Yesterday, former OPP and Toronto police chief Julian Fantino announced his intention to run for the federal seat vacated by 22=year veteran Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua who is running to be Vaughan's next mayor. From the sounds of it, Conservatives in Vaughan won't be getting much of a say in their candidate as anyone else is likely to face the wrath of not only "The Chief" but also that of the PM and Senator Doug Finley
. Conservative Party democracy at its finest.
Kelly McParland reports from the National Post. Top cop: Will he toe the PM's line?
The Toronto region is the last great bastion of the Liberals, and stealing a riding that has been Liberal territory for 22 years would warm many a heart in the PMO.
Conservatives figure Mr. Fantino has the star power to do it, and he presumably goes straight into the Cabinet if he wins, which no Liberal candidate can offer...
What happens when Mr. Harper announces a policy Mr. Fantino strongly disagrees with, and he's ordered to go out and sell it? What happens when he starts speaking his mind on issues, against all the strictures the PMO has put on MPs to toe the line?
Does he zip it and do what he's told? Hard to imagine that from Julian Fantino. He respects lines of authority, but that may be because he's usually at the top. In the Conservative Cabinet he'd be just one ego among many.
If Fantino can bully his way into the seat, we wonder which Cabinet position he'll be appointed to? Could Vic Toews
be shuffled out of his position as Minister of Public Safety?
No date has been set for the by-election yet.