I’m afraid that my slight bastardization of Shakespear’s line (Macbeth Act 1, scene 4, 7–8) will be overused in the next few days to describe Andrew Scheer’s decision to resign as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
He did so, we are told, at a special caucus meeting, and then in a graceful speech in the House of Commons.
It is a pity that a whiff of scandal attaches to his resignation ~ “His resignation comes as a direct result of new revelations that he was using Conservative Party money to pay for his children’s private schooling, according to Conservative sources who spoke with Global News.” The Party seems to have confirmed that it did pay part of his school fees but says that it was all above board. It’s not clear, to me, that is the kind of thing that would go over well with many Conservative Pary members.
It also appears that John Baird told the Party that Mr Scheer could not win the next election against Justin Trudeau.
Robert Fife, of the Globe and Mail (link above) suggests that Rona Ambrose, Peter MacKay, James Moore, Caroline Mulroney, Erin O’Toole …
… and “a number of others” might be willing to run now that it is clear that Justin Trudeau can be beaten by the “right” Conservative leader.
But, the simple fact is that Andrew Scheer could not beat the guy who violated ethical standards over and over again, fired strong, principled women who dared to disagree with him and wore blackface when he was a teacher. That’s why he needed to go … there is likely to be another election in 2021 and the next leader must do one thing: (s)he must turn the suburbs around Toronto from Liberal red to Tory blue. It can be done. Stephen Harper did it in 2011. Most observers agree that the Greater Toronto Area is “volatile” and “unpredictable,” that, in most ridings “It’s basically two parties fighting over the same set of voters who have the same concerns, but the parties have quite distinct approaches to addressing those concerns,” and “You can’t become prime minister if you don’t do well in the Greater Toronto Area.”
The Conservative Party owes a lot to Mr Scheer; he did a good job … but not good enough. Canada needs better leadership; the Liberals remain locked in the Trudeau–progressive mode so it is up to the Conservative party to offer Canadians the necessary better choice.
That better choice is someone who can hold on to the 121 seats that Andrew Scheer won, and add 50+ more ~ 35± of which are in the suburbs around Toronto. As we saw in 2011 there are probably less than 50 absolutely “safe” Liberal seats in Canada, and only 25 “safe” NDP seats, too. The CPC probably has the most “safe” seats ~ possibly 60+. The other 200 seats are always changeable; 150 of them can change to the CPC; the idea of Diefenbaker or Mulroney type of Conservative landslide is not out of the question if the party can carry seats all across Canada but, especially, in the suburbs around Canada’s larger cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Windsor, London, Hamilton, Ottawa, Québec City, Halifax and, above all the others, Toronto. That leader can connect with those voters who are fiscally and socially moderate and who value principles, integrity and good, old fashioned, “main street” common sense.