Not very likely, says David Orchard, who was betrayed by Peter Mackay, when Orchard threw his support behind Mackay's bid for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party. Mackay threw in his lot with Stephen Harper. And Progressive Conservatism went out the window:
The party's leadership will likely continue to hew hard right, says a prominent member of the former Progressive Conservatives, David Orchard.
Orchard was famously misled by Peter MacKay in 2003 when the Canadian Alliance merged with the Progressive Conservatives to created the modern Conservative Party.
Orchard was running for the party leadership and dropped out to throw his support behind MacKay on the condition MacKay would not allow the merger of the two parties. Later that year MacKay sealed the deal with Stephen Harper's party.
Those who helped MacKay twist the knife still hold most of the power in the Conservative Party, Orchard told the Tyee, and that will prevent the party from shifting towards the centre.
As Harper existed stage right on Thursday night, there was no sign that the party would reject what he stood for. And that's a big problem:
Studies show younger voters in Canada, and in much of the western world, lean more to the left than in previous decades and tend to be more populist.
Meanwhile, Conservatives are trying to rebuild their popularity after Stephen Harper's long, hard shift of the movement rightwards.
Harper prioritized the oil industry, passed the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act, refused to fund abortions in developing countries and proposed a telephone line for Canadians to snitch on each other if they saw a suspected a barbaric cultural practice was committed.
"The past is no place to linger," Harper told his audience on Thursday night. But that is where the Conservatives plan to plant their flag.