Canada: Chris Selley: It's not Scheer's fault the Tories lost. Blame the dreck that passed for his platform - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Chris Selley: It's not Scheer's fault the Tories lost. Blame the dreck that passed for his platform

07:20  22 october  2019
07:20  22 october  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

John Robson: Everyone's running against the Tories. Even the Tories

  John Robson: Everyone's running against the Tories. Even the Tories As Canada’s worst election ever staggers toward the finish line, a theme has finally emerged. Despite the best efforts of the party leaders to say nothing coherent or true at any point, we know what it’s about. Everyone is running against the Tories. Including the Tories. Makes you wonder what they’re so afraid of. Jagmeet Singh let the cat out of the bag about the theme when he confessed that yes, should his party unaccountably fail to win a majority of seats for the 18th straight time since its 1961 founding, he would consider a coalition with … Oh come off it. We all know the answer.

It didn’t work. Next to the extravagant bidding war that went on between the NDP and the Greens, the Liberal platform looked timid and derivative, while the Tories , under the cautious, plodding leadership of Andrew Scheer , failed to live up to their terrifying Blame the dreck that passed for his platform .

Chris Selley : It ' s not Scheer ' s fault the Tories lost . Blame the dreck that passed for his platform . WatchAs the results come in, here's 22 things Liberals lose dominance in Atlantic Canada, fall seven seats short of 2015 sweep. Canadian election results 2019: A live riding-by-riding map of the vote.

a man standing on a stage in front of a crowd: Supporters of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer watch voting results during an election night rally in Regina, Sask., on Oct. 21, 2019.© Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images Supporters of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer watch voting results during an election night rally in Regina, Sask., on Oct. 21, 2019.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

REGINA — This will come as little comfort to the hundreds of Conservatives who came out here on Monday night expecting a “strong Conservative majority government” — something Andrew Scheer repeatedly assured them was in the cards, ostensibly based on internal polling. CBC was on the big screen at the International Trade Centre as the network called the election for the Liberals, just after 8 p.m. local time, and as I write this it has been deathly silent ever since, even as more and more supporters stream in.

Chris Selley: Scheer’s silence is either suspicious or baffling

  Chris Selley: Scheer’s silence is either suspicious or baffling “Yes.” That’s all Andrew Scheer needed to say. The Globe and Mail reported this weekend that the Conservatives hired a consulting firm, Daisy group, to dig up dirt on Maxime Bernier and his People’s Party, with a goal of keeping him out of the leaders’ debates or, failing that, just generally discredit them as much as possible. It’s all very interesting. It’s potentially mildly embarrassing, inasmuch as they didn’t hire a better consulting firm. And honestly, no one should need outside help to raise questions about Bernier’s various, shall we say, unconventional candidates.

Chris Selley : It ' s not Scheer ' s fault the Tories lost . Blame the dreck that passed for his platform . Scheer has been Conservative since high school; Singh may just be hipper than Trudeau; Bernier was in Harper's cabinet; and May wasn't born in Canada.

From Cameron promising a vote he never wanted to hold to May’ s ineptitude, it ’ s a Tory mess, says Guardian reporter Alex Hern.

But folks, let’s face it: Even a Conservative minority was a longshot.

As vulnerable as Trudeau made himself, Canadians just aren’t quite as vindictive as the Conservatives needed them to be: 1935 was the last time voters outright fired a majority government that they had promoted out of opposition in the previous election. The Liberals survived the demise of Trudeaumania I in 1972 with a minority, and that was in a lousy economy; it’s no surprise they have survived the demise of Trudeaumania II in a relatively good economy (for now, at least — and Albertans might roll their eyes).

Polls suggested a Liberal minority was the most likely outcome, and at deadline that looks to be what’s afoot. If seat projections hold true, Justin Trudeau will need support from opposition parties to pursue his agenda, but he won’t need to call the movers.

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  ‘This is the first step’: Scheer delivers concession speech, praises Tory election performance Scheer said he has called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to congratulate him on his victory. However, Scheer also reacted to the Liberals' loss of a majority government, suggesting it indicates Trudeau's time as prime minister may not last long."Mr. Trudeau, when your government falls, Conservatives will be ready and we will win," he said. READ MORE: Live Canada election results 2019: Real-time results in the federal election Scheer also boasted that the party is leading the popular vote over the Liberals."This is how it starts," he said. "This is the first step.

It certainly seems to have survived Maxime Bernier’ s apostasy: His People’ s Party is polling perilously near zero per cent, and the Scheer campaign rubbed it in Friday afternoon with a raucous rally in Saint-Georges. Blaine Higgs, the Tory Premier of New Brunswick, was on hand to call a spade a spade.

OTTAWA — A very long time ago, at the start of the election campaign, Yves-François Blanchet stood before a room of supporters that was only partly full and made his pitch. Under his leadership, the Bloc Québécois had rebuilt itself, he told his audience at the party’ s platform launch in Boucherville, Que.

The worst that can be said of Scheer’s performance on the campaign trail is that he utterly failed to assuage concerns over how and why his views on same-sex marriage evolved from the Catholic sermon he delivered in the House of Commons 15 years ago to defending marriage rights today. He also made an ass of himself in the dying days of the campaign, for no reason, by neither confirming nor denying — over and over again — that the Conservatives had hired a consultancy to dig up dirt on Bernier and his candidates.

But in general he seems to have expectations as a campaigner, and he seemed more and more at ease over the final week. At the campaign’s final event, a Sunday-night rally at a Vancouver airport hotel, he seemed almost giddy rallying the troops. But then, some of the best speeches politicians give are when they know they’ve lost.

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It doesn’t matter to humankind that Scheer doesn’t have a climate change plan, because he’ s not in bloody government. If the Tories have no plan, or no credible plan, to replace the Liberals’, then that’ s a legitimate campaign issue. But if the goal here is to save humankind — and the Trudeau gang

It ’ s laughable that such an unrepresentative group could choose the next prime minister, but defanging them will not solve the government’ s problems, says Guardian columnist Zoe Williams.

So what now? It’s not like Conservatives should feel buyer’s remorse. There is no reason to think human charisma vacuum Maxime Bernier would have done any better. The guy should have to register with Health Canada as a sleep aid. Where the platform might have been different under his leadership — a more ambitious timeline on balanced budgets, say, or winding down supply management — it’s easy to imagine the Liberals capitalizing to great effect. Most Canadian media today treat anything less than per-capita government spending increases at or above inflation as fiscal violence, and the idea of free-market dairy as an invitation for Yankees to pollute our precious bodily fluids.

But Trudeau is so reviled within the Conservative party that failing to vanquish him will be held very much against Scheer. Even mid-campaign, veteran Tory organizer John Capobianco was musing aloud to The Globe and Mail’s Robert Fife about drafting Peter MacKay as a replacement. You can imagine what might happen now that it’s all over.

If Scheer’s future is in doubt, ideally it would be for the random dreck that passed for his platform. The party that insists every dollar left in your pocket is better than one collected by the government nevertheless pledged to bring back Stephen Harper’s politically micro-targeted tax breaks for your kids’ lacrosse and saxophone lessons. The party that boasts of representing Canada proudly and properly on the world stage vowed to cut our already middling foreign aid budget by 25 per cent, insisting against all evidence it could do so only by excluding objectively unneedy or unworthy recipients. This is a party that vowed to end needle-exchange programs in prisons, which borders on criminal negligence. It was a dumb, pandering, unambitious mess that reeked of focus grouping.

But that’s not what people will blame Scheer for. (There’s no one waiting in the wings — certainly not MacKay — who offers much comfort to ideological conservatives.) They’ll blame him for not winning. And this result may be bad news for conservatives indeed: Notably a Liberal minority beholden to parties that take climate change much more seriously than Trudeau does could be bad news for the Conservatives’ Alberta heartland (and good news for climate change voters).

But you can’t crumble a cookie to order. Trudeau desperately deserved to have his balloon popped, and Scheer can take some credit for popping it. Now Trudeau faces the ignominy of actually having to work with lesser mortals: Non-Liberals! Yuck! No one here in Regina will want to hear it, but Canada could have done a lot worse than Monday night’s result.

• Email: [email protected] | Twitter: cselley

Andrew Coyne: No point in Tories changing their leader if they don't change their message .
Should Andrew Scheer step down as Conservative leader? Probably, but it’s beside the point. Scheer is more a symptom of the Conservatives’ malaise than a cause. The party was unable to attract the support of more than 35 per cent of voters in this election, but that has been more or less the case for most of the last 30 years, ever since the breakup of the Mulroney coalition. In three elections (1993-2000) when the right-of-centre vote was split between the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties it averaged about 37 per cent of the vote. In five elections as the Conservative party under Stephen Harper’s leadership it averaged 35 per cent.

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