The Conservative base is dragging the party too far right and radical - 2021-02-25
Establishments come; establishments go. That's the nature of the beast. What remains constant is that every institution, every culture, has one. In the case of the Conservative Party of Canada, that establishment may be experiencing some radical changes. Four well-known and influential party activists — James Dodds, chair of Conservative Fund Canada; former chair Irving Gerstein; Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce; and Bay Street banker Mark Mulroney, son of the former prime minister — have all failed to be elected as voting delegates from their ridings to the party convention next month.
In the past, they would have simply assumed selection, and that complacency may have had a great deal to do with their failure. But socially conservative organizations are claiming that their own influence has been the key factor, as they work to support candidates and officers who are considered more anti-abortion and what they regard as "pro-family." These groups are taking special aim at Article 70 of the Conservative Party's policy declaration, which states: "A Conservative government will not support any legislation to regulate abortion."
There's also palpable anger at the expulsion of Ontario MP Derek Sloan, who was seen as one of the champions of the "socon" (social conservative) movement. His supporters argue he has significant backing in the party, and that it was their vote that swung the leadership race for Andrew Scheer first, and then Erin O'Toole. Jack Fonseca, director of political operations for the Campaign Life Coalition, is certainly claiming that his group was active in this latest race, and he may well be right.