Canada: Scheer meets the caucus today. Will it be a hero's welcome - or a moment of reckoning? - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Scheer meets the caucus today. Will it be a hero's welcome - or a moment of reckoning?

12:20  06 november  2019
12:20  06 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Scheer's Conservatives missed scoring 'on an open net,' Peter MacKay says as leadership talk heats up

  Scheer's Conservatives missed scoring 'on an open net,' Peter MacKay says as leadership talk heats up As Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer prepares to meet with his caucus for the first time since last week's election defeat, questions are being raised about whether he should stay on to lead the party into the next election.During an event at The Canada Institute in Washington, the former long-time MP was asked for his thoughts on how the Conservatives failed to defeat Justin Trudeau's Liberals after the prime minister's public missteps, and despite deep divisions in parts of the country over the Liberal carbon tax and pipeline politics.

OTTAWA — New Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is basking in a hero ' s welcome on Parliament Hill. And he wasted no time in issuing a call to arms to caucus members, invoking the name of former And that's as true of our party today as it was 50 years ago,'' he said to resounding cheers.

Stephen Maher: The Tory leader has to convince caucus that he knows what went wrong and can fix it . They’d be wise to be suspicious of the explanations offered.

Andrew Scheer wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer participates in an interview reflecting on the 2019 Federal election, in Ottawa, on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer participates in an interview reflecting on the 2019 Federal election, in Ottawa, on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. For the first time since the Oct. 21 election, Andrew Scheer meets his caucus today — looking for a second chance.

The Conservative leader has been criticized, both publicly and privately, for losing an election that many in the party felt he should have won, for failing to convince voters in key ridings in Ontario that he respects same-sex marriage and a woman's right to choose, and for a platform that failed to convince Canadians that Conservatives take climate change seriously.

Scheer facing new kind of civil war brewing within the Conservative party

  Scheer facing new kind of civil war brewing within the Conservative party OTTAWA — Signs are pointing to a civil war breaking out within the Conservative party, but breaking down along different lines than past internal battles that divided the party ideologically. At its heart a single question: is Andrew Scheer personally and solely to blame for the failure of the party to capture a majority in last week's vote? At its heart a single question: is Andrew Scheer personally and solely to blame for the failure of the party to capture a majority in last week's vote?

Scheer ’ s message to caucus will be “two-pronged,” according to the source, who has direct knowledge of his comments. He will acknowledge that while Some Conservatives insiders were surprised by the Scheer campaign’ s decision to boast that it would win the most seats — and potentially even form a

The prime minister’ s attempts to reform both the economy and the pacifist constitution are entering a critical phase.

"It was like having a breakaway on an open net and missing the net," former Conservative cabinet minister Peter MacKay said when asked about Scheer's performance a week or so after the results were in.

Since then, the public criticism of Scheer has been more muted. But it hasn't gone away.

"The environment was a big deal," said Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu, who won re-election in the Ontario riding of Sarnia-Lambton. "And I did hear that people didn't think the Conservative plan was enough. So we need to do something there."

Gladu said she supports Scheer. But party insiders agree he will face tough questions today when senators, MPs and their defeated colleagues gather on Parliament Hill to go over what went wrong, and what has to change before the next election.

Conservative post-election gathering gets underway on Parliament Hill

  Conservative post-election gathering gets underway on Parliament Hill OTTAWA — Members of the federal Conservative caucus gathered Wednesday on Parliament Hill to sift the ashes of the 2019 federal election campaign — and contemplate the future of Leader Andrew Scheer. The meeting, which follows a casual gathering with new MPs that Scheer hosted at his official residence Tuesday night, is expected to be a long, drawn-out affair as members debate what went wrong during the 40-day campaign. Scheer will speak to theThe meeting, which follows a casual gathering with new MPs that Scheer hosted at his official residence Tuesday night, is expected to be a long, drawn-out affair as members debate what went wrong during the 40-day campaign.

Hero ? He’ s just the main actor in a festival. Nobles? They’re kindly taking care of us. The Demon Race? They have good relationships with Humans. And of course, I’m not the Hero , but it ’ s another guy……and while being very cautious and scared of the cliche of the cliche-like development, I was

Chuck Strahl: Scheer has a big job ahead of him. The caucus and party members need him to show that he has learned from the past campaign. But as former prime minister Stephen Harper has advised, it would good for Conservative members and MPs to keep calm and not light their hair on fire.

No leadership review likely before April

Under new rules introduced in 2015, Conservative caucus members could even trigger a leadership review today. Few think that will happen before the party's April convention in Toronto, where Scheer will face a mandatory vote on his leadership.

"Andrew has my support, 100 per cent," Manitoba MP James Bezan told CBC News as he arrived in Ottawa on Tuesday.

And the rest of caucus? "We'll see when we get there," he said.

Peter Kent, one of just three Conservatives to be elected in the swath of ridings around Toronto, said getting rid of Scheer now would be a mistake.

"I understand the frustration of the grassroots and the unsuccessful candidates but we have to recognize the gains Andrew made," he said. "I will be disappointed if there's no recognition of what he's accomplished."

Accentuating the positive

Under Scheer, the Conservatives won more seats than they did in 2015 and held the Liberals to a minority government.

The question that haunts Andrew Scheer

  The question that haunts Andrew Scheer Andrew MacDougall: When Scheer was asked if he believes being gay is a sin, he couldn't say 'no'. It's a major political problem in Canada in 2019.Disclaimer: 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.

Here is what the next six months might look like for the Conservatives. Their leader, Andrew Scheer , having stumbled through an election campaign he might have won with a platform that was sure to lose, ignores widespread calls to quit in favour of hanging on until the April leadership review.

Ahead of the meeting with MPs, Mr. Scheer has held a slate of other meetings including with his inner circle and defeated candidates in the Greater Toronto Area. Welcome to The Globe and Mail’ s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

Scheer himself has taken pains in recent weeks to point out that the Conservatives won more votes than the Liberals — even though that outcome failed to deliver a plurality of seats, thanks to the huge vote numbers Conservative candidates ran up in Alberta and Saskatchewan ridings.

Scheer also did better than Stephen Harper did in his first campaign in 2004 as leader of the newly united Conservative Party, when the Conservatives won 99 seats with just under 30 per cent of the vote.

Will any of that sway Conservatives who believe victory over Justin Trudeau was in the cards? Doing better is not the same as winning — and for Conservatives, winning requires improved performances in Ontario (where the party won 36 seats, just three more than it did in 2015) and in Quebec, where the party lost two of its dozen seats.

The old 'hidden agenda' card

One Conservative insider said Scheer can expect some pointed questions from caucus about how the campaign responded to predictable Liberal attacks on Scheer's personal beliefs and past statements regarding social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

John Ivison: Worried they can no longer win in Ontario, Conservatives put Scheer on notice

  John Ivison: Worried they can no longer win in Ontario, Conservatives put Scheer on notice Andrew Scheer presented the façade of party unity when he emerged from a marathon caucus meeting on Wednesday. “The whole team knows that Conservatives only succeed when they work together and remain united,” he said. It’s true that the caucus was unified behind the idea that the party’s membership, not its elected members, should hold the leader to account. But that was where consensus ended. The meeting didn’t last seven hours because MPs were lauding the leader and his team.

The caucus includes MPs and senators, but only MPs will be allowed to vote on the issue. The law requires the vote to be recorded, which could It would then be voted on by all Conservative MPs in a secret ballot. Conservative MP Rachael Harder, who said she believes Mr. Scheer has what it takes

If both his caucus and his closest advisers were so quick to break with him, scant hours after the CTV broadcast that brought him down, it may be because they found the It is true, as others have said, that the presumption of innocence is a legal concept, not necessarily applicable in other walks of life.

"Caucus will be asking difficult questions about the strategic approach of the campaign," said the insider, who asked not to be identified in order to speak freely. "The Liberals played the old 'hidden agenda' card on social issues and Scheer and his campaign team had no satisfactory answer."

The Liberals put Scheer on the defensive from the outset, tweeting links to a 2005 speech opposing same-sex marriage and using social media to highlight past statements against abortion by Conservative candidates in ridings Scheer was visiting.

Many Conservatives say they believe Scheer and his campaign team mismanaged those questions about his personal views, turning what should have been a one-day story at the opening of the election into lingering doubts about the kind of person he is.

'It's how uncomfortable he looked'

"It's not a question of communication and messaging," said another party insider who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It wasn't just that he didn't explain himself. It's how uncomfortable he looked discussing these issues that mattered to those soccer moms and other female voters of the Toronto suburbs."

Kent said he doesn't agree. He said Scheer's position is the same as Stephen Harper's was in 2011, when he vowed a Conservative government would never re-open the debate on abortion.

For Kent, the obstacle for Conservatives in those 905 ridings around Toronto was the unpopularity of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, not Scheer's positions on abortion and same-sex marriage, or his refusal to attend Pride events.

"I believe Andrew. I take him at his word, just as I took Stephen Harper at his word," Kent said. "I think that going to a parade shouldn't be the measure of whether someone is open-minded or inclusive."

Kent said he wants the focus of today's caucus meeting to be on where the campaign could have done better.

He said the party needs to do more to promote its environmental plan in Ontario and Quebec, and to convince party members in the Prairies that a proposed energy corridor through Central Canada could be built.

It's a tall order for a party — and a leader — with a political base in the West and a history of struggling to shed the "social conservative" label.

Scheer's challenge today is convince his colleagues that he can do both — that he knows what went wrong and has a plan to win next time.

Second chances don't mean much if you don't learn from the past.

Parliament set to reconvene with Speaker election on Dec. 5 .
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will lay out priorities for his new minority government on Dec. 5. The Prime Minister's Office says that is the day the House of Commons will convene for the first time since the October election. On the same day, members of Parliament will elect a Speaker from their ranks and then hear the government's throne speech. Trudeau's office made the announcement today before Trudeau met Opposition leader Andrew Scheer.Speaking in French during a photo op at the start of the meeting, Trudeau said voters expect MPs to get to work quickly and he wants to meet those expectations.

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