|Dianne Watts, Leader of the Opposition?|
There might be a bit of messiness if he decided to stay in power as a minority government, but the more likely outcome is that, in the wee hours of the morning of October 20, Harper will walk to the podium of his riding meeting, and step down as leader of the Conservative Party, and also as MP for that riding.
The jockeying for the post of leader of the Conservative Party will then start in earnest, although it is probably being spoken about in quiet terms in many a Tory household right now.
The Conservative Party, its reputation in shreds due to the many scandals, with the Duffy senate scandal the latest, will be seeking someone to clean house; someone with an unblemished reputation; and most likely someone with no close connections to Harper.
And that most likely means that Dianne Watts will be selected by Tory party members to take over as permanent leader of the Conservative Party.
Watts is running for Harper’s Conservatives in BC, where the CPC won in 2011:
Now the articulate Ms. Watts, who was once touted as ex-premier Gordon Campbell’s successor until she decided she was more interested in governing Surrey, has been acclaimed to the Tory nomination in South Surrey-White Rock. The Tories won the riding then known as South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale with 54 per cent of the vote over the NDP in 2011.
The Tories could do far worse. With even Doug Ford expecting to run for leader of the CPC come October, there will be several candidates.
However, Ms Watts is the real goods: a clean record, with demonstrated competence in working with all parties to issues, a talent for good communication, a personality that actually attracts people rather than repels them, and a sharp brain, Ms Watts is the favourite right now.
One major advantage she has is that she belongs to neither of the two parties that were wedded in intrigue when Harper united the right. So she will be an easy leader for all members to unite behind.
Expect the Conservative Party under Watts to move rapidly to the centre on social issues, ditching the paranoia of the party under Harper.
And with the scrapping the First Past the Post system of electing our MPs highly likely in early 2016, Ms Watts will lead a rejuvenated party, restored to its progressive roots, in the next election. The chances of such a party, lead by her, playing a major and constructive role in the new broadbased cooperation that the new modified proportional representation system will require, is very high.
Ms Watts will be good to go on October 20.
In a good way, of course.