With today’s decision to hold their convention in June, the leadership race for the Ontario PCs will look much more like a 30 yard dash than a marathon. According to the CP piece, the party’s executive wanted a leader in place before July. Why that is is a complete mystery to me. After all, the rule of thumb is that nobody’s paying attention to politics over the summer (unless you do something really stupid). Rather, it seems as though this decision was meant to prevent a rigorous competition for the party’s top job, solidifying Tim Hudak’s position as the prohibitive favorite.
Jim Flaherty’s wife seems determined to mount a challenge (with no real roots in the party, to this point Christine Elliott seems content to run on the twin planks of being Flaherty’s wife and not being Tim Hudak). Despite the apprehension many party members will feel in risking the wrath of the man in charge of Ottawa’s largesse, Hudak’s coronation seems like a foregone conclusion at this point (the lone possible exception being if Diane Finley decides to toss her hat in the ring considering that she sleeps with Ontario’s most feared and powerful federal Conservative).
The Ontario PCs were never really comfortable with John Tory at the helm of the party. This is no longer the party of Bill Davis. It remains Mike Harris’ party an they want a leader with scrape marks on their knuckles to match their own, who hates all the same people that they hate. Tim Hudak fits that bill.