The Sunday Edition·Sunday Edition

A citizen's guide to the plot twists, personalities and policies of the Conservative leadership campaign

Next Saturday, the Conservative Party of Canada will chart its course for the next election, as members choose a new leader. Three seasoned political watchers analyze the race and upcoming vote. Michael's guests are The Globe and Mail's John Ibbitson, The Toronto Star's Tonda MacCharles and Le Devoir's Hélène Buzzetti.
Conservative leadership candidate Michael Chong speaks during the Conservative Party of Canada leadership debate in Toronto on Wednesday April 26, 2017. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Next Saturday, May 27, the Conservative Party of Canada will chart its course for the next election, as members choose a new leader.

In advance of the leadership convention, Michael speaks to three journalists who have been following the race. 

John Ibbitson has been a journalist for almost three decades. He is a political writer and columnist at The Globe and Mail, and the author of a biography of former prime minister Stephen Harper that was published in 2015. 

Hélène Buzzetti has been parliamentary correspondent for Le Devoir since 1999. She has also served twice as president of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

Tonda MacCharles is the current president of the Gallery. She has covered the Conservative party and its predecessors, the Canadian Alliance and Reform, for most of the 18 years she has been reporting from the Ottawa bureau of The Toronto Star.

Candidates (in alphabetical order):

Significant dates:

  • March 28, 2017 - Deadline to register as a voting member of the Conservative Party
  • April 28, 2017 - Voting began
  • May 26, 2017 - Advance voting deadline (5 p.m.)
  • May 27, 2017 - Conservative Leadership Convention at the Toronto Congress Centre

Voting procedure:

All members in good standing of the Conservative Party of Canada are eligible to vote. They are asked to rank the candidates in descending order of preference. A ballot will be considered valid if at least one candidate is selected.

Each riding, no matter how many members, is equally weighted with 100 points. These points are allotted to the candidates, in proportion to the number of valid votes they receive.

When votes are counted, if no candidate receives 16,901 points, the person with the lowest number of points will be dropped from the ballot. This process will continue until one person is elected leader, with at least 16,901 points.

By the numbers:

  • 259,010 - eligible voters
  • $50,000 - non-refundable entrance fee from each candidate
  • 33,800 - total points to be distributed among candidates
  • 16,901 - minimum points required to win the leadership
  • 338 - ridings across the country
  • 58 - greatest number of endorsements
  • 13 - vying for the leadership
  • 5 - leadership debates organized by Leadership Election Organizing Committee
  • 4 - candidates who speak beginner French (Kellie Leitch, Erin O'Toole, Lisa Raitt and Brad Trost)
  • 2 - francophone candidates (Maxime Bernier and Steven Blaney)
  • 1 - number of candidates who resigned from the race (Kevin O'Leary)

Click 'listen' above to hear the panel. 


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