So it's Andrew Scheer. The Conservatives dodged a bullet when they narrowly rejected Maxime Bernier's full blown libertarianism. They now claim that they have chosen Stephen Harper with a smile. Throughout the campaign, they kept saying that the problem wasn't their policies, it was their failure to sell them.
Scheer's acceptance speech was full of standard Conservative boilerplate. So the party is still not where the majority of Canadians are. But Scheer has another problem. Susan Delacourt writes:
If Scheer thought keeping order in the Commons was no walk in the park during his term as Speaker from 2011 to 2015, he’s soon going to learn it’s a lot harder to break up brawls in your own caucus — disputes that have proved to be hugely divisive in Canadian politics in the past.
When Scheer finally took the stage on Saturday night (in front of more than a few Conservatives with mouths agape over this latest reversal of polling fortunes), he offered the usual call for party unity. “We will win when we are united,” he said, praising Stephen Harper, the leader he’s replacing.
Harper kept the party together by ruling with an iron fist -- and by dishing out the perks of power:
Can Scheer hammer those pieces together after this weekend — with only the perks of Official Opposition to hand out, along with the promise of cabinet spots in the distant future? We’re going to see an interesting display of political management dynamics over the next year or two.
They've always been a fractious bunch. That's why they rejected Michael Chong. I suspect they will come to regret not choosing the candidate who best understands this country. They may eventually come to the conclusion that their choice this weekend was Scheer Stupidity.
Image: Edmonton Sun