Sunday, November 24, 2019

Andrew Scheer and the Big Red Machine

Well at least now we know why Andrew Scheer has been keeping such a low profile, and looking so weird or so paranoid..

It seems he's been trying to recover from his humiliating election defeat, and figure out who to blame.

And now at last he claims he knows.

Don't blame him. 

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer has fired two top aides in his office as the party deals with the fallout of an election loss. Chief of staff Marc-André Leclerc and communications director Brock Harrison no longer work for Scheer, according to an email from the party leader sent on Saturday. 

Multiple Conservative sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, explained the two men were told of the decision on Thursday night. They said Scheer informed them personally that they were to be let go and not be allowed to resign.

Yes believe it or not, it wasn't Scheer's religious fanaticism, his misogyny, his homophobia, his climate change denial, Warren Kinsella, or all those lies he told that doomed his campaign.

Scheer is still blaming a "communication problem."

In a press conference two weeks after the results, Scheer blamed the loss on communications issues. "There were times where our message didn't resonate with Canadians, that's clear," he said.

Or as they say in Alberta and Alabama, and other backward places, a failure to communicate...

But sadly for the Ugly American, as Chantal Hébert reports, it seems that a lot of Cons aren't buying that pathetic excuse.

With every passing week, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer looks more like a politician trying to whistle past the graveyard of his leadership.

Since the election, there has not been a week that has not featured new cracks in the support Scheer needs to survive a vote of party confidence next April.

And they are lining up for a chance to stick a knife in his back, or hammer another nail into his coffin.

But while Scheer was clearly the wrong candidate running in the wrong century, as Susan Delacourt points out, there is something else the Cons should also be blaming for their humiliating defeat. 

Justin Trudeau's Big Red Machine. 

The federal Liberals are in power as 2019 comes to an end thanks to what may have been one of the most sophisticated, locally targeted election campaigns this country has ever seen.

“Justin Trudeau didn’t win the election. Justin Trudeau’s campaign organization won the election,” says Nik Nanos, one of Canada’s leading pollsters, who has been sifting through the results of the 2019 election and marvelling at how Liberals gathered up a national mandate with a precise focus on specific pockets of the country.

For it buried the Cons much vaunted Big Blue Machine.

The Liberals beat Hamish Marshall and his War Room minions with a more energetic ground game, and a more sophisticated digital advertising strategy.

One that was so good, they only lost a potential majority by fewer than 23,000 votes. 

And while I believe Nik Nanos underestimates Trudeau's contribution to the Liberal victory, for nobody worked harder to reach out to Canadians than he did. 

Nanos is right about this:

He (Nanos) also believes that Liberals’ growing mastery of micro-targeted campaigning will make them unafraid to plunge into another election if their new minority government collapses.

The Big Red Machine will help make the Liberal minority a stable one, that may last the full four years.

And when the election call finally comes, it should help Trudeau win another majority government.

Maybe even help keep him in power until at least 2027.

And bury the Cons once and for all.

The toxic Trudeau haters may scream or wail like banshees.

But Andrew Scheer is a dead man walking.

And unless he can be convinced to resign tomorrow, he's going to take them all down with him...


  1. I sure hope so. I'd love to see him get the majority back after a brief stint in the minors like dad did. Repeating history with two more (minus the 1979 six-month hiatus) would be a miraculous dream come true, but I'm modestly hoping for at least one more rebound, and then decide what he wants to do vis-a-vis Freeland. My advice to Liberals and other progressives to make this happen is to buy some Con memberships to either vote in favor of keeping weak Andy, or support the most incompetent buffoon they offer up as his replacement. In the U.S., registered independents will do this form of "strategic voting" to support the candidate in the primaries they think is most likely to lose to their preferred party's nominee in the general election. So how 'bout giving Duggie a boost? The big dope machine would give Justin successive majorities until Hadrien Jr. has grandchildren!

    1. Anonymous7:19 PM

      Are you crazy?! I'm not putting any money into Con coffers. Besides, how am I supposed to decide which is the biggest Con jackass? Manning, Harper, Scheer, Ford, Kenney... I don't understand how any of these beauties got elected.

      The next election, just like the last one, will turn on whether the Libs deliver what they promised. Last election was a warning. If Trudeau continues to ignore progressives, don't be surprised if they park their votes somewhere else and a Con gets in.

    2. Sigh, here we go again. Parliament hasn't even sat yet and already the purity voters are holding a nation hostage with pie-in-the-sky ransom demands and letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. 92% success rate in full or in part for the previous mandate isn't enough? Since when did compromise become a dirty word? Not looking forward to seeing 4 more years of Trump either because the Bernie bots won't suck it up and put country over party if Biden, or even Warren (who I am no fan of any more than Bernie), is the nominee. They gave us Bush because they couldn't bring themselves to vote Gore or Kerry. They gave us Trump because they couldn't bring themselves to vote Hillary, and a Tea Party insurgency in 2010 because they wanted to "send a message" to Obama. Their clones in Canada almost elected Scheer and apparently are throwing down the gauntlet for Ford, MacKay, Rempel, whoever, because they're pissed off at Trudeau over single-issue obsessions like PropRep and TMX. Or they're echoing "Crooked Hillary" rhetoric by calling Freeland a war criminal. "Bolivia Barbie" is not a good look for the Dipper rank and file or their Twitter trolls acting as useful idiots for the Cons. I'm really tempted to throw it back at them and call Nikki Ocasio-Ashton "Bolshevik Barbie." How nice, Canada has their own version of Tulsi Gabbard. But I digress.

      They're gonna have to raise the white flag on TMX and ER and move on to some other shiny object. Let's say pharmacare gets underway, but isn't 100% magically accomplished by the next election, or isn't fully universal because it requires provincial buy-in and Kenney won't budge. Trudeau can't override Kenney or challenge him to a wrestling match. But let's say he does Jedi mind tricks on Ford. So you get a pharmacare rollout -- key word rollout -- in all the provinces save for the rednecks in the prairies. Should that be counted as a total failure? If so why? Why should Trudeau take the L just because Kenney is intransigent and Singh is completely clueless about federal and provincial jurisdiction? Is this going to be Canada's version of the "progressive" tantrum about Obamacare because he opted for the Heritage platform as a stepping stone, and didn't do Medicare for All overnight?

      Even teachers give a grade of Incomplete. Incomplete is not an automatic F. Moreover, the student who puts in a good faith effort for a group project shouldn't have to wear the bad grade with his classmates who didn't do their homework. Trudeau should not be punished for Con stubbornness and NDP incompetence or delusion. Look at the bigger picture, for Christ sakes. I'm just tired of the realists having to bend the knee to the Red Rose Tea Party cult that doesn't get everything they want for Christmas and seeks to burn the village in order to save it. So many damn times, it's been "progressives" who keep sending us backwards with their political OCD. They'd rather get none of what they want than accept half or even 2/3 of it. Trudeau is a centrist. He is not Fidel Castro Jr. He grew up and put away childish things. For the love of all that is decent, why can't perpetually dissatisfied "progressives" do the same?

    3. Anonymous7:51 AM

      Oh just shut up you liberal troll. Trudeau promised everything to get re-elected just like the other parties did. You pathetic, arrogant fools spend the whole election fear mongering that if someone votes for another party as they are freely allowed to do they are wasting their votes and allowing someone else to win, then are prepared to blame everyone but yourselves when you lose. No one put the Liberals in a minority government situation but the Liberals themselves.

    4. Anonymous2:02 PM

      Anon 7:51, I agree, someone is stupid but sadly for you, it's not Jackie, it's in your mirror. If you had half a clue you'd know that a troll is someone who goes on a website, for example, a liberal friendly one and tries to stir up the shit. Oh, wait a minute, that's you! If you don't like it, don't look at it. Besides, shouldn't you be cleaning the house before mommy gets home from work?

    5. Hi Jackie....I like your idea of buying memberships, especially since if you say you're with some church group or the dairy lobby you don't have to pay. However, I don't think that will be necessary for all the reasons I mentioned above. The Liberals have the wind in their sails, while the Cons are stuck in the mud. And in my next post I'll mention one more reason why the Cons aren't going anywhere....

    6. Hi anon@7:19 PM...As I told Jackie I don't think we will need to buy any Con memberships. We just have to give the Cons enough rope and they will hang themselves. However, you should brighten up a bit. The Trudeau Liberals are the most progressive government In Canadian history, and although it pains me to say it, Jaggy and his failing NDP aren't going to replace the Liberals anytime soon...

    7. Hi anonycon@7:51AM....Now I'm worried that you are not just drinking heavily you're smoking crack as well. For how.else could you get the idea that the Liberals lost? Your Cons were the ones who lost, even though your loser leader kept saying he was going to win a majority. Look, I understand you are in great pain, it really must hurt. But you have nobody to blame but yourselves...

    8. Hi JD...Thank you for explaining the true meaning of the word "troll" to that poor bitter old Con. I should have done that long ago, but I have to delete most of his posts since they are too bigoted to publish. Only a Con would act like a troll, and then have the nerve to call others one. Bitter he may be, but smart he is not....

    9. Anonymous5:39 PM

      Obviously I hit a truthful nerve with the Trudeau fanboys on here. They cannot stand the fact that they are the same bullies they think everyone else is.

    10. Hi anonycon....You couldn't hit a truthful nerve with a howitzer at point blank range. The only reason I publish your pathetic comments is because I know that like so many Cons you are in a lot of pain, and I want to enjoy it as long as possible. As I said in my post, the next eight years are almost certainly going to be equally painful, so if you're planning to switch from booze to crack now would be the time to start....😀

    11. Anonymous DipperCon, you're just jealous that the increasingly irrelevant Near-Death Party has lost the union vote to a guy who actually gets shit done instead of whining about "the man" on Twitter. Jerry Dias is just one of many who knows a winner when he sees one, and it ain't your buddy Jagmeet. Grandstanding on TikTok didn't solve the CN strike, did it bruh? And speaking of TikTok, care to explain Jaggy's wholesale embrace of the shiny new propaganda app for the PRC?

  2. Anonymous8:04 PM

    I too had only heard of the Big Blue Machine so I find the idea of a Big Red Machine very encouraging. I'm not that surprised though because in my riding the Liberal volunteers were everywhere while the Conservatives were hardly to be seen with the exception of a few lawn signs. I kept reading that the Conservatives were raising more money than all the other parties combined, so where did all that money go?

    1. Hi anon....The article helped explain why I didn't see or hear any Liberal ads in my riding, nothing but Con ads. But since I live in the progressive heart of the country now I understand. They didn't want to waste any money pricing to the converged. And as for the Cons they spent a fortune, irritated the hell out of us, and still ended up losing badly....

  3. Anonymous8:57 PM

    Nanos makes a good point.

    My friend was freaking out about the number of Con Ads on cable TV during the waning days of the election vs the Liberals smaller (and ultimately more effective) microtargeting ads. I mentioned the Libs were doing things differently on the internet which calmed him down a little. Seemed to me the Cons went all in on newspapers and cable TV, but forgetting the younger voters (and some middle aged grumps like me) stay away from the older mass media.

    Analogous to the Cons going with a WW2 style saturation bombing campaign whereas the Liberals used GPS guided weaponry. Also forgetting that continued round the clock info ad bombing really irritates people especially if the message is indiscriminate, bland or in a lot of cases bullshit.

    Trudeau's team is most certainly a change from the Michael Ignatiff team of ineptitude. Iggy didn't seem to focus much on GOTV (I know because I did some door knocking for them that election) which showed his political inexperience plus the utter lack of excitement he created.

    1. Hi anon....I see that you and I had the same election experience. I have to admit I was a little alarmed by the barrage of Ugly Con ads that rained down on my riding. But your explanation is a brilliant one. The Cons wasted their money on saturation bombing, while the Liberals used GPS weaponry and blew the Cons out of the water....

  4. Anonymous9:30 PM

    Cons failed to get endorsement from the globe and mail and post media refrained from full front page identical ads across the board. After seeing brownface blow over, not realizing it was because brownface was a tribute and not mockery, they thought they could bluff their way through 'is it a sin to be gay' and 'should women be allowed to have abortions' with mealy mouthed 'i respect the law' as if that matters when you are running to lead the body that has the power to change those laws.

    1. Hi anon....Now that I know that most Canadians felt like I did about that nothingburger brownface "scandal" I wonder if the Cons made a crucial mistake trying to blow it up into something yuuuuuge. For when racists accuse people like Justin Trudeau of being a racist, when he most obviously isn't, they shouldn't be surprised when most Canadians are not impressed...

  5. Anonymous10:36 PM

    The communicator blames the communications team. Hmm. All they did was mix in the ingredients for the bullshit burgers that Scheer kept trying to feed Canadians. It's not the teams fault if Scheer couldn't fool enough people into voting for him. Scheer is quite simply a failure who couldn't sell his burgers and Con Kool Aid where it mattered most.
    What he should have done was fire himself and his mini me Hamish but it looks like we'll have to wait for the Cons to do it themselves next spring. In the meantime, Scheer will, no, has become a desperate spectacle of a man, unable to come to grips with being beaten by JT. Lashing out and whining at everything JT says or does. He will be a constant reminder of why the Cons lost the election and to the Cons, a reminder of why the fuck they didn't dump him when they had the chance this fall.

    1. Hi JD....I heard Nik Nanos say that Scheer's biggest problem is that he lives in a bubble. He is surrounded by social conservatives who do not reflect the views of most Canadians, and as a result he is hopelessly lost. I can't decide whether I want him to stay or go. He's such a horrible Ugly American I would love to see him humiliated, but if he stays on it's the Cons who will be humiliated. So it must be business before pleasure....

  6. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Harper started the Trudeau attack campaign rolling and Scheer along with Hamish the Rebel amplified it. But like any school yard bully scam the strategy had its downside. First the tactics have a way of suppressing but not eliminating counter opinions that only surface when people have the chance to vote in secret. Secondly with very little push back from the victim the bully can become overconfident in his ability and starts to believe that his opponent will simply collapse when the mighty one swaggers into the ring. No need to train, just drink some milk and practice a few thunderous "you corrupt pathetic scum" moves and it will be all over before it begins. It turned out to be a defective strategy so now its off to plan B. The divisive externally focused Rebel propaganda has to be maintained otherwise supporters might look inward so the only option is to fire the ego boosting coaches and replace them with people that will actually force him to train to look the part of an honest and somewhat inclusive leader. Its a tall order as they don't have much to work with but as long as the Reformacons are in to drivers seat its the only compromise possible.... unless they can find a ready made body double with a more polished exterior. Thankfully the Liberals are a moving target and will find ways of sucking the energy out of divisive strategies while the Cons double down on ways of fine tuning yesterdays plans.


    1. Hi RT....I think you summed up the Con debacle perfectly. They have always been bullies, but the fake scandals cooked up by our Con media sent them into overdrive, and they overdid it. They thought Trudeau would crumble to dust if they just kept attacking him, so they didn't bother to come up with a proper platform. And to make matters worse, they also forgot something Stephen Harper learned the hard way. The more you attack Justin like Harper did, the more you end up looking bad. And if they keep that up in the post election period as they seem to be doing, they'll only look worse.

  7. Anonymous4:13 PM

    I heard a rumour once from a media buyer (someone that buys ads with newspapers, TV, etc) friend of mine. He suggested that the Cons have a history of getting wild discounts from companies like Sun (aka National Post and hundreds of 'local' mouthpieces) and the major networks. This, in addition to op-eds, relentless attack pieces against Trudeau and more are key to folks in places like Alberta basically hating anything to do with the current government.

    We need to REALLY take a hard look at the subsidies that Trudeau is promising and maybe not give in to the fear being whipped up concerning the fate of 'local' media in Canada.

    If Paul Godfrey and his ilk collapse under the weight of their own promises to the likes of the Koch hydra and other conglomerates, maybe the 'Big Blue Machine' will fade completely.

    One can only hope ...

  8. The malaise within the Conservative Party goes much deeper than their leadership.

    They have the same problem that the Liberals had after 2006. They have not renewed their party. In defence of the Liberals they had to watch out for a snap election between 2006 and 2011 so it was hard to renew a party under those circumstances but many Liberals also believed that the Conservatives' time in government would be short, one term tops, and then the Liberals would be back on top again as it should be. So even if they could have renewed the party alot of Liberals did not believe it was necessary.

    2011 changed that of course and the one thing that Mr. Trudeau does not get enough credit for is his bottom-up transformation of the Liberal Party. He and his team are the ones that built that Big Red Machine and they were ruthless in doing so, tossing out the old guard with reckless abandon, which goes along way to explaining Warren Kinsella.

    The Conservatives had four years to go through a similar exercise but they did not. Now they have an embattled leader and the prospect of an election at the most inconvenient time for them hanging over their head, which will make party renewal next to impossible, regardless of who is leading the party after April.

    Then again, I am not certain they would be able to change even if they had a second opportunity. Let's remember that the Conservative Party is a young party with an old name. They won power just a couple of short years after their formation and they were in power for most of their existence. They have never had to evolve as a party in order to make themselves relevant to the electorate again. Further they are the progenitor of the old Reform Party, which never changed and never believed it had to change. (Except its name)

    It may take at least one, maybe two more drubbings at the polls before they go though such an exercise and it is still an open question of whether the party could survive such an exercise in its current form.

  9. The best part is the MSM is stealing Simons images to show the face of weak andy's profligate lifestyle slowly dying.

  10. Parliament hasn't sat yet and probably no one is paying attention right now, but a poorly redacted Nanos report released today has the Liberals at 36 and the Cons at 30. Let's hope it stays that way for the foreseeable future or the gap widens further.