Michelle Rempel, first elected to a Calgary seat in 2011 and named to cabinet two years later, had become one of the Harper circle’s most trusted messengers. On TV panels during the campaign, she was a near-constant amid a rotating band of NDP and Liberal candidates. The Conservatives’ three leading public voices this election were all suburban Calgary MPs — the prime minister, Rempel, and Jason Kenney, that relentless travelling salesman for Conservative votes and ethnic outreach. Another official from Cowtown, party executive director Dustin van Vugt, is leading the post-mortem of the defeat. While Rempel would check a lot of boxes on many Tories’ leader wish list — young, female, well-spoken, intelligent, socially progressive — her hometown will count against her, in part because she’ll be jostling for local support against Kenney. One fellow Calgary Tory insider likely to get behind a female contender has also suggested the party should be led from outside Alberta.
Michelle Rempel: 'Are you ready for someone like me?'
Some thoughts on women and politics and party and leadership, as noted on Twitter