Canadian Conservative Party president says senator’s demand for leadership review is invalid

Rob Batherson, president of the Conservative Party of Canada, acknowledged on Monday a petition by Senator Denise Batters. He claimed that her request for a referendum did not align with the party’s constitution. 

“As you are aware,” he wrote, “under Article 10.8 of the Constitution, a leadership selection process shall be initiated by national Council in one of the following circumstance: The death or retirement of the Leader; The Leader indicates to resign by submitting notice in writing to the President of National Council; or more than 50% of the votes cast at a national convention as provided for in article 10.7 are in favour of engaging the leadership selection process.” 

Batters was appointed by Prime Minister Harper started a petition to review Erin O’Toole’s leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, claiming that O’Toole flip-flopped on issues like gun control. She added that O’Toole’s platform was “almost indistinguishable” from Trudeau’s Liberals, despite campaigning as a “true blue Conservative.”

She also suggested that O’Toole would not be able to win the next election: “Winning without principles is pointless. O’Toole’s strategy and approach failed. Conservatives lost seats and votes,” she said. 

Many were critical of Batters’ approach to her issues with O’Toole’s leadership abilities. One particular lobbyist, Marcella Munro, was astonished by Batters’ petition and tweeted, “Wow. Trying to think [of] the last time a Senator took an aggressive public stand against their party leader.”

Batters had been a strong supporter of Peter MacKay throughout the Conservative leadership election. She wrote on Twitter, “I was a proud Peter MacKay delegate at the 2003 federal PC Party convention for his successful leadership bid. Now, I’ve again voted for Peter MacKay as my #1 ballot choice for CPC leadership election.”

O’Toole pulled ahead of MacKay in the race and won last year. It is unclear how many Conservatives have signed the petition.




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