, except the Democrats went even further, this time using voting machines more aggressively as well as traditional means far more aggressively, not to mention using the China virus to rationalize massive mail in voting numbers. Trumps number still went up forcing The Democrats to expose their cheating by massive changes in numbers overnight in several swing states. We’ve always seen some degree of cheating but this was way over the top and none of the cases or tried on the mountain but rejected on a technicality. Here’s what conservative parties need to learn: stop sucking up to the leftist media who hate you and will never vote for you, stop letting them set the rules for when you can talk about it and how you can talk about it issues. Speak directly to the Canadian people which means not using the garbage social media controlled by liberal Democrats. Stop throwing social conservatives under the bus or off the bus because you need us if you hope to win. Clear out all the old, failed power brokers from back room, you know, The scheming bastards who leaked that BS about Sloan, As if he would have known about it since a small donation especially when the national office already processed it and I didn’t see anything about him being able to send it back. Prior to the attack of the CCPvirus, President Trump’s aggressive approach to restore the American economy and stop the extreme leftist policies imposed by the previous garbage government, Americans were prospering and doing great.Time for Canadian conservative parties to grow up, grow a spine, stop trying to appease leftists that you will never win over and start working your asses off for the Canadian people

  7. Vito Luceno says:

    Very well said!
    O’Toole has alienated me. I’m a true CONSERVATIVE.
    A true conservative is Democratically, Fiscally, and Socially Conservative. The Triune Conservative.

    O’Toole is a FAKE CONSERVATIVE, and because of that I joined the PPC. The FAKE CONSERVATIVE PARTY will be looking for a new leader very soon.

  8. Eileen McrAE says:

    Thank you for having successfully driven another nail into O’Toole’s back with this biased article which not only shows your bias against the man, but your bias against Conservatives in general. You lie in the same bed as the liberal media not only here in Canada but south of the border as well. This article smacks of nothing but condescension against a conservative leader and his base. This places you squarely into the group that I refer to as the ”puppet, propagandist” media. Do you write such scathing articles about that arrogant, lying despot who is currently the leader of Canada?