Why is Peter MacKay even running?

Written By Guest User, Posted on April 17, 2020

Why is Peter MacKay even running?

I know all the leadership candidates are laying low right now and the leadership race is on pause, but nonetheless, it is a question worth asking if you’re a Conservative Party member. 

The other candidates, they each have their lanes and their reasons for running. 

Erin O’Toole is trying his best to slide right into that Blue Tory lane, left wide open following the departure of Pierre Polievre early in the race. While he’s certainly not the most imaginative candidate when it comes to policy, he’s at least taken some strong positions on defunding the CBC, supporting conscience rights for healthcare workers, and promoting the CANZUK trade pact. 

Leslyn Lewis has firmly established herself in the social conservative lane, touting policies like ending sex-selective abortion, ending funding for overseas abortion. However, she also seems to have crossover appeal with policies on energy, human trafficking, and firearms, as indicated by her polling rise. While this isn’t an explicitly scientific poll, it did a pretty decent job predicting the first ballot of the 2017 CPC leadership race. 

Derek Sloan, while running at the back of the pack, at least knows why he’s running and has done a remarkable job as a first term MP getting this far in the race, despite the steep requirements for fundraising and signatures. With firm statements put out on controversial issues like abortion and transgenderism, as well as a host of other issues, Sloan is certainly putting himself and his convictions out in the open for all to see. 

MacKay, on the other hand, has taken the cowardly policy approach of a frontrunner who has nothing to gain by sticking his neck out for any policies that might even be considered mildly controversial. The odd time he has started to show some backbone in this race, he’s had to backtrack and apologize for his actions. 

TNT is not up to snuff with Red Tory Interview

Prior to writing this piece, TNT reached out to MacKay in order to get some answers as to why he felt the need to run in the first place. 

Questions on firearms like are you willing to support removing non violent, non victim, administrative (document) firearms act infractions from the Criminal Code of Canada? Or on Indigenous issues like what does meaningful reconciliation and partnership with Indigenous people look like to you? 

How about Western alienation – how would you respond to that as Prime Minister? Or even more mundane matters like how would the Conservative Party function under your leadership, given that you called the social conservative wing a “stinking albatross” that hung around Scheer’s neck during the election?

Of course not all of these matters have been addressed by all the other candidates, but as outlined above, they have each staked out their positions and are willing to defend their policies.  

MacKay currently has six policies listed on his campaign website. A no limit RRSP withdrawal plan, banning Huawei from 5G networks in Canada, ending the carbon tax, respecting local volunteers, meeting NATO spending targets, and stopping energy blockades. 

Apart from the banning of Huawei, none of these are very controversial or bold. And even then, Huawei is banned in the U.S. for national security reasons so following suit, especially given the current world situation regarding China, is not much of a stretch. 

All of this is to say that this leadership race so far for MacKay has been a rather milquetoast affair. If he indeed plans to lead the CPC, never mind Canada, cruising to the finish line on name recognition and past achievements isn’t going to cut it. 

It will take bold and decisive leadership for the Conservatives to defeat the Trudeau government in the next election, whenever that may be. A Conservative Party led by the lacklustre Peter MacKay of 2020 would not fare well in that contest.

Guest User

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