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View Full Version : John Ivison: Scheer does good job with new leadership team — but where is Bernier?



soulchaser
07-20-2017, 11:15 PM
http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/john-ivison-scheer-does-good-job-with-new-leadership-team-but-where-is-bernier/wcm/a807dd94-46aa-41a4-a44a-a9326b94fdfa

John Ivison: Scheer does good job with new leadership team — but where is Bernier?

Scheer needs people and policies that offer a positive alternative, particularly where the Tories are weakest – with young people and Quebecers. Bernier appeals to both

Andrew Scheer revealed the new Conservative leadership team Thursday – the first test of his ability as leader to form alliances with people who previously opposed him.

He made an astute move in appointing former leadership candidate, Lisa Raitt, as deputy leader.

But Max Bernier, who was the first choice as leader of nearly one third of the party, was absent from the top team.

Scheer said he is not yet ready to name his shadow cabinet, including the finance critic position that Bernier is said to have asked for.

Raitt is an emphatic personality and there is a danger the unassuming new leader might be eclipsed on occasion.

But it speaks well to his confidence in his own abilities that he is willing to share the spotlight. He campaigned as an unapologetic Conservative who could unite all the confederation of interests in the party – Raitt’s appointment is a sign he intends to live up to that pledge.

She offers him a strong presence in the Greater Toronto Area and profile in her native Nova Scotia, where the Tories were shut out last time.

She will also re-assure women voters that the new-look Conservative Party has not been hijacked by a group of heavily-armed, pro-life, white men.

Deputy leader is a figure-head role – unlike that of vice-president, it doesn’t mean Raitt becomes leader if Scheer is hit by lightning.

But it does send out the message that Scheer is intent on building a coalition that voters could imagine in government.

The other members of the new team included Alain Rayes as Quebec lieutenant; Mark Strahl as opposition whip and Chris Warkentin as deputy House leader. All three MPs supported Scheer in the leadership race.

Candice Bergen was re-appointed House leader, in recognition of the fine job she did skewering the Liberals in Parliament last spring.

But it is Bernier’s omission that has raised most eyebrows.

It is closer to the truth to say that the Quebecer was rejected over concerns about his judgement, than it is to say Scheer was elected with great enthusiasm by the membership.

Bernier has since made it clear he was upset about what he considered irregularities in the leadership voting process.

There was also discontent in the ranks when Scheer whipped the opposition caucus to voter in favour of the Paris climate change accord.

As such it would be magnanimous in the extreme for Scheer to offer Bernier the finance critic position he covets.

The new leader has a broader responsibility than just to massage the egos of former rivals – he has to choose the most able people for the good of the party. Would Bernier be more effective in the finance critic role than, say, Gérard Deltell, the impressive Quebec MP who was doing the job before the summer break? Arguably not.

Scheer will face a similar dilemma trying to find spots for Erin O’Toole and Brad Trost, who came in third and fourth respectively. And then there’s the 20 or so other MPs who backed the new leader and will expect some kind of reward.

No doubt, Scheer already empathizes with the sentiments expressed by Louis XIV, the Sun King, who said that every time he filled a vacant office, he made 10 malcontents and one ingrate.

Fortunately for the new leader loyalty is likely to be imposed on the caucus when the fear MPs have of losing their own jobs grows greater than their hopes of stealing someone else’s sinecure.

A new poll by Abacus Data suggests the prospect of the Conservatives losing seats is very real – with the Liberals recording even more support than they did at the last election.

Despite the Omar Khadr controversy, Liberal support has been bolstered across the country by optimism about economic growth.

Abacus said 43 per cent of Canadians would vote Liberal if an election were held tomorrow, 12 points ahead of the Conservatives on 31 per cent and 27 points ahead of the NDP on 16 per cent.

Regionally, the Liberals hold a strong advantage in Ontario and B.C., while in Quebec, they are almost 40 points ahead of the NDP, Conservatives and Bloc Québécois.

The Liberals, it appears, have been saved from themselves by an economy that is picking up steam – 68 per cent believe it is growing, the strongest performance since the last election.

Far from there being signs of a rise in fatigue or frustration with the Liberals, Abacus suggested the government’s political prospects have strengthened, particularly with younger voters, as both the Conservatives and NDP have failed to make any progress in Quebec.

The Liberal coalition of young, urban and suburban voters remains intact.

Scheer is going to have to fashion a mix of people and policies that offers a positive alternative, particularly where the Conservatives are weakest – with young people and with Quebecers.

Bernier has some appeal with both groups but profiting from it may prove to be an uneasy affair for both men.

We will soon see if Scheer has the self-confidence, sensitivity and political skills he will need to forge a credible team that includes his chief rival.

soulchaser
07-20-2017, 11:21 PM
A new poll by Abacus Data suggests the prospect of the Conservatives losing seats is very real – with the Liberals recording even more support than they did at the last election.

Despite the Omar Khadr controversy, Liberal support has been bolstered across the country by optimism about economic growth.

Abacus said 43 per cent of Canadians would vote Liberal if an election were held tomorrow, 12 points ahead of the Conservatives on 31 per cent and 27 points ahead of the NDP on 16 per cent.


Abacus Data has Bruce Anderson as it's chairman, chief pollster and analyst.

Bruce Anderson's daughter is Kate Purchase.

Kate Purchase works in Justin Trudeau's PMO as his Director of Communications.

Anything Anderson says should be thrown out the window. He has a massive conflict of interest and should recuse himself from any and all involvement in federal polling as long as his daughter works for Trudeau.

Doug_M
07-21-2017, 05:40 AM
Isn't Bernier in Alberta right now?

SeirX
07-21-2017, 06:10 AM
"Despite the Omar Khadr controversy, Liberal support has been bolstered across the country by optimism about economic growth."

Uhhhh...what? As much as I generally avoid the news, even my lost-in-the-backwoods ears hear the grumblings of people - including those who bleed "red" about the mis-steps of their Beloved Leader. .....someone..anyone...show me this 'economic growth' - please. .....is this the same `economic growth` touted such as when Toronto 'gained' 10,000 part-time jobs? [but also lost 12,000 full-time jobs]??

[edit]

Also loving how having a woman as deputy shows the conservative party " has not been hijacked by a group of heavily-armed, pro-life, white men."
I'd like to see any political party that accurately represents that idiotic descriptor.

I wonder if the writer would be so quick to espouse the ideals and demands on Justin's cabinet and performance - that the people be qualified and able to do the job - as they do for Scheer

glockfan
07-21-2017, 07:23 AM
Scheer needs people and policies that offer a positive alternative, particularly where the Tories are weakest – with young people and Quebecers. Bernier appeals to both

is this a surprise?

i'm a die hard CPC supporter and will support them whatever happens. as much as i like scheer's lack of presence
(!!!) , i really, really think scheer and bernier are both at the wrong place right now ,and there's always a possible fix for such mistake.

i can't wrap my mind about loosing the next election because we decided on the wrong horse when we had the right one on hand ready for the race.

hawk-i
07-21-2017, 08:19 AM
It's Scheer not sheer.