‘Ottawa’ O’Leary Calls for Audit of all Votes for new Conservative Party Leader
Conservative leadership front-runner Kevin O’Leary says he wants the party to audit every vote cast in the upcoming leadership election.
The party cancelled about 1,400 memberships on Friday after they were disputed as fraudulent registrations.
“I want the party to audit every name so there are no questions,” O’Leary said on Saturday.
He was in Ottawa to address young Conservatives at a rally at Carleton University.
The false registrations involved the organizers enlisting people for a membership without their consent, then paying for the registrations with pre-paid, untraceable credit cards, violating the rules of the leadership race.
The O’Leary campaign, along with three others, complained about the loophole in the registration process that permitted the fraudulent memberships.
However, none of the campaigns blamed any specific opponent for the situation.
“Nobody knows who’s behind it, all I know is that there’s fraud,” O’Leary said.
He said his opponents had already agreed to the audit, because “whoever wins the mandate doesn’t want to start with the cloud of fraud over them.”
It comes as the race begins to conclude, with O’Leary leading most polls over Maxime Bernier, his main rival.
Bernier held nothing back when he criticized O’Leary in a statement on Friday.
“Kevin O’Leary is a loser. I’m a winner,” it read. “He’s a bad candidate. Instead of trying to win people over by putting out a platform, he’s throwing mud to try to save his campaign.”
The release went on chastise him for his U.S. travel, saying that Bernier was building an army of supporters while O’Leary was on vacation and selling wine.
“I’m an international businessman, I travel to attract capital to Canada” O’Leary said Saturday.
But moments earlier, the reality show star had criticized Justin Trudeau for his capital-attracting international travel.
The bulk of O’Leary’s remarks to the young Conservatives focused on Trudeau’s “incompetence” in handling the Canadian economy.
“It’s unbelievable what he’s done,” he said. “Today, Canada is dead.”
“I don’t see any sunny ways,” he told them. “I see one lightbulb hanging over your bed in your parents’ basement where you live because you have no job.”
His speech produced a lukewarm reception by the 350 people who filled the auditorium.
The Conservative party leadership election will be held May 27 in Toronto.