On and off today I’ve been watching the leadership convention of the Progressive Conversatives. At this very moment, they’re on the third ballot and will most certainly need to go to a fourth. Nova Scotia’s Peter MacKay is widely expected to win. The other Nova Scotian in this four-way race, Scott Brison, had to drop out after the second ballot, on which he came fourth by a heart-breaking three votes.
The PCs are a study in contrasts and contradictions. The guy who’s been consistently coming second behind McKay (for the second leadership convention, no less) is one David Orchard — the same David Orchard who so lobbied so hard in 1988 against the Mulroney PCs’ Free Trade Agreement with the United States. And Scott Brison is an openly gay conservative — this in the same party as the intolerant pain-in-the-ass MP Elsie Wayne. As the PCs position themselves as centre-right, I’m left wondering if the federal Liberals, despite their name, aren’t already occupying that spot or are perhaps further right of centre than the PCs.
Update: Orchard was dropped after the third ballot, yet he whom some see as more of an NDPer than PC backed MacKay on the fourth ballot. Result: A right-of-centre Nova Scotian who’s my age but against just about everything I believe in is the leader of the PCs. No big surprise there.
The only surprise is this: During the 2000 federal election, there was an interesting little website with a questionnaire that helped determine where I likely stood. The surprise wasn’t that the questionnaire identified me as a definite New Democrat; it was that the PCs came second on my list. I never quite understood that result, but I suspect, if another such questionnaire is designed for the 2004 vote, that my second-place result will NOT be the same.