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The Conservative Party’s 2021 election record looms

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The Conservative Party’s 2021 election record looms

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The Conservative caucus will be briefed on Thursday on an internal review examining what led to their defeat in the 2021 election.

Former Alberta MP James Cumming is overseeing the review, which he says will focus on all aspects of the Conservative campaign, from party infrastructure to the leader’s performance.

“The mandate of the report was to look at what went right and what went wrong, so I reached out – we are over 400 people who we spoke to or talked to in groups or received submissions written from,” he told in a phone interview.

Cumming said that list includes candidates, campaign managers, riding associations, party members, activists and others.

The Conservatives failed to dethrone the now three-term Liberals or increase their seat count, and lost votes in key western ridings where support is generally stable. This decline in popularity has been attributed, in part, to the rise of the People’s Party of Canada.

O’Toole announced the internal review the day after the election, saying it would help the party “steer towards victory next time around.”

“We have a busy session ahead in the House of Commons. And if we take Justin Trudeau at his word, we may be back at the polls in the next 18 months,” he said at the time.


Since then, O’Toole has faced direct challenges to his leadership from inside the party tent.

Saskatchewan Senator Denise Batters was kicked out of caucus in November after she launched a petition to force a leadership vote within six months, rather than wait for a vote of confidence in the leadership scheduled at the party’s national convention in 2023.

She accused O’Toole of abandoning fundamental conservative principles in a futile attempt to win over centrist voters in the election.

Batters said Cumming’s report must take into account O’Toole’s failures.

Cumming said that while he spoke to several senators for the review, he did not speak directly with Batters.

“I was very clear, we had emailed all the candidates, all the campaign managers, and it was pretty widely publicized that we were asking for input from anyone who wanted to talk to us… they didn’t tell me. not contacted directly,” he said.

The Alberta Foothills riding association is the latest to call for an earlier vote on O’Toole’s leadership, citing the need to ensure the party is united ahead of “an impending election”.

Conservative spokesman Cory Hann told that three riding associations have called for a quick vote.

“The National Council values ​​the opinions of all of our constituency associations. At present, very few constituency associations across Canada have expressed the view of having a review sooner than what is currently scheduled,” party president Rob Batherson said in a statement. subsequent statement.

“The time and place of the next national convention was decided at the end of 2020 by an almost unanimous decision of the National Council, in accordance with the Constitution which obliges the party to hold a national convention every two years. The National Council considers always the diverse perspectives of our members and constituency associations in our decision-making, along with our responsibility to uphold the Constitution which is established by rank-and-file members of the Conservative Party at every national convention.”

Former cabinet minister John Baird assessed the successes and failures of the Conservative Party’s performance in the previous election in 2019.

At the time, then-chief Andrew Scheer was criticized for not making the report more accessible to those outside of his inner circle.

This time around, Cumming will provide a briefing and presentation to caucus, National Council and the Conservative Fund.

Cumming said regardless of the outcome, going through the review process is positive for the party.

“Just like my business experience in terms of the kind of improvements we can put in place, continuous improvement, I think it’s healthy for the party, I think it’s healthy to do these reviews” , did he declare.

With files from The Canadian Press.

The Conservative Party’s 2021 election record looms

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