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This article was published 24/11/2011 (3586 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
There is a move within the Tory party to pick an interim leader, a push that could see Hugh McFadyen step down within weeks and delay a proposed June leadership vote.
Some insiders say it would be better for the party to pick an interim leader from within caucus right away and wait until one year out from the Oct. 6, 2015, election to have the convention and use the leadership race to build momentum for the party going into the campaign.
At the same time, there's the concern of McFadyen still leading the party into the next legislative session and being its leading voice when the NDP hands down its spring budget.
McFadyen, who was elected leader in 2006, said on election night he'd step down following the Progressive Conservative's failure to win more than the 19 of 57 seats they had before campaign began. Going into election night, the Tories thought they had a shot at winning 31 seats.
McFadyen has said he'd leave when a new leader was chosen, but party sources said he might be asked to leave earlier so the party can begin to move forward sooner.
How far this bid to see McFadyen go will be debated Saturday when the party's executive council meets at the Fort Garry Hotel to plan the timing and rules for a leadership convention.
Party sources said it's possible the proposal for a June leadership convention will be changed.
"This is just a proposal to the executive council," one party source said. "They will accept it or they will modify it. Let's say the executive council is to mandate a leadership convention further into the future than is proposed, maybe at that point Hugh's future will change."
It's the first meeting of all PC candidates and party brass since the Oct. 4 election, and it will also give them a chance to dissect what went wrong for them in the fall campaign. Each of the 57 candidates, who've already been "debriefed" by party officials, will discuss problems with the campaign in a closed-door session. Included in the postmortem session are constituency presidents and the party's board of directors.
Once the party settles on the timing of the convention and the rules, it's expected former Tory MLA and MP Brian Pallister will declare his candidacy. Pallister has already been working behind the scenes contacting party members asking for their support.
PC Party president Michael Richards, a Winnipeg lawyer, has also said he might be interested in running for the job as has Tuxedo MLA Heather Stefanson.
The other challenge for the party is to not only keep the popular support it garnered in the last election -- 44 per cent of eligible voters supported the PCs -- but to penetrate even further into Winnipeg.
What's on the table for the Tories:
One-day leadership convention, likely in June, including speeches and voting;
Partially refundable nomination fee of $10,000 for leadership hopefuls;
Voting to accommodate live voting in remote regions of the province while encouraging attendance at the convention from areas closer to Winnipeg;
New leader will be chosen by one member, one vote.