Kevin, we hardly knew ye

In my January predictions for 2017, I said Kevin O’Leary would become leader of the Conservative Party. Got that wrong. I believed with the backers he had – a lot of formers like former Ontario Premier Mike Harris and former Senator Marjory LeBreton – that he was a shoo-in. But it turned out not only could he not campaign, he didn’t even try. Yesterday he pulled out. Call him Kevin O’Leery.

O’Leary didn’t show up for debates, spent too much time out of the country, and demonstrated that he didn’t really know policy from pinochle. His big idea was to cut taxes and grow the economy. Would that governing were that simple.

His main reason for quitting was that he believed he could win the leadership but not the country because he lacked support in Quebec. According to O’Leary’s calculation, he needed to win 30 seats in Quebec. This is nonsense on stilts. Robert Stanfield almost became prime minister in 1972 as a Progressive Conservative with only two seats in Quebec. Conservative Stephen Harper won the country in 2011 with just five seats in Quebec. As a self-anointed stock market guru, O’Leary’s math is sadly lacking.

O’Leary now says he’ll support Maxime Bernier who may be popular in parts of Quebec but his Libertarian views are unlikely to draw votes in the rest of the country in a general election. And, oh yeah, O’Leary says he’ll be raising money and campaigning hard for Bernier. I predict O’Leary will do no such thing. And that’s a prediction that will prove to be correct.

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