The election is over and for western Canada to say the result was a disappointment would be an understatement.
However, when you sit back and analyze what happened, the result could have been much worse. A Trudeau majority would have been a disaster for Canada.
In the long run, the Trudeau minority may have been the best result and I will explain why.
There is much speculation that Canada and the world are going to be hit with a deep recession beginning in 2020.
I do not think that it was in the cards for the Conservatives to win a majority government this time around anyway.
If the Conservatives had won a minority government they would have been blamed for the recession.
Due to Trudeau having the right to govern with his minority he will be held responsible, so the result of this election may very well be a blessing in disguise.
I think the major concern we as conservatives have is the issue of leadership.
What always seems to happen when a political party loses an election is a knee jerk reaction that it was the fault of the leader so there needs to be a contest to select a new leader.
A major problem with leadership contests is that you end up with division in the party just like we did in the last one when Maxime Bernier formed a brand new party.
While he did not receive a lot of votes, he was able to have candidates nominated in almost all the ridings and got somewhere around two per cent of the vote.
It was not a significant number but it was a distraction that the conservatives did not need.
The problem with most leadership contests is that the party is starting all over with a new name and face that the public is not familiar with.
Before we go and replace Andrew Scheer for someone else, let’s take a look at what he has actually achieved and what actually happened in the election.
He won the popular vote and had the third highest number of votes for a party in a Canadian election ever. The party had 600,000 more votes than they had in the 2015 election.
A poll taken after the election showed that all of the other parties ganged upon him.
Thirty-five per cent of the voters voted strategically. That was more votes than the conservative popular vote.
The major beneficiary of the strategic voting was the Liberal Party and that explains why the liberals got most of the seats in Ontario.
It prevented the usual vote split.
Scheer did make some mistakes in communication but it was not all his fault.
The party is responsible for the campaign plan and they were aware of issues like his comments on gay marriage from 14 years ago, the mistake in his resume, and his dual citizenship.
They should have got ahead of those things at the beginning of the campaign.
Stephen Harper did not win his first election either but beginning with the next election he governed for almost 10 years.
Scheer’s biggest problem is the way he communicates with the public.
He does not really grab your attention when he responds to questions. He needs to demonstrate some real passion when he is presenting himself in public.
As my wife says, he needs to put his points out to the public the way Elizabeth May does. This is a skill that can be developed with help from a professional.
That shortfall certainly is not a reason to dump a leader.
What I said at a meeting the other day is that perhaps he needs to take drama lessons from Trudeau.
Scheer has the most MP’s of any opposition party in history and I think will do a good job of holding the Liberals accountable.
by Herman Schwenk