Profiles of a possible (Conservative) Leader: Derek Sloan
This is the last of four posts looking at the candidates running to replace Andrew Scheer as the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. The previous post was a glance at the campaign of Erin O’Toole. In the last of our candidates I focus on Derek Sloan.
I had no idea who Derek Sloan was when the announcement was made that he was going to run for the leadership of the party, I knew he had won back the riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington for the Conservatives from the Liberals. Here is what I knew about Sloan, he is a lawyer and has run several small businesses – all this from his website. He won the Conservative nomination over three others. His riding association has asked the Conservative Party to strip Sloan from the party because of statements he has made about gender identity. He had only sat in the House of Commons seven days before he became a candidate for the leadership of the party.
In an interview with Tony Clement on the podcast “And another thing”, Sloan told Clement his reason for running was all about not apologizing for being a conservative. He has stuck to that mantra; his campaign slogan is ‘Conservative. Without apology.” According Sloan, party members want a conservative, not a ‘liberal lite’, as their next leader.
Now, he has not had the smoothest sailing through the campaign. He’s hit a few rough spots and hit some controversy. Issues of conversion therapy, family values, marijuana and his criticism of Dr. Theresa Tam make him different from the other three candidates – from what I can see, he welcomes the stage to stand apart from Leslyn Lewis, Peter Mackay and Erin O’Toole. It was that criticism of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer that gave him headlines; it was the call from some members of the Conservative Caucus to have him removed as a member of the caucus and a leadership candidate that gave his campaign life from the section of the party that supported him with emails of support to the Conservative MPs and donations to his campaign. But for all the controversy Sloan may generate, he stands behind every word and policy his is presenting in his campaign, without apology.
Each of the candidates know their target audience, what I found interesting in the Sloan campaign is that it is the only campaign that is working hard to attract the Chinese vote with a translation of his website in Chinese.
Sloan’s campaign touches on similar themes as the others; Carbon Tax, Freedom of Speech and Canada’s international duties. It is on this last theme he veers away from the other three with a ‘Canada’ theme of pulling out support for the WHO, withdrawing our signature from the Paris Agreement and slashing Canada’s immigration by 200,000 people/year. There are Canadians on the (extreme) right and left who will agree with Sloan’s sovereigntist approach.
Does Derek Sloan have a chance to win the leadership? Of, course there is always a path to victory; but will a path to the leadership of the Conservative also take Derek Sloan to the Prime Minister’s Office? Derek Sloan is not who I think should be leading the party, the divisions in the party would be too great and the swing voter would swing away from a Derek Sloan led Conservative Party.
To learn more about Derek and his platform visit www.dereksloan.ca.