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

07:40  08 november  2019
07:40  08 november  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

Few losing opposition leaders get a second chance - and fewer still succeed if they get it

  Few losing opposition leaders get a second chance - and fewer still succeed if they get it Only two Canadian opposition leaders defeated in their first election became prime minister on their second try. Andrew Scheer wants to be the third. "Remember 2004, Stephen Harper's first election," Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told his audience on election night after the results showed his party with fewer seats than the Liberals."He erased Paul Martin's majority and then went on to lead a Conservative government that lasted for nearly 10 years."Scheer, facing a leadership review by party members in April, has good reason to hope Conservatives remember Harper's experience in 2004.

John Ivison : Worried they can no longer win in Ontario , Conservatives put Scheer on notice . John Ivison : What can Andrew Scheer learn from Stephen Harper? If the Conservative leader is to have another tilt with Trudeau, the adversity he's set to face may prove an education.

John Ivison : Worried they can no longer win in Ontario , Conservatives put Scheer on notice . WatchLiberals told to be more humble, address Western Canada concerns, as caucus meets. Chris Selley: Asking a politician about sin takes us to new and dangerous territory.

Andrew Scheer wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd: Conservative leader Andrew Scheer speaks to reporters following a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Nov. 6, 2019.© Justin Tang/The Canadian Press Conservative leader Andrew Scheer speaks to reporters following a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Nov. 6, 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.

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.

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.

If the Conservatives win , or even hold Justin Trudeau to a minority, Scheer ’s position is assured. The contrast is stark between Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer , left, and the brash Ontario Share this story. John Ivison : Andrew Scheer ’s ‘problematic’ leadership sparks concern among

A casual glance at the Canadian political landscape suggests Andrew Scheer ’s Conservatives should be preparing for government. They have been comfortably ahead in almost every opinion poll in the past four months and one projection gives them a 64 per cent probability of winning the most seats in

The meeting didn’t last seven hours because MPs were lauding the leader and his team.

There are very real concerns among MPs from Ontario in particular, that the party will be reduced to a rump in Canada’s largest province, if major changes are not introduced by Scheer – or possibly his successor. The loss of Milton, a riding formerly held by Lisa Raitt, is seen as a harbinger by MPs with commuter belt constituencies who have seen their vote share dip in successive elections since 2011.

Sources said just about every MP took to the microphone and there was widespread dissatisfaction with Scheer’s suggestion, expressed in his press conference, that the problem with the election campaign was simply a failure to communicate. “Sometimes our message didn’t resonate with Canadians,” he told reporters.

Andrew Coyne: No point in Tories changing their leader if they don't change their message

  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.

John Ivison : Worried they can no longer win in Ontario , Conservatives put Scheer on notice . WatchLiberals told to be more humble, address Western Canada concerns, as caucus meets. Chris Selley: Asking a politician about sin takes us to new and dangerous territory.

One senior Conservative in the region describes the campaign as ‘an unmitigated disaster. Coast to coast: National Post columnist John Ivison is travelling across Canada to chronicle how election 19, it is likely that it will no longer be blue — and it’s possible that its fate will be shared by every other

One MP said he came out of the meeting less confident that when he went in. “The leader and his team are doubling down and at this early stage there are no signs he’s going to change,” he said.

One recurring complaint from Ontario MPs was that Scheer has surrounded himself with westerners who “reinforce his bad instincts”, in the words of one party insider. That feeling has been aggravated by the election of Alberta MP, Tom Kmiec as caucus chair to replace an Ontario MP, David Sweet.

“This could become an existential question for the party going forward,” said one Ontario MP. “It could be distilled down to a western Reform rump.”

Ontario remains the largest source of Conservative MPs with 36 members, compared to Alberta’s 33 MPs. (There are 17 from B.C., 14 from Saskatchewan, seven from Manitoba, 10 from Quebec, three from New Brunswick and one from Nova Scotia).

The prospect is always there for fratricide among the loose confederation of warring tribes that agreed to merge under the Conservative Party of Canada banner in 2004.

MacKay blames Conservative election loss on Scheer's social conservatism

  MacKay blames Conservative election loss on Scheer's social conservatism OTTAWA — One-time and possible future leadership contender Peter MacKay says the "stinking albatross" of Andrew Scheer's social conservative values cost the Conservatives the election. He offered the devastating critique of Scheer's campaign performance during a panel discussion Wednesday hosted by the Wilson Center in Washington. "To use a good Canadian analogy, it was like having a breakaway on an open net and missing the net," MacKay said. AnHe offered the devastating critique of Scheer's campaign performance during a panel discussion Wednesday hosted by the Wilson Center in Washington.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer addresses supporters after he lost to Justin Trudeau in the federal election in Regina, Saskatchewan Oct. The only person likely to oust Andrew Scheer before the April convention is Andrew Scheer . He must now gauge whether he can win the support of a

Today’s Conservative Party is a vibrant national organization with strong grassroots support from coast to coast to coast. The Party, its caucus, and its members upholding the proud Canadian Conservative tradition. Support Andrew Scheer and Canada’s Conservatives .

It seems unlikely that the party could unravel into Reform and Progressive Conservative camps – few present day Tories were active in the legacy parties.

But there is a sense of frustration that Scheer could not persuade voters in Ontario and Quebec that he could live up to the expectations of a mainstream party leader in 2019. That would include embracing the gay community, speaking from the heart on reproductive rights issues and explaining how Canada would fulfil its international obligations on climate change.

One of the few unequivocal statements Scheer made on Wednesday was that as long as he is leader, the Conservative Party will oppose a carbon tax.

One Ontario MP said that he is relaxed about that statement, as long as the leader is clear about other ways of achieving greenhouse gas emission targets.

But the MP acknowledged voters may not believe Scheer whatever he says on the environment because he comes across as not caring about the issue.

“It’s a character issue,” he said. “People didn’t know him before. Now they know him but they don’t trust him. He has been less than forthright and transparent, so he’s got his work cut out for him.”

Scheer has been like a puppy chasing its tail. His talking-points-heavy campaign offered little worth voting for and then he wondered why people didn’t elect him prime minister. The lack of ambition shrank the party’s appeal to its base and he failed to make an emotional connection with people where he needed to, particularly in the country’s largest cities.

The sense of those emerging from Wednesday’s meeting is that caucus has put Scheer on notice that he has six months to figure out how to win in central Canada or the membership will sort it out for him.

• Email: jivison@postmedia.com | Twitter: IvisonJ

Charles Shaver: Scheer missed obvious opportunities to gain votes .
“Politics is a blood sport.” — Aneurin Bevan The Conservatives won a clear plurality in B.C. in the recent federal election. Could they have done better in the Maritimes and the large cities in central Canada? They won the national popular vote and increased their ridings by 26 seats, but did not win a majority despite the SNC-Lavalin affair, blackface scandal, the prospect of rising deficits, and the many broken promises of Justin Trudeau. This was not just Andrew Scheer’s failure to broaden his base of support by demonstrating greater concern over climate change and modifying his earlier position on abortion and same-sex marriage.

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