OTTAWA – Conservative leader Erin O’Toole says she is confident she has enough support to stay on as leader, ahead of a crucial post-election meeting where she faces a divided caucus that is set to vote on whether lawmakers should give themselves the power to potentially oust him.
Asked if he thought he had the support he needed to move up the party’s top job, O’ Toll replied: “I spoke to most of the caucuses, and yes I do.”
“We’re all disappointed, no one more than me. But we have to make sure we learn from the gains we’ve made and where we’ve missed. That’s what any team does, any family does it when you’re disappointed. happens, you learn from it, you come together, and that is what the meeting will do,” he said on Tuesday.
“I’m really proud of how hard people worked. We lost some great people, and I’m responsible for that, and so we’re going to talk about what went right, what went wrong.” And what do we have to do?”
While O’Toole appears optimistic about his political future, not all lawmakers who went to the meeting were prepared to voice their support, adding that to talk about the lengthy caucus meeting being behind the shutdown A lot will happen. doors.
Deciding whether to take the first step toward removing O’Toole or at least leave the door open to the prospect is one of four key votes to be taken by the caucus during today’s meeting.
Through the Reform Act—an initiative by Conservative MP Michael Chong that went into effect in 2015—the caucus must vote at its first post-election meeting, giving itself four key internal powers for the upcoming parliamentary session. :
review and expulsion of the party leader;
the election of an interim leader;
Caucus chair selection and review; And
Removal and re-entry of caucus members.
If conservatives decide to wield power to review the leadership, a 20 percent caucus will be required to sign a formal agreement to speed up the process, and then to remove the leader through a secret ballot process. That would require a majority vote in the caucus. .
O’Toole has encouraged his caucuses to vote in favor of enforcing these powers, with Chong noting Tuesday that keeping that power in his back pocket doesn’t mean it can be used for O’Toole. will be done against.
On Monday, Nova Scotia Conservative Sen. Michael McDonald wrote to his aides to vote to have the power to call for a leadership review. In the lengthy letter he cited vote counts in key areas the party voted for fringe parties, and O’Toole’s pivot from running the lead as a “true blue” Conservative to a more centrist leader. .
“Our strategy to move the party to the left not only failed to attract new conservative voters, it also drove out large numbers of traditional conservative voters who no longer felt welcome in their old home,” said McDonald’s from the caucus. Reads an email to Granthshala News.
McDonald wrote, “Part of the issue was that by the end of the campaign no one knew what Erin stood for, including the Conservatives who carried many cards.” “But he has been judged by the voters and he has failed to win a winnable election. Keeping trying the same strategy, even with a few changes, is only going to drive away more Conservatives, and we just can’t afford to do that. “
There has been disagreement within the party over whether O’Toole should remain at the top since the September 20 federal vote, which saw the party defeat the Liberals and Justin Trudeau after leading the polls for a good portion of the race. Gave.
Despite O’Toole’s promise to take seats across the country, the party is returning with as many MPs as it had before the vote, slightly less than the number of seats the party won in 2019.
O’Toole has already begun an internal review of what went wrong during the 2021 election campaign. When he announced the review he said that the party was “moving to victory next time,” indicating his intention to still become leader when the next race was called.
“This is a minority parliament, sadly very similar to what we left and we have to be prepared to walk again,” he said on Tuesday.
More is coming.
With files from Granthshala News’ Evan Solomon and Sarah Turnbull.