The Conservative Party of Canada is in a bad place. Even Conservative cheerleader L. Ian MacDonald admits that -- as a recent EKOS poll suggests that those who call themselves Conservatives wish that Stephen Harper would rise again from the ashes:
There is no chance — none at all — of the Conservative party turning to Harper to lead it again. For that matter, there’s no sense out there that Harper would even accept a draft, in the highly unlikely event that one were to develop.
And none of his potential replacements look like good bets:
Peter MacKay recently accepted a partnership at a major international law firm on Bay Street, and has two young children at home. As much as he — as a favourite son of Atlantic Canada and representative of the party’s progressive wing — might be thinking about a leadership run, he knows it’s not the right time for him. [Kevin] O’Leary might be good entertainment, but a leadership race is much harder than a TV reality show. He also doesn’t speak French, and it’s a measure of how disconnected he is from political reality that he doesn’t see that as a problem.
Lisa Rait also doesn't speak French; and Kellie Leitch will have a hard time living down her snitch line. Maxime Bernier could probably get a majority of the population of the Beauce to vote for him. But the rest of Canada is a different story. And, after Justice Vaillancourt's verdict, the whole Conservative machine smells dirty.
No, the Harper Years will be an albatross around the party's neck for a long time.