Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby hobbyguy » Jan 8th, 2018, 1:01 pm

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/tory-leader-andrew-scheers-shtick-simply-isnt-cutting-it/article37519070/

"Did Conservatives pick a dud?

The answer to this question will undoubtedly emerge in 2018 as Canadians either "get to know" Andrew Scheer or, as is just as likely the case, continue to ignore the federal Tory Leader's very existence. Either way, Conservatives may be looking for a replacement before 2019 arrives.

For a candidate who was supposed to be the down-to-earth antidote to the celebrity politician that is Justin Trudeau, Mr. Scheer only seems to confirm that bland usually doesn't work. It might sell in 1970s-era Ontario or Regina-Qu'Appelle, the sleepy Saskatchewan riding Mr. Scheer has represented since he was a 25-year-old. But the dimpled-doughboy shtick just isn't cutting it among Canadians.

Mr. Scheer can only hope that few enough of them saw the ad the Conservatives ran this fall – the one in which the everyman leader strolls through a subdivision in comfort-fit jeans – to reserve judgment. For the rest of us, that image of Mr. Scheer will stick, and not in a good way.

It hardly seems fair. Mr. Trudeau managed to become Prime Minister on a thinner résumé. But the Liberal Leader has star power and a carefully constructed image to compensate for his weaknesses in other areas. He projects confidence and modernity. For anyone paying attention, the Trudeau aura is as vaporous as the air it is made of. But most voters don't seem to care, as evidenced by the ease with which the Liberals picked off two former Conservative seats in recent by-elections.

At 38, Mr. Scheer may be nearly a decade younger than Mr. Trudeau, but he comes off as a prude. Either that or he is plain unworldly, having had little interaction with parts of society outside the socially conservative confines of his strict Catholic upbringing in Ottawa and career as a Tory backbencher and speaker of the House of Commons. He seems neither curious about the views of Canadians who disagree with his own nor prepared to do much to win them over.

This is the kind of tunnel vision that keeps the Tory base satiated by validating its own biases – no carbon tax, no marching in Pride parades, no federal funding for anti-conservative liberals on campus – but which is seen by everyone else for the transparent pandering that it is. It won't grow the Conservative base and it is a major turn-off to social liberals unhappy with Mr. Trudeau's fiscal policies and mushy statism, the very voters Mr. Scheer needs to woo.

Mr. Scheer moved swiftly last week to kick Senator Lynn Beyak out of the Tory caucus for countenancing racist views. But he has yet to show he is truly committed to ridding the Conservative Party of the paleolithic elements that found a home in it under Stephen Harper. Until he does, the party will remain dead to most Canadians.

None of this means Conservatives should have chosen Maxime Bernier over Mr. Scheer in last spring's leadership vote. Mr. Bernier's narrowly focused libertarianism might have provided a clear contrast with the Liberals on economic policy, but his ideological platform would have collapsed under the weight of scrutiny. All that can be said of Kevin O'Leary is that the Conservatives dodged a bullet with his withdrawal from the leadership race.

The Tory Leader showed he does possess something resembling a killer instinct in zeroing in on a vulnerable Finance Minister Bill Morneau during the fall session in the House of Commons. But he ended up looking more opportunistic than principled in clamouring for the Mr. Morneau's resignation for allegedly violating ethics rules.

I don't know if Mr. Scheer can grow in the job. But if I was a member of the Tory brain trust drafting a campaign strategy for the next election, I would not be counting on Mr. Scheer to deliver many new voters to the party. He might have been the best choice among a weak field of leadership candidates. But he does not have winner written anywhere on his face.

Better for Tories to realize that now than a year from now, when it will be too late to make a switch before Canadians go to the polls the following October. Then again, that implies there would someone else out there not only able to do a better job, but willing to bother trying."

Interesting perspective.

I have always felt that Trudeau was an appealing lightweight, but liked the bench strength he brought with him (in particular Paul Martin as an economic advisor).

Sheer an his side kick Skippy Poilievre have a done a good job for the Liberals in opposition, by holding them to a tighter conduct path - which is good thing as that has always seemed to be a Liberal Achilles heel. But they are also up against some ministers that have done very credible jobs, and conducted themselves very well - and competently.

I am especially drawn to both Jane Philpott (who seems a real doer, and interested in serving the country, not so much her own glorification) and Chrystia Freeland. Despite a few wrinkles, Morneau seems to be doing a more competent job than his predecessor (except in the political fray, but then that isn't really what I look for). Goodale has managed a credible job, Sajjan has kept his head above water (and certainly done as good or better job than the likes of McKay). Trudeau showed good sense in dumping Stephane Dion.

That all leaves Sheer in a position where he has demonstrate that gives us something to vote FOR, and has the bench strength to form a competent government. Having Skippy Poilievre as a "right hand man", while good tactics for the day to day political battles (Skippy is shrewd), is actually strikes 1&2 for me in evaluating the bench strength. Skippy is very good peanut chucker, but chucking peanuts does not a good leader in governance make.

So I find myself pretty much agreeing with the author.

If the Liberals can find their way to a more fiscally prudent position, the Conservatives are in big, big trouble with what Sheer is serving up to vote FOR.
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Louis D. Brandeis

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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby Queen K » Jan 8th, 2018, 1:04 pm

Yes.
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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby jimmy4321 » Jan 8th, 2018, 1:17 pm

He won't be the next Con PM
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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby Jlabute » Jan 8th, 2018, 1:26 pm

Perhaps Harper will come out of retirement to save Canada from being run in to the ground?

http://www.burrardstreetjournal.com/harper-reverse-retirement-decision/
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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby Merry » Jan 8th, 2018, 2:10 pm

The Conservatives lacked the courage to elect a true leader because such a person may have had some controversial views. And, following all the controversy surrounding Harper, they feared what new controversy might do to their election chances. So instead they opted for a more "middle of the road, boy next door" image they felt was less likely to "offend" anyone. However, as such people rarely inspire others to follow them, the Cons are doomed to keep losing elections until they replace him.

Trudeau is unqualified to hold the job of PM. He's a millionaire playboy who likes the prestige the position gives him, and is not a good Prime Minister when it comes to actually doing the job (which is why he relies so much on his ministers who, fortunately, are for the most part fairly competent). Trudeau was elected mainly for his "star power", combined with his promise to legalize marijuana (resulting in a lot of young first time voters going to the polls). Yet despite his unsuitability for the job, in the absence of a strong alternative leader on the opposition benches, Trudeau will likely coast to victory again in the next election.

So yes, the Conservatives DID pick a dud.
"In a world swathed in political correctness, the voting booth remains the final sanctuary where the people are free to speak" - Clifford Orwin

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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby Bsuds » Jan 8th, 2018, 2:21 pm

Andrew who?
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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby GordonH » Jan 8th, 2018, 2:24 pm

Conservative Party won't know for sure until the next Federal election, same does for NDP. Both parties have new Leadership since last election.
Since I don't pay any attention to polls (impo only 1 poll that actually counts is the ballot box) I will also add the Liberal party. This is Justin rookie term, the people of Canada may or may not give him a second term.
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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby TreeGuy » Jan 8th, 2018, 2:42 pm

I would like to see Michelle Rempel through her hat into the ring. She is relatable and hard hitting.


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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby jimmy4321 » Jan 8th, 2018, 2:50 pm

They could use someone who wasn't soooo publicly associated with the Harper gov, someone new, not shiny and new.

BTW Scheer was never "middle of the road"
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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby Gilchy » Jan 8th, 2018, 4:04 pm

As someone who voted Liberal in the last election, I think it is important to recognize how much Morneau has angered the business community in the country. The proposed CCPC tax changes, even if they didn't directly affect many business people, communicated a message that entrepreneurship is lesser than large corporatism.

They thought they would score some easy populist political points, but it wound up backfiring. It will be interesting to see how they "straighten" this out going forward.

The Liberals otherwise are doing a decent job, IMO (non undisclosed vacation category).

The clouds are getting a little heavy outside.

Man, that was good soup at lunch.

My foot is itchy.

If you didn't see Scheer mentioned above, that's because the man is so bland it takes conscious thought to remember he exists, let alone is the leader of the Opposition. The Conservatives have been excellent stewards of the country before, and could be again, but they are not winning an election with tapioca as there leader. (Tapioca is generally bland, until you hit an unpleasant chunk).

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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby bob vernon » Jan 8th, 2018, 4:22 pm

For sure. Scheer has appeared to be without policy since the leadership convention. That's because some of his main beliefs run counter to Canadian mainstream. He is kind of against women in the workplace, cuz he thinks they take jobs that men should have. And his views on abortion are 50 years out of date.

And go look at the Conservative convention voting. Round by round. All 13 of them. Maxime Bernier was the early leader. But western Canadians, as they've been since the Riel Rebellion and through the Conscription Crisis, just can't come to vote for some Catholic, Francophone guy from Quebec. Oh yeah, Mulroney was from Quebec, but he was Anglo, so that wasn't quite so bad for westerners. So the westerners just coalesced around whoever other than Bernier was still standing. And Scheer was perfect because nobody knew anything about him.

And then the party told him to take down the anti-women and anti-abortion stuff the day after he was chosen. And there you have him. A guy ashamed to show what he stands for, so he stands for nothing. Smiles, dimples, shuffling his feet. Hoping nobody asks about female employment or abortion.

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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby Jx3 » Jan 8th, 2018, 4:39 pm

hobbyguy wrote:That all leaves Sheer in a position where he has demonstrate that gives us something to vote FOR, and has the bench strength to form a competent government. Having Skippy Poilievre as a "right hand man", while good tactics for the day to day political battles (Skippy is shrewd), is actually strikes 1&2 for me in evaluating the bench strength. Skippy is very good peanut chucker, but chucking peanuts does not a good leader in governance make.

So I find myself pretty much agreeing with the author.

If the Liberals can find their way to a more fiscally prudent position, the Conservatives are in big, big trouble with what Sheer is serving up to vote FOR.


As much as I hate to say it I have to agree with you unfortunately. I shudder at the thought of yet another 4 years of the Shiny-Pony half-wit representing Canada on the world stage but I don't see the Conservatives winning the next election with Scheer at the helm. He very well may be a "nice enough guy" (I have no idea if he is or not) but he isn't exactly overflowing with charisma.
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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby The Green Barbarian » Jan 8th, 2018, 4:40 pm

bob vernon wrote:
And then the party told him to take down the anti-women and anti-abortion stuff .


You keep blathering about this. What anti-women stuff? And isn't he allowed to have a view on abortion? He's not in JT's crappy cabinet or party you know.
Not all leftists are stupid, but most stupid people are leftists.
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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby frazdog » Jan 8th, 2018, 5:43 pm

Give Sheer some slack, unlike his liberal counterpart he has some real life private sector experience- he had a paper route prior to entering politics.
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Re: Did the Conservatives pick a Dud?

Postby Catsumi » Jan 8th, 2018, 6:30 pm

Jx3 wrote:
hobbyguy wrote:That all leaves Sheer in a position where he has demonstrate that gives us something to vote FOR, and has the bench strength to form a competent government. Having Skippy Poilievre as a "right hand man", while good tactics for the day to day political battles (Skippy is shrewd), is actually strikes 1&2 for me in evaluating the bench strength. Skippy is very good peanut chucker, but chucking peanuts does not a good leader in governance make.

So I find myself pretty much agreeing with the author.

If the Liberals can find their way to a more fiscally prudent position, the Conservatives are in big, big trouble with what Sheer is serving up to vote FOR.


As much as I hate to say it I have to agree with you unfortunately. I shudder at the thought of yet another 4 years of the Shiny-Pony half-wit representing Canada on the world stage but I don't see the Conservatives winning the next election with Scheer at the helm. He very well may be a "nice enough guy" (I have no idea if he is or not) but he isn't exactly overflowing with charisma.



Charisma was a word that was attached to Trudeau Sr. Brought a lot of grief to western Canada as I recall.
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