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Conrad Black: Conservatives need to swiftly settle their leadership question

National Post: "O’Toole has been ruthless in trying to punish caucus members for speaking out against his leadership. He expelled Sen. Denise Batters from the national caucus, for asking for an immediate leadership review. He requested a House of Commons investigation of MP Shannon Stubbs, who had criticized his leadership, because she allegedly had created a toxic workplace environment. He also expelled his former leadership rival, Derek Sloan, from the caucus and, after courting her supporters in the last ballot, relegated Leslyn Lewis to the back benches, with no post-convention role once he became the party leader, despite her impressive showing in the leadership race.

"This isn’t leadership; it’s just invertebrate lurching around important issues according to the weather-vane of opinion polling. O’Toole has no opinions of any solidity except a maniacal (and therefore fragile) faith that he should be the party leader. But his contempt for policy questions indicates that he is neither a conservative nor a leader. He apparently thinks he can win as a Liberal look-alike by calling himself a Conservative. But Canadians who want Liberals will elect real Liberals. I never blame someone for trying to hang onto his job, and I don’t know Erin O’Toole or have any personal grievance with him, and urged readers to vote for him during the last election, but the sooner it is determined whether he really has the support of his party, the better. If he does, his docile MPs should resign themselves to defeat: the Liberals governed for 42 of the 49 years between 1935 and 1984. Without a serious Conservative leader like Brian Mulroney or even Stephen Harper, they will replicate that record. O’Toole, and if it supports him, this caucus, deserve no better. And if this is the best the Opposition can do, neither does Canada."

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