Peter MacKay has contradicted all other candidates in the Conservative leadership election by saying he wants to speed up the leadership race, rather than slow it down.
So far, four separate candidates have called for the party to delay or suspend the leadership race. MacKay, rather inexplicably, has urged the CPC to increase the pace of the leadership contest.
"The cutoff to become a voting member of our Party should be moved to be sooner, not later, and a vote should occur as soon as logistically possible," MacKay said.
The debate behind the timeline for elections has been fierce. MacKay claims that the party is in need of leadership, and that a delay would pose a the problem of their not being an adequate check on the Trudeau government.
Having said this, Andrew Scheer is still leading the Conservative Party and has been vocal in his criticism of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. There is no vacuum at the top of the Conservative Party, especially as an election seems distant.
Those who are opposed to holding the elections on the regular timeline think that it looks bad for the party to be engaging in political play during this crisis. Additionally, this is a notably bad time to undertake fundraising efforts.
Not only can campaigning not be done in person, but with layoffs and firings, there's less available money for campaign donations. But those who are in favour of holding the elections believe strongly that the current leadership is not adequate for the fight against the virus.
During a conference call on March 22, the national council of the Conservative Party, comprised of 20 members, discussed their concerns regarding the motion to propose a delay in the election, scheduled for June. Scott Lamb, council president, declared that a motion of that sort was out of order.
Fellow leadership candidate, Erin O'Toole, told CPC members in a statement on Sunday that "we are in unprecedented times for our country."
The CPC leadership committee "should ensure that all time and resources of our Conservative caucus and our grassroots members can be focused on helping our constituents and the needs of our communities in the fight against COVID-19."
Erin O'Toole is not the only candidate who has requested an extension from the LEOC. Both Marilyn Gladu and Rudy Husny also pressured the leadership body so that they would either postpone or delay the contest.
"I still fundamentally believe now is not the time to campaign," said Husny. "During this national health crisis, I don’t have the heart to call our members to ask them to support my nomination and to donate money."
"I wouldn’t be true to myself if I did," he added. Husny declared that he would drop out of the race unless the LEOC changed the schedule.
Marilyn Gladu also posted a statement to twitter where she criticized the LEOC. "We are all responsible for flattening the curb," she said.
"I am disappointed in the apparent decision of the Conservative Party of Canada’s LEOC with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, and their refusal to amend the 2020 leadership election schedule to address the new reality of the pandemic."