Though he’s far from the picture of a card-carrying Conservative, urbanist Ryan McGreal has joined the Conservative party to vote in its 2017 leadership election — in what he says is an effort to save the Tories from “extremist views.”

And he’s not alone. Several Hamiltonians are doing the exact same thing, in a movement that has been adopted by everyone from singer Amy Millan to Dave Bagler, former president of the Green Party of Canada.

Some are first time Conservatives, with no real ties to the party. Others are former members who have found their way back through the wilderness.

In each case, their rallying cry is the same — they don’t want Kellie Leitch (and in some cases, Kevin O’Leary) to lead the federal Conservatives come the vote in May. The party itself isn’t weighing in on the issue, but Leitch’s former campaign manager knew about it, and said in an interview he was actively trying to root out “imposters” in the party’s voting base.

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