In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary revealed for the first time that nothing short of a solid majority mandate in the next federal election would entice him to stay on if he becomes party leader.
The businessman, “Shark Tank” star and now front-running political campaigner says he has high expectations.
“I’ve told the [Conservative] caucus privately and I’ll tell you publicly now, if I don’t deliver a majority mandate in 2019, ‘fire me,'” he said.
In the Canadian parliamentary system, a government may be formed by capturing a majority or a minority of the seats in the House of Commons. A minority government — that doesn’t win a majority of the seats in the House of Commons — must rely on the support of one or more of the opposition parties in Parliament to pass legislation and stay in power.
O’Leary told The Daily Caller that he has a strategy for achieving that majority government and for boosting Conservative Party membership to 350,000.
“The biggest challenge we have as a party…this is the essence of the race… by the numbers — we have to figure out a way to get 60 percent of the voters between 18 and 35 in the Conservative Party. Because these are people are who generally not motivated to vote, Trudeau captured 82 percent of them in the last election, including my children,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary isn’t certain whether he will immediately seek a seat in Parliament and take up his duties as leader of the official opposition.
“I have to crisscross the country, from college, to university, to institution, one after another and explain to them why [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau has failed them and then expand the Conservative brand to encompass their desires. We have to service their future. This is going to take me two years, I think…If we are successful in getting 60 percent of them back, we will have a majority mandate.”
O’Leary says he is ideally positioned to reach out to this voter base.
[dcquiz] “I have a huge competitive advantage — those are my constituents, they’ve been following me for over 12 years I am an advocate for entrepreneurship, many of these young Canadians aspire to be entrepreneurs, when I go to colleges I sell-out auditoriums times three,” he said.
As a successful businessman, O’Leary says he will take a distinctly corporate approach to leading the party.
“I’ve told the caucus privately…you’re my board of directors. I’ve served boards for decades in business…I say look, I only ask for two things, I want loyalty and I want executional excellence,” he said. “When we create policy together in a closed chamber we can make sausage together, it can be a disagreement, a debate, we can tear each other to pieces, but when we step outside of that room we are in unison we are in leadership and we are in sync. If we understand each other on that, we’re going to work very, very well together.”