Saturday, June 29, 2019
Why The Scheer Cons Are Still The Harper Party
Ever since it was recently revealed that Andrew Scheer consults his mentor Stephen Harper before making any major decisions, an old and deeply disturbing question is being asked again.
Who is the real leader of the Cons?
Some say Scheer aka Weak Andy is just humouring Harper because he's afraid of him...
While others believe he is a willing stooge. A religious fanatic and far right sympathizer, who still believes in Harper's feverish vision of a Canada changed beyond recognition.
But as Aaron Wherry points out, what can't be denied is that the Cons are still the Harper Party.
"Stephen Harper with a smile" was the shorthand description embraced by both Andrew Scheer (while he was running for the Conservative leadership) and the Liberal Party, after Scheer became the second leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Two years and five "vision" speeches later, that description seems only more apt.
For although it's been four years since Great Leader was deposed, his policies are still the policies of Scheer's Cons.
"It wasn't our policies that cost us the last election," Scheer said in an interview in April 2017. "When I went door to door in my own riding, when I talked to candidates that ran for us but lost ... a recurring theme is that they heard time and time again that, 'You know, I like you and I like what you've done, but I just can't vote for you the next time.'
Thanks to the boost they received from fake scandals, and the cheerleading of their shabby media stooges, the Cons don't feel the need to change anything.
After winning 32 per cent of the popular vote in October 2015, the Conservatives briefly dropped to 26 per cent in public polling. But since May 2017, they have been consistently above 30 per cent. So Conservatives can reasonably tell themselves that getting back to power is simply a matter of smiling more and waiting for the public to tire of the Trudeau government.
So although Scheer doesn't mention his name often, reminders of the Harper years are everywhere.
Like this ghastly attack ad which is getting a lot of airplay all over the country...
The ad is paid for by a Calgary group headed by a man named Douglas Nelson, who was the chief financial officer for Jason Kenney's leadership campaign.
It is aimed at disaffected Liberal supporters, but it also serves as a sign to the faithful that their Great Leader is not far away, and is still hungry for revenge.
And of course it's also a warning to the rest of us that the next election could very well be a referendum on the Harper years.
Scheer's Conservatives seem prepared to argue that it would be better to go back to the way things were before Trudeau became prime minister. Trudeau's Liberals will argue it's better to keep moving along their preferred path.
In this troubled time when dark populist forces are poisoning much of the world, it's impossible to predict what will happen in October.
But Canadians need to understand that while Scheer may be the leader, the Cons are still the Harper Party.
And the only person who can defeat them is the same leader who sent their real leader packing four years ago...
And all decent Canadians better hope that he will succeed.
Or we could return to a nightmare world that we thought we had left behind...
We are now only three months and twenty days away from the next election.
And failure is not an option...