338Canada: The CPC's social conservative risk - 2020-01-12
When former federal Progressive Conservative leader Joe Clark candidly said that "I would prefer to go with the devil we know" in 2004 when asked about who he would support between Paul Martin's Liberals and Stephen Harper's newly merged Conservative Party, we knew some lines had been drawn in the sand for many former PCs. After the Alliance-PC merger, two other MPs had chosen not to join the CPC caucus, Scott Brisson had already crossed the floor to the Liberals, and it was clear that several Red Tories were not necessarily comfortable with what was considered by some as an Alliance/Reform takeover.
Nevertheless, Stephen Harper ended the Chrétien/Martin era in 2006 and the CPC formed government for nearly a decade, during which many of those Red Tories took a backseat. Now with the resignation of Andrew Scheer as Conservative leader in mid-December, CPC members may have some harrowing soul-searching to do before electing their next leader next June in Toronto.
A Léger poll published earlier this week shows that close to half of Canadians currently have no clue who the next Conservative leader should be. On the question "Which of the following public figures would make the best leader of the Conservative Party of Canada?" 51 per cent (among the poll's 1,554 respondents) did not know who to pick from a large pool of potential candidates.