Conservatives elect another Andrew Scheer

The Conservatives have done it again. In May 2017, they opted for the relatively unknown non-descript, ever-smiling, dimple-faced Andrew Scheer as their leader, when they could have chosen a better-known politician in Maxime Bernier, who served as foreign minister in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet.

The fiery determination that makes a politician into a memorable leader was absent from Scheer’s demeanour. And, try as one may, he just didn’t look prime minister material. Perhaps a Joe Clark, but certainly not John Diefenbaker or the sharp Brian Mulroney.

At last week’s convention, the Conservatives could have chosen Peter MacKay, a well-liked experienced politician, who had served both as defence and foreign minister as well as attorney general.

MacKay who was chosen as “Canada’s Sexiest Male MP” by The Hill Times from 1999–2007 is married to Iranian-born Nazanin Afshin-Jam and could have decimated the WE-wounded and, my choice, Jagmeet Singh of the NDP.

For those who feel I am giving too much importance to appearance and demeanour, I have a message: We are no longer in times where ideas count. There are no high principles or ideologies that are debated among the “I’m like” generation of the Tik-Tok era.

Anyone looking back for a Chretien-Mulroney-Broadbent contest should realize that the electorate has deteriorated as much as the leadership. Imagine Chretien photo-bombing a group of teens or Broadbent in ‘blackface’ or Mulroney dipping into ethnic vote banks for survival.

If the electorate was serious about the affairs of the nation, then the WE scandal would have made Trudeau resign, not his finance minister. People would have been furious at the nepotism and scarcity of truth that gushed out of ministers and MPs who, like Jay-Z, simply shrugged the “dirt off their shoulders”.
Seems the “ordinary” Canadian too couldn’t give a damn about alleged corruption and nepotism at the highest levels.

A new Leger poll suggests Canadians believe Prime Minister is the leader best able to care for them during the COVID-19 pandemic and to get the country’s economy back on its feet, notwithstanding his brush with the Kielburger Brothers money-making.

Asked about their choice among parties if an election was called today, 38% of decided voters said they’d support the Liberals compared to 30% for the Conservatives, and only 18% for the NDP.

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois was at 33%, statistically tied with the Liberals in that province at 32%, with the Conservatives well behind at 16%, with the NDP at a dismal 12%.

Critically, when asked specifically which party would earn their vote if Erin O’Toole, who was elected leader on Sunday, was at the helm of the Conservatives, Liberal support bumped up one point, while Conservative support dropped to 27%.

The poll also suggested that O’Toole is an unknown quantity for a majority of Canadians. Asked if they’d vote Conservative if O’Toole was at the helm, 51% said they didn’t know.

It’s not far-fetched to conclude the responses would have been more favourable to the Conservatives had Peter MacKay been chosen to take on Trudeau.

Now imagine the scenario if the conservatives had elected Dr. Leslyn Lewis as their leader. It would have caused a tremor that would have shaken up the Libs as well as the Dippers. But when you are looking for coal in a diamond mine, you’ll miss the Kohinoor even if it dazzles in your face.

Lewis is a Toronto lawyer who has a Masters in Environmental Studies and a PhD in international law from Osgoode Hall Law School, among other accomplishments. She would have created enthusiasm not because she is a woman (we’ve seen that in Kim Campbell), but she is the epitome of what an immigrant to Canada can accomplish in the True North.

Time wasted. Opportunity lost. The saga of Conservatives carries on.

Photo Credit : Getty Images

Email: tarek.fatah@gmail.com

Twitter: @TarekFatah

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