Martyn Brown: 14 reasons why the Conservatives shouldn’t dump Andrew Scheer as party leader

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      Lest there be any doubt, Andrew Scheer says he’s not going anywhere. A point he proved in spades on election night.

      He’s remaining as Conservative leader, he says. Glad we cleared that up. Err, not.

      Conservatives across the land are hopping mad at Scheer for somehow managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and handing back a minority government to Justin Trudeau.

      They were gobsmacked by Scheer’s election night boast that his party is “united” and “on the march”.

      “We ran an excellent campaign, from top to bottom. For that, we should all be proud,” Scheer said as if he actually believed that.

      Ashamed, is more like it. From top to bottom it was the campaign from hell, arguably the worst Conservative campaign in Canadian history.

      It began with a Rebel yell and ended with a whimper of embarrassment for Canada Proud, Ontario Proud, and the once-proud Ford Nation that managed to wrestle only one new, net seat from the Liberals in that hallowed land that slime forgot.

      In that place to stand and place to grow, Ontari-ari-ari-o!

      And now the unfaithful party faithful want heads to roll.

      They’re gunning for a new leader. And they’re not alone.

      An Ipsos poll, conducted exclusively for Global News, found that 63 percent of Canadians felt that Scheer should resign as party leader if his Conservatives didn’t win the most seats.

      Not so fast, I say.

      There are plenty of reasons why the Tories shouldn’t dump Scheer in their leadership review next spring.

      Let me enumerate 14 of them.

      1. Because Scheer won 240,000 more votes than Trudeau and we all know what that “victory” is worth when you’re going nowhere fast in Quebec and Ontario.

      2. Because unlike Liberals, Tories are unburdened by an obsession with winning. And Scheer has won the right to lose again in this proud, post-Tory Syndrome.

      3. Because back in Trudeau’s pre-“death spiral” days, no one expected Scheer to be much of a leader, let alone to win the next election. And on that score, he didn’t disappoint.

      4. Because the party owes him something for barely saving it from the even greater ignominy and electoral catastrophe that it came within a whisker of inviting upon itself by nearly electing Mad Max Bernier as its leader.

      5. Because time is so short, given the nature of Trudeau’s minority government. Why, we could be back on the hustings in four short years, given that the chances of the NDP or the Bloc bringing down the Liberal government are probably zero. And because you never know, Trudeau might yet prove to have even more a political death wish than even his ethics-addled blackface suggested, and his government will fall at his own hand.

      6. Because who can blame Scheer for hiding his dual citizenship, fudging his résumé, engaging in dirty tricks, or looking ridiculous in answering for his own social conservatism? What better way to show his sense of “fair play” in making a fight of the election that was his to lose?

      7. Because he has demonstrated his worth as a miracle worker. For the first time in history, he managed to get the governing party reelected with the lowest share of popular vote ever won by a winning party. No small feat and a tribute to his campaign team’s smarts and expertise. Celebrate it and take responsibility like Trudeau would, I say, had he ever won such a victory against Stephen Harper.

      8. Because who cares if Scheer didn’t win a single seat in Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nunavut, the Yukon, or the Northwest Territories? Who needs them, anyway? Who do they think they are, Alberta or Saskatchewan?

      9. Because if the Tories are so stupid as to replace Scheer, what’s next? Maybe a Red Tory leader who is pro-choice, a closet “liberal” or worse? Or, God help us, someone who may not be so beholden to Big Oil—who is perhaps even worried about the global climate crisis? Perish the thought!

      10. Because who better than Scheer to show Canadians that Conservatives are devoutly conservative when it comes to being progressive in their own best interests? Learning from their mistakes is not the Tory way and history is made to repeat itself in all the worst ways.

      11. Because if Stephen Harper taught Conservatives anything, surely, it’s that patience is a virtue in defeating a minority Liberal government by staying true to the one who brought them to the prom, at least for a second dance. Unless they’re more like Robert Stanfield or Tim Hudak. In which case, oh well, what’s another eight years in purgatory?

      12. Because what the hell, Jagmeet Singh isn’t going anywhere as his party’s leader! And that despite finishing fourth, losing 20 seats, and winning a smaller percentage of the popular vote than his NDP predecessors did in 11 of the last 16 federal elections. To the loser goes the spoils!

      13. Because apart from the over 6.1 million Canadians who voted for Scheer’s Conservatives, there are over 11.7 million Canadians who voted for other parties and leaders. And why the f*#k would they do that if they don’t secretly want to vote for Scheer, if given another chance?

      14. Because Rona Ambrose, Brad Wall, Peter MacKay, James Moore, and losers like Lisa Raitt can all suck it. They’re all too progressive to lead the Conservatives back to opposition, as Scheer will proudly do if given the chance to again prove his worth in 2023 when we next go to the polls. 

      That’s it. Those are my 14 reasons to #SaveScheer’sAss. Feel free to amplify, Canada.

      Martyn Brown was former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell’s long-serving chief of staff, the top strategic adviser to three provincial party leaders, and a former deputy minister of tourism, trade, and investment. He also served as the B.C. Liberals' public campaign director in 2001, 2005, and 2009, and in addition to his other extensive campaign experience, he was the principal author of four election platforms. Contact him via email at bcpundit@gmail.com. 

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