Derek Sloan’s use of the word ‘bold’ in his announcement of his intentions to run for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada couldn’t have been more apt.
After all, the Hastings Lennox and Addington MP has little more than three months political experience on his resume. Going from first time MP to ambitions of being leader of the official opposition with the potential to be running for prime minister in less than four years is no doubt, bold.
That’s not to say he should automatically be dismissed from the race. None of the candidates are yet to even release their full policies.
It’s far too early to tell which way Conservative voters will sway when it comes time to elect their next leader in June. A general consensus following last October’s election was that Conservatives felt Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were vulnerable enough that the right candidate could at the very least win them a minority.
Peter MacKay, one of the more high profile names expected to be on the Conservative ballot this summer, famously opined that Andrew Scheer’s inability to win the election was “like having a breakaway on an open net and missing the net.”
Scheer’s loss has been blamed on many things from his American citizenship, his plot to smear former Conservative-turned-People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier, to his stance on same sex marriage.
Conservatives will at least have that somewhat on their mind when they go to the polls. They’ll be looking for a candidate they feel will be able to topple Trudeau next election, assuming Trudeau runs for a third term. Given that Trudeau currently holds a minority government, it’s widely speculated the next election will happen earlier than the mandated four years.
With that in mind, it’s perhaps Sloan’s relative anonymity that could actually be a strength. Prior to jumping into politics, Sloan was a private practice lawyer. Unlike many of the seasoned politicians he’ll be running against, it’s likely there’s far less likely a chance of an opponent stumbling across a video of Sloan saying something cringeworthy on camera during a political debate, much like Scheer’s comparison of gay marriage being as legitiment as calling a dog’s tail a leg.
His full policy yet to be released, Sloan has stated it’s time to stop being ‘afraid’ to be Conservative, while saying in one interview with Global he wants to “bring on the discussion, bring on the debate, bring on the votes” when it comes to the issue of abortion.
One thing’s for sure, the 35-year-old MP certainly meant it when he says he plans to be bold and won’t shy away from his beliefs.