I think the resignation of Andrew Scheer’s on November 12 was a big surprise to everyone.
He has been under intense pressure to quit ever since the election.
As always seems to happen in politics when you are the leader you get blamed for not winning the election.
I think the party was as much at fault for the shortfall on the election as Andrew Scheer.
The Liberal’s kept hammering him on social issues.
As I pointed out in a column about six weeks ago, he did not respond as forcefully to these criticisms as he should have.
However, having said that, I think the party did not provide the proper support as they were aware that the Liberals were going to attack him on issues like his criticism of gay marriage 14 years ago and the mistake in his resume, etc.
I think the party was way too timid with their advertising.
They seemed to worry about being criticized for using attack ads.
Well, the Liberals were using attack advertising all the time, especially on the social issues.
Why didn’t the Conservative party highlight the PR disaster of Trudeau’s India trip or the time he was asked by a reporter what his family was doing to curtail the use of single use plastics?
He stuttered for 30 seconds before giving a really dumb answer.
Scheer did not design the party campaign or the advertising, that was done by party officials but Scheer got the blame for a poorly run campaign.
The same thing happened in the campaign of 2015 when Harper was the Prime Minister.
I am still convinced that if Doug Finley were still alive we would have won both elections.
He was a master at using attack advertising.
Andrew said he was resigning so he could spend more time with his family.
That is the old pat answer these guys always give when they resign and while it may be partly true, we know the real reason he resigned was due to the intense pressure he was receiving from the party movers and shakers.
He simply was not going to be able to coalesce the party around him anymore so to prevent the party from splitting in two it was the ideal time to quit.
This will give the party time to conduct a proper leadership campaign.
Waiting until the annual meeting next April would have caused serious time restraints.
In fact, I think they could use the timing of the annual meeting to their advantage.
If they act quickly there is time to have the leadership campaign completed by April and have the winner announced at that meeting, in other words kill two birds with one stone.
Now it will be interesting to see who throws their name into the hat.
The last time the party held a leadership campaign there were far too many candidates.
At least two-thirds of them did not fit the profile of serious candidates, they were just run-of-the-mill MP’s.
I would say about four candidates would be the right number and that is about all I can think of that would be really qualified to run at this time.
We cannot make a mistake this time around in the person who is chosen.
My number one pick would be Peter McKay.
He has the experience and the profile necessary for the job.
He is very electable but does he want the job?
He did when he was the leader of the old PC party.
The other fully qualified person would be Rona Ambrose.
The downside of her running this time around is that if elected she would be the third Conservative leader in a row from western Canada and that could be a problem with the finicky voters in the East.
By Herman Schwenk