“I’m in. Stay tuned” said Peter MacKay in a tweet from his Twitter account. With those four words, the former Harper protege instantly became the front runner in a group of weak contenders looking to replace outgoing leader Andrew Scheer as leader of the Conservative Party.
Mackay has the experience, the cash and the name recognition but also has a significant amount of baggage and strong ties to the old conservative regime. In his bid to become leader, Mackay has inlisted the league of unpopular men to guide his campaign.
Michael Diamond, Premier Ford’s 2018 campaign manager who will serve as MacKay’s director of communications. Mackay has also tapped former Conservative MP Alex Nuttall and Bernier organizer to serve as his campaign manager.
If Mackay does become the new leader of the Conservative party, he will be the first leader that openly supports same-sex marriage. His position on marriage equality is a stark contrast to that of Andrew Scheer and the majority of his party.
Mackay appears to be a leader that is more receptive to social issues that are more in line with the rest of the country. He is often referred to as a Red Tory but his roots are deeply entrenched with conservative values.
Mackay can be the leader that grows the Conservative base and rebuilds the party to be one that is more inclusive to minorities, the LGBT2Q community and supports climate change. If he chooses to rebuild the party in the image of his predecessors, he will ultimately suffer the same results as the disgraced leader Andrew Scheer.