Update added below:
If you go to the regular Ontario PC website, there is nothing there that I could find that outlined the details of the leadership race, or a link to that information. However, while doing research on twitter and mainstream media columns on the leadership, I found the actual ONPC Leadership site. (On that issue, if anyone from PC Party headquarters reads this, I would recommend putting a link on your first page.)
Anyway, based on the PC Leadership site, here are the details that matter:
The candidates: (updated February 17th)
Since February 16th was the final date for ONPC leadership candidates to register, according to Elections Ontario there are 5 official candidates in the race:
I will add a link to Brown as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, here is a Google link to all the mainstream media articles about his surprise registration.
While communicating details about this race have not been perfect, I think congratulations is in order just the same given how quickly it all had to be done.
As to who I will be voting for, I am as yet unsure. I voted for Christine Elliott last time and am leaning in that direction again as she is liked by fence sitters and liberals fed up with the Wynne government. The reality is, whether my fellow Conservatives like it or not, there are not enough Ontario Conservatives to win an Ontario majority without cross overs. I worked as a Communications Chair in two Mike Harris elections (1995 and 1999) and learned that the hard way.
I like Doug Ford but he is not well liked throughout the province where extra votes in the June 2018 election will be needed. True, he can probably win current seats that are now Liberal in Toronto and the GTA. But province wide? I somehow doubt it.
Then, there is Caroline Mulroney. She may be a fresh face but having worked for an MPP, I can’t imagine someone who has never been an MPP or MP to suddenly be Premier. The learning curve is tremendous just to get elected, let alone comfortable in the Legislature, never mind being in charge of everything.
Oh, I know, some will say Donald Trump was never a politician before he became President. But, it is different in Ontario, or anywhere in Canada for that matter, because he has not had to get involved in the rules and machinations of the Congress. In our system, our leader has to do both. Anyway, assuming she is elected as an MPP on June 7th, 2018, maybe next time there is a leadership race, she would be my choice.
If you live in Ontario, the crux of the matter is to use this leadership race to get your friends and relatives enthusiastic about voting for their PC candidate in June, so that Ontario can once again have a PC majority government to clean up the mess left by the ON Liberals.
Update February 17th, 2018: First, I have adjusted details in this post to reflect new information. As many already know, as of yesterday, for example, Patrick Brown also entered the ONPC race. How could he do that after resigning? Well, for one thing he resigned under duress. For another, he has been busy clearing his name for the last couple of weeks. So, it wasn’t a total surprise.
Interesting that my reaction was positive. I figure that any man who can fight the media AND the PC establishment has got to have the kind of leadership qualities to govern Ontario. Which means, I am rethinking who I will vote for to be the next ONPC leader. True I like Christine Elliott as I voted for her in 2015, but I am really annoyed at all the shenanigans for what is becoming obvious was an attempted coup, not by the Ontario Liberals as I thought, but by PC Party insiders.
The crux of the matter is to identify who those insiders were because I believe ONPC voters deserve to know.