STEPHEN HARPER TO AVOID FEDERAL TORY LEADERSHIP CONVENTION

If Conservative members coming to Toronto for the federal party leadership convention are hoping to see Stephen Harper it appears they’ll be out of luck.
Party officials say the former prime minister is not expected to attend.

”He’s ready to pass the torch,” is the way one official put it, addding Harper wants to give the new leader a chance to shine.
Harper spent 12 years as the inaugural leader of the united Conservative party, winning the 2004 race easily in the three candidate contest where members could vote by fax and ballots were counted by hand.
This time the party’s preparing for an automated vote count to manage what could be as many as 259,010 ranked ballots, on which voters can make as many as 10 choices out of the 13 candidates.
The convention is on May 27.
Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose is scheduled to speak.