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Conservatives clash over calls to speed up O’Toole . leadership vote

OTTAWA – Conservative members will be able to vote within the next six months on whether Erin O’Toole should continue to lead the party, a Senator has launched a controversial petition. Controversy quickly called for a expedited leadership review process saying that O ‘Toole’ could not win the next election. “

Saskatchewan Senator Denise Batters launched the petition on Monday, calling on the Party to give Conservative supporters a chance to talk about the future of O’Toole’s leadership and the direction of the Conservative Party. Conservative Party before the end of June. Within hours, Conservative Party Chairman Rob Batherson appeared to have rejected her proposal in advance, sending her a letter stating that her efforts “didn’t follow” to the party’s constitution.

Still, Batters determined that her pursuit was fair game.

“I disagree with Mr. Batherson on that. We are not asking for the leadership selection process to begin, we are only asking for a referendum of the members… There is no specific section that limits what members are allowed to ask for in the referendum. referendum, that’s what I’m asking for as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada,” she said in an interview on CTV News’ Power Play channel.

“Do you want a vote of confidence on Erin O’Toole’s continued leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, by mail or virtually, at the earliest opportunity and under any circumstances, do you? later than June 30, 2022?” recommended reading.

Batters’ point is that for her petition to be considered, she needs to gather the support and signatures of at least 5% of Conservative Party members in at least five provinces over the next 90 days. However, Batherson was of the opinion that a leadership process could not be initiated by a petition or referendum.

On the website she put up to host the petition, it says O’Toole “can’t win the next election.” According to Batters, by 5 p.m. EDT, 1,000 party members had signed it, including former MPs and constituency association presidents.

Batters said she has support from Conservative activists and members around the country who, like her, “don’t want to see the party divided again.”

In the interview, Batters said that the reason she’s launched the petition is in part because she doesn’t face the same consequences for saying that her MP colleagues might feel the same way. look like her.

“There are a lot of supportive members, and I’ll let them speak for themselves. If and when they feel they can do it,” she said. “They fear those consequences.”

Batters, who has been critical of the current leader in the past, said O’Toole “lost this election by all means”, and criticized his evolving policy positions and the loss of seats in important urban and suburban areas.

“As leader, Mr. O’Toole downplayed and even completely reversed our policy positions without the participation of party members or caucuses. On the carbon tax, on the guns, on the right of conscience, he overturned our policies in the same week, the same day and even in the same sentence,” she said in a video announcing the launch of the petition. “Under the leadership of Erin O’Toole, the rift in our party has increased,” she said.

When things settle, O’Toole will face a leadership review at the party’s next congress, scheduled for 2023.

CTVNews.ca has reached out to O’Toole’s office for comment on the latest calls for his leadership to vote and has yet to receive a response.

In her defense, MP Michelle Rempel Garner of the Alberta Conservative Party criticized her colleague for initiating the petition, calling it a distraction from the opposition’s job in holding power. . Rempel Garner has asked the Batters to retract it and hash out their differences behind closed doors, with the party’s next caucus taking place in Ottawa on Tuesday.

“I am very disappointed with this… This public war is going on right now, like the Liberals are popping champagne for you. I’m sure the Liberals went out and bought a box of champagne and they would ‘cheer Denise Batters,’ “she said in a video posted on Facebook.

Several other Conservative MPs including the Quebec MP Gerard Deltell and Ontario MP Melissa Lansman also spoke out in defense of O’Toole on social media.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who has supported O’Toole during his leadership campaign, was asked about the latest challenge to O’Toole’s chances of leading the party in a federal election. another state on Monday.

“Honestly, I don’t follow that situation closely, but it’s not unusual after a federal leader lost an election that some people complained about. But, at the end of the day… My advice to any party would be that stability is what the public is looking for,” he told reporters alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the announcement of the care agreement. children. Trudeau refused to weigh in on “internal party affairs.”

In October, the Conservatives suspended Ontario national council member Bert Chen after he spearheaded an effort to trigger an early leadership review by starting an online petition that also demanded reservations. Leadership questions for members before 2023.

Batters was appointed to the Senate in 2013 by former prime minister Stephen Harper, matching O’Toole’s predecessor Andrew Scheer, and backing O’Toole’s leadership rival Peter MacKay. She’s not the first senator to speak out about O’Toole’s leadership.

On the eve of the October 5 caucus that saw Conservative MPs empower themselves if they chose to use it, to review and remove their leader, Nova Conservative Senator Scotia, Michael MacDonald wrote to his colleagues, begging them to enact these Caucus Reforms Mechanisms of Action.

In his lengthy email, MacDonald cited vote counting results in key areas that saw the party vote for fringe parties, and O’Toole’s pivot from running for leadership. leadership as a “real blue” Conservative to a more centrist leader.

“He was judged by the voters and he lost a winnable election. He wrote at the time that continuing to try the same strategy, even with some changes, would only drive many Conservatives away and we simply could not afford to do it.

If Conservative MPs want to conduct their own leadership review, 20% of caucuses will need to sign a formal agreement to trigger the process and will then require a majority of caucuses. Vote to remove the leader through a secret-voting process.

There has been disagreement within the party since the September 20 vote over whether O’Toole should be given a second chance to lead the party to an election after losing to the Liberals. and Justin Trudeau despite leading in the polls by a good margin of the race.

Despite O’Toole’s promise to win more seats nationally, the party is returning with the same number of MPs — 119 — that it had before the vote, down from the 121 seats the party won last year. 2019 under former leader Scheer.

The day after the election, O’Toole announced he would begin an internal review of what happened during the 2021 election campaign. When he released the review, he said the party was “constructing.” towards victory in the near future.”

Alberta MP James Cumming is chairing that review process, which O’Toole says would “ideally” be completed by the end of the year, but cannot commit to it publicly.

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