#cpc #cdnpoli #cpcldr2017 #cpcldr
It has been a long time since the CPC membership elected a leader. You'll have to go back to 2004 when Stephen Harper won the race, making this particular election 13 years since. No different, really, then when Paul Martin took the reigns from Jean Chretien.
During Harper's time, the Liberals had six leaders:
- Paul Martin (elected) - Prime Minister
- Bill Graham (interim)
- Stephane Dion (elected)
- Michael Ignatieff (elected)
- Bob Rae (interim)
- Justin Trudeau (elected) - Prime Minister
Again, no different, really, than what Chretien faced against six different conservative opposition leaders:
- Preston Manning (Reform, elected)
- Deborah Grey (Canadian Alliance, interim)
- Stockwell Day (Canadian Alliance, elected)
- John Reynolds (Canadian Alliance, interim)
- Stephen Harper (Canadian Alliance, elected)
- Grant Hill (Canadian Alliance, interim)
Stephen Harper (Conservative, elected) - Prime Minister
For this new race, the feelers have been sent out. With 16 months, that gives any hopeful enough time to build interest and momentum, fundraise, organize a national campaign team in every major city and region, and campaign.
However, if we are to consider the above pattern of opposition leaders, we could surmise, whomever wins this race, would not become prime minister, but would lose the next election in four years, spurring a new race, then again that leader not winning. It would theoretically be on the third elected leader who would have a chance at becoming prime minister.
That is not to say those who are interested should make a run for it now to get their name out there and the beginnings of a very long-term campaign organization.
But to think that Trudeau is a one-term prime minister, for a Conservative, is overly optimistic. The NDP leadership is in a vacuum and Trudeau will continue to pull from the left. Further, Chretien and Harper won three elections with their party remaining in power for about 13 years. It is not unreasonable to think history won't repeat itself and we'll see the following.
2017: Elected Leader 1
2019: Election loss
2019: Elected Leader 1 steps down. Interim leader chosen.
2021: Elected Leader 2
2023: Election loss
2023: Elected Leader 2 steps down. Interim leader chosen.
2025: Elected Leader 3
2027: Election WIN
What would be telling, and different is if the 2019 and/or 2023 elections had a minority government. Then it's difficult to say how the rest of the pattern works out, because remember, Harper lost his first election to Martin, although Martin won with a minority. Harper then won a minority. This was a long transition period for Canadians to move from Liberal dominance to a newly merged Conservative Party.
My point is, whoever is running to be leader now or later, has to play the long game, as Stephen Harper was so brilliant to achieve for his electoral success.