The knives are out for Andrew Scheer. When you lose an election, the people who worked for or with you get snitty. And there's lots of snit coming Scheer's way these days. Robin Urback writes:
Moderate conservatives are publicly urging him to get it together. Social conservatives are publicly urging him to get lost. Conservative Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais recently quit his party’s caucus explicitly because of Mr. Scheer’s views. And now two former Harper advisers have teamed up with the creator of Ontario Proud and Canada Proud to start a non-profit, called Conservative Victory, with the goal of putting pressure on Mr. Scheer to resign ahead of the party’s scheduled leadership review in April. Some friends, eh?
Indeed, despite years in the spotlight and weeks on the campaign trail, Mr. Scheer has managed to communicate very little in terms of a comprehensive world view or personal approach to governance.
On social issues, he’s clumsy and vague. Social conservatives interpret this as him lacking the temerity to see to social change. Progressive conservatives detect a cowardice of a different kind, and many recognize that Mr. Scheer’s waffling is fatal with voters in areas of support the Conservatives desperately need.
During the election, Mr. Scheer’s fiscal policy promises were a mixed bag of lower taxes and tightened government expenses, combined with big spending promises and boutique tax credits. His foreign policy outlook was virtually non-existent (other than a vow to roll back foreign aid) and his guiding principles as a policy maker were, and remain, tough to decipher.
That ambiguity and incoherence has saddled Mr. Scheer with the image of an advocate of nothing – a muddled collection of kind-of conservative ideas, with no real direction or identity and all of the zest and gusto of a plate of boiled celery. And it’s very hard to get excited about, or defend, a plate of boiled celery.
Scheer's going to have a hard time staying in the driver's seat. In politics, losing is the kiss of death.
Image: The Hill Times