O'Toole Autopsied. It Ain't Pretty.
Conservatives are wondering how in hell they lost the last election? A post-mortem review might have them asking how they did so well.The last Conservative campaign suffered from eroded trust after years of party infighting, poor outreach toward ethnic communities in urban centres and disappointing communication from leader Erin O’Toole in the final weeks of the last federal election.
Those are some of the highlights from an internal review conducted by former Conservative Party of Canada Alberta MP James Cumming that was presented to caucus members Thursday morning, according to two Conservative sources briefed on the much of the report’s content.
As if he had any choice.
Sources say the review also contains “dozens” of recommendations for Conservatives that aim to make the party battle-ready for the next federal election, and that O’Toole has already accepted “all” of them.
One source pointed to three “major” negative points in the leader’s performance highlighted in the report:
— An excessive use of a TV studio created in an Ottawa hotel from which he hosted dozens of town halls and campaign announcements instead of in-person events.
— In the final two weeks of the campaign, O’Toole’s communication became vastly less effective, with observers noting he “didn’t look like himself, was too heavily scripted and over-coached.”
— Still in the final stretch of the campaign, the leader’s responses to questions became overly “message-oriented” instead of sounding genuine and providing “direct” answers.
The report suggests that if only Canadians knew more about O'Toole they would warm to him. Really?