Race for the Conservative Party of Canada: how to seduce Alberta?

Three professors of political science propose certain points and themes which the candidates must approach in order to rally the most members in the Western province.

Energy, energy and energy

According to the professor of political science at the University of Alberta Frédéric Boily if the candidates want to succeed Erin O’Toole at the head of the Conservative Party, they must imperatively promote the energy sector.

We expect an uncompromising discourse on energy. So a speech resolutely against the carbon tax despite the judgment of the Supreme Court and despite the liberal approachhe says.

The Conservative supporter wants to hear about energy, he doesn’t just want to hear about the environment. He wants to hear about the carbon tax, he wants a clear position on that. »

A quote from Frédéric Boily, professor of political science at the University of Alberta
Political scientist Frédéric Boily in his office, with bookcases full of books behind him.

Political scientist Frédéric Boily believes that candidates should criticize the record of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada

He adds that within the Alberta population, the discourse of aspirants to the leadership of the CCP must also promote the construction of new pipelines.

Professor of political science at the University of Calgary Pour Lisa Young thinks that this kind of speech is even a must for candidates.

A commitment to Alberta’s interests and the prosperity of the oil and gas industry is critically important, I think it’s essential. Opposition to the carbon tax is also very strong in many conservative circles in the province.she points out.

Stay true to the basics

If the promotion of energy remains fundamental in Alberta, Lisa Young specifies that the candidates must also accommodate the electoral base of the party after the criticisms which the previous leader could meet, in particular in the West.

I think because of the experience with Erin O’Toole, they [ les candidats ] are going to have to talk about their commitment to the base of the party and declare that they will stay true to what they say they areshe judges.

Thousands of people around Pierre Poilievre.

Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre during his visit to Calgary on April 12.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marc-Antoine Leblanc

Frédéric Boily adds to this that the progression of the People’s Party of Canada adds a new dimension that can force the Conservative Party to listen to members more to the right in order to keep the votes.

If the Conservative vote is stalling, the vote of Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party has grown in him, and has grown enough to make Alberta Conservative supporters believe […] that it takes a speech well and truly camped on the right which grants nothing to the supporters of Mr. Bernier, and therefore that we must seek them outhe explains.

Strengthen Alberta’s role

To appeal to members in the province, Lisa Young believes that candidates are going to have to discuss the importance of Alberta within confederation, and do politics differently, so that the West and Alberta in particular are treated with the respect they are due.

Close-up of Jean Charest speaking at the microphone.

Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest launched his Conservative Party leadership campaign in Calgary, Alberta on March 10.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Dave Chidley

Professor at Mount Royal University, Lori Williams, mentions that respecting provincial jurisdictions appeals to both Alberta Conservative members and those from other provinces.

Making promises about provincial autonomy will be welcomed in most of them, even if those provinces have disagreements on specific policy areas. I therefore expect great attention to be paid to provincial autonomyshe mentions.

In any case, winning Alberta will not be enough to win both the leadership race and a general election, recalls Lori Williams.


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