The Conservative Party in Canada and the Democratic Party in the United States have a lot in common when it comes to their ability to win elections.
In the United States, the Democrats require support from a diverse group of people in order to win.
They go up against a Republican Party that need only appeal to a large, white homogenous group in primarily central and southern states.
Democrats, on the other hand, must attract a diverse group of moderate voters to win.
They need a heterogeneous group of economic liberals and conservatives; social activists and moderates together with white, black and brown voters.
Its ability to win the presidency or congress with a far-left candidate like Saunders and Warren is as unlikely as the New Democrats winning a majority in Canada—there are not enough people on the extreme left in either country to form a majority.
As well, unlike the United States, there are just not enough people in Canada who are comfortable with the policies of a far-right party or believe in Republican values.
The most enduring, or perhaps the most frustrating Canadian trait depending on your point-of-view, is the majority of Canadians are moderates.
It was shocking to many Conservatives when Rona Ambrose chose not to run for the leadership.
For those of us sitting in the middle who really wanted her as the next leader of the Conservative Party, it’s been a grave disappointment.
But that being said I just can’t imagine Ambrose, if opposition leader today, would be wasting question period to bash the federal Liberals for ‘not getting Canadians out of China quick enough’.
Rather she would be supporting and working with the government to assist in an international crisis that has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with serving Canadians.
There is no reason and no logic in making this crisis a political football.
I further can’t imagine Ambrose being particularly comfortable with climate change denial or having to answer for mean-spirited words and actions against immigrants and the LGBTQ community—issues that continue to dog the party.
Her actions since leaving politics shows us what a great leader she would have been.
When Trump threw out NAFTA and put Canada and Mexico in a vulnerable trading position, Rona Ambrose was asked and agreed to join a team of high-profile Canadians to work with our chief negotiator, Chyrsta Freeland.
It was a trading crisis started by a foreign leader and had nothing to do with Trudeau’s Liberals.
It was of grave economic importance to all Canadians, regardless of political stripe, that Canada negotiates the best possible deal and yet keep the narcissistic bully in the White House believing he was the absolute winner.
Even this past week as a private citizen, Ambrose went to Ottawa to support a Bill that mandated training for all judges on gender issues and the trauma involved in sexual assault.
On display once again was her ability to show empathy and compassion— important leadership traits.
The majority of Canadians are moderates.
They strongly believe in the separation of state and church.
They don’t have the same racist black history, do not believe Canada has a significant illegal immigrant problem, and abhor America’s second amendment on gun freedoms.
The simple truth is the policies of both the American Democrats and the Canadian Conservatives need to make moderates comfortable in their tent.
Neither one of these parties carry the day without compromise. Andrew Scheer and Maxime Bernier were extremes for most Canadians.
Let’s hope another Rona Ambrose is in the wings to bring Conservative policies back to the centre.
Canadians desperately want a moderate, electable conservative option. It’s now up to card-carrying Conservatives to make that happen.