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Geoff Russ: The Conservatives don't need a progressive as party leader

National Post: 'It is high time the Conservative party is led by a confidently conservative leader, if only to end the obsession with a mythical Red Tory leader who can win. O’Toole’s predecessor, Andrew Scheer, was a conservative, but an extraordinarily bashful one. During the 2019 election, Scheer was chased across the Canada by reporters asking him to state his stance on abortion and gay marriage. Eventually he was hounded into sheepishly admitting he personally opposed both but would not reopen the debates on them. It came off as weak at best, and dishonest by omission at worst.

'Enter Pierre Poilievre, the favourite of the conservative base that longs for someone with uncompromising confidence, something that neither Justin Trudeau nor Jagmeet Singh lack. On the whole, Poilievre’s record on social issues is similar to O’Toole’s. His statements show he’ll not let pro-life MPs run the show, and he has voiced his support for gay marriage. The difference is that Poilievre doesn’t make those stances his selling points. Instead, he chooses to make assaulting inflation, raising legitimate fears over the infringement of freedom of speech, and being tough on crime as his trademarks. These are foundational conservative principles, ones O’Toole shunned in favour of trying to convince voters the Conservatives weren’t being led by a conservative. Poilievre touched on all those principles in the video proclaiming his entry into the Tory leadership race.'

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