Saturday, April 22, 2017

CPC Leadership - My Ballot

So, I've taken a look at the candidates - the viable ones, the reasonable ones, and the hopeless ones. I've figured out what I care about, and who I think will deliver it. That process is summarized below: 

In general, my ballot will be identical to these rankings, with two slight modifications.

1) Peterson vs O'Toole. They're tied, and Peterson is non-viable and awesome enough that I'd even consider putting him above Bernier for reasons described in my last post. I don't intend to do so - it's sort of crass for a Bernier volunteer, and I don't think it'll help anything much - but for the same reasons, I will put him above O'Toole. That vote will never count(I suspect no vote I make below Bernier will ever count), but it's symbolic.

2) Leitch vs O'Leary. They're both deep in my bottom four, but the thing is, they're both viable candidates. If we live in the worst of all possible worlds, the final vote may come down to Leitch vs O'Leary - it'd be an unhappy outcome, but it's plausible if the alt-right is bigger than we thought it was. I don't think that will happen, but I didn't think Trump would win either. As such, I want the one who I find less hateful to be on the ballot. And given a choice between cholera and dysentery, dysentery wins it by a nose. Leitch squeaks into my #10 spot, despite being my #12 preference, because I think blocking her is slightly less important than blocking King Wonderful I.

As such, the following will be my ballot, assuming nobody does anything too stupid between now and when I vote:
  1. Maxime Bernier
  2. Rick Peterson
  3. Erin O'Toole
  4. Deepak Obhrai
  5. Andrew Scheer
  6. Lisa Raitt
  7. Michael Chong
  8. Chris Alexander
  9. Andrew Saxton
  10. Kellie Leitch
Steven Blaney, Brad Trost, Kevin O'Leary, and Pierre Lemieux will not be getting votes from me, and I couldn't be happier to leave any of them off my ballot.

Edit: One thing I forgot to write up in the first version of this post is my "dream team". As much as I have strong preferences on which of these folks should and should not lead the party, all of them have useful skills, and all of them will quite plausibly be front-benchers in the next Parliament if we win in 2019. Here's how I think they could all be put to the best uses:

Chris Alexander: Minister of Foreign Affairs. Obviously his strongest point, and by all accounts he knows the file backwards and forwards.

Maxime Bernier: Prime Minister, naturally. Failing that, I'd be happy seeing him back in his old stomping grounds of Industry, with Agriculture and Intergovernmental Affairs as strong second choices.

Steven Blaney: Minister of Veterans Affairs. He's held it before, and it's far away from anything that requires me to trust him with actual authority.

Michael Chong: Minister of Democratic Institutions. If he actually stays in Cabinet this time, it's his pet issue that he could do genuinely good work on.

Kellie Leitch: Minister of Health, or maybe Minister of Canadian Heritage - the former because of her medical background, the latter because it's clearly her pet issue in this race, and when you split it away from the immigration file her approach is no longer terrible.

Pierre Lemieux: Minister of Agriculture. He's been Parliamentary Secretary to the role before, and he represents a relatively rural riding. Plus, there's not a lot for him to screw up.

Deepak Obhrai: Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. I'm pretty enamoured of his "decentralizing the department" idea, and it's always important for a Conservative government to put someone who can take some heat with grace in this file.

Kevin O'Leary: President of the Treasury Board. It might seem low-status for someone like O'Leary, but controlling the purse-strings of the country and being in charge of cost control suits him perfectly.

Erin O'Toole: Minister of National Defence. Ex-military, and he clearly takes the topic seriously. He'd also be pretty good at Environment, I think.

Rick Peterson: Minister of Finance. Great policy, and a strong private-sector CV for the task.

Lisa Raitt: Minister of Transportation. She's a former harbourmaster, has held the portfolio before, and seemed to do reasonably well at it.

Andrew Saxton: Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. The most obvious financial roles for him are better assigned to others, but he's competent across the board, has a good grasp of a wide range of details, and can be trusted not to screw up one of the more important Question Period roles. This is a bit beneath him, but I don't see any other good fits.

Andrew Scheer: Government House Leader. This is the role where you need to know procedure backwards and forwards, and it's hard to think of a better choice than a former Speaker.

Brad Trost: Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. When it comes to inter-provincial trade barriers(both legal barriers and regulatory environment differences), he's got a sound policy approach, and it keeps him far away from hot-button social policy.

(Next: Strategic Thoughts)

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