Conservatives continue to make gains, Liberals still lead
A new Mainstreet poll places the Liberal Party with less than a two point lead over the Conservatives, a massive drop when compared to the “sunny-ways” highs the PM enjoyed earlier in his career.
The findings are from a conglomeration of ten provincial polls.
Andrew Scheer used money from the Conservative Party to pay costs of private schooling for his children, according to sources in contact with Global News. Some are suggesting this story might have ultimately let to Scheer’s resignation.
Scheer has since stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, but he will not fully resign until the party has a replacement to fill the position.
According to some senior Conservative members, Scheer’s use of the Conservative Party of Canada funds was improper.
While in the House of Commons, Scheer said, “I just informed my colleagues in the Conservative caucus that I will be resigning as the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and I will be asking the Conservative Party national council to immediately begin the process of organizing a leadership contest.”
“In order to chart the course ahead in the direction this party is heading, the party needs someone who can give 100 percent.”
Dustin van Vugt, the Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada wrote a statement saying, “All proper procedures were followed and signed off on by the appropriate people.”
Van Vugt talked about the party covering some of Scheer’s costs in the statement saying, “As is the normal practice for political parties, the Party offered to reimburse some of the costs associated with being a national leader and re-locating the family to Ottawa.”
Prime Minister Trudeau also commented on the situation tweeting, “Andrew, I wish you all the best in your next steps — in the house and beyond. On behalf of Canadians, Thanks for your service and commitment to building a better future.”
According to the Elections Canada Act, there are not specific rules in place for these circumstances.
Some are confused about the situation seeing that Scheer’s average salary has been approximately $170,000 to $180,000 for the past 15 years.
Michael Spratt, an Ottawa lawyer said, “It may be off-brand for the Conservatives, but I don’t think any reasonable person would say that it’s a criminal offence to spend a salary top-up on personal items.”
Doug Ford also commented on Scheer’s resignation saying, “I wish Andrew Scheer all the best as he undertakes this new chapter in his life, and thank him for his service as the head of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and leader of the Conservative Party.”
Jamie Ellerton–longtime Conservative political strategist and public relations strategist at Conaptus Ltd.–said, “I know that he in more recent weeks had finally started reaching out to caucus candidates, close friends, longtime [party members] and I think he finally realized how tenuous his grasp on the leadership was, and it’s my understanding the family indeed came to the decision to do it this way.”
“But the idea that grassroots Conservative Party donations–$25 and $50 [donations]–is paying for his kids … to go to private school is just beyond the pale.”
The leader of the Conservative party of Canada has resigned after a disappointing election loss where he took the popular vote but lost the path to victory, allowing another Trudeau government.
Andrew Scheer will be resigning from the Conservative leadership role after intense internal party division largely made his position impossible, according to sources that have spoken to the Globe and Mail.
According to Global News, the resignation also came after it was revealed that party funds were used to send Andrew Scheer’s children to private school.
While the allegations were explosive, the director of the Conservative party has responded stating, “all proper procedures were followed and signed off on by the appropriate people.”
Mr. Scheer announced the decision at a special caucus meeting on Thursday morning.
The decision comes as former Conservative cabinet minister John Baird prepares his autopsy of the election which many expect to be critical.
According to Sun Journalist Brian Lilley, the decision will become public once a new leader is selected by the party.
With Scheer out, many have begun to wonder who will be the interim leader and who will run in the following leadership race.
With interim leaders normally staying out of leadership races, multiple high ranking officials will have to weigh their options and decide if they would rather keep the party united, or choose to run as Andrew’s potential replacement. Some pundits believe Conservative insiders such as Erin O’Toole or Peter Mackay could be gunning for that position, due to their brand power and instances which have occurred since the election of Trudeau.
For example, Peter Mackay has harshly criticized the party’s campaign, comparing it to missing on an open net, while O’Toole has voiced his disappointment with results in Ontario, especially with the loss of key figures such as Lisa Raitt.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
Conservative MP (Durham, Ontario) and Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs Erin O’Toole released a video calling out the Trudeau government for failing to save the two Canadian hostages detained by the Chinese government a year ago in retaliation for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou being arrested on charges from US authorities of fraud, as well as allegations of violating sanctions placed on Iran. The video was released on the one-year anniversary of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor being arrested by the Chinese government.
“This week marks one year since Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were imprisoned by the Chinese state in an act of retaliation for the lawful arrest of a Chinese citizen in Canada,” says O’Toole at the beginning of the video, released Sunday on social media.
“Twelve months the Chinese citizen has been staying in a $13 million Vancouver mansion and she wrote about taking up oil painting. Our citizens are in cells with the lights on for 24 hours. They have half an hour of consular access each month. They are cut off. They probably feel abandoned. Twelve months, two ministers, two ambassadors, zero progress,” O’Toole continues.
Although sources within the Conservative Party of Canada have been saying O’Toole is looking to usurp leader Andrew Scheer’s position, for now it appears he’s put aside his leadership ambitions.
“Conservatives, led by Andrew Scheer, are going to be bringing this debate to Parliament. We need a plan from Justin Trudeau. From his earliest days he’s been naive when it comes to China.”
(Scheer faces a leadership confidence vote from CPC members in April.)
Some political commentators on social media noted that O’Toole came across as more confident and charismatic in the video than Scheer has as leader.
According to a Nanos poll from four months ago, only 10 percent of Canadians have a positive view of China.
Although most political experts in the West believe the two Michaels were arrested for spurious charges, Chinese authorities claim they both threatened China’s national security.
The political party one chooses is not a matter of being right or wrong. I see it more as a matter of the values you hold, and it isn’t as simple as saying that one value is right or wrong.
John Stuart Mill said in his essay “On Liberty” that many pairs of values are in tension without one “right” or “wrong” value. He gives the examples of individualism and collectivism, liberty and restraint, etc. Most people cannot hold both values in equal measure and give them their due, and nor can a political party. We need political parties of opposing values to represent things like the free market as opposed to the value of government intervention, or personal responsibility versus assisting the marginalized, among many others.
Your ideology and political party is not about holding the right values, but rather about the perspective from which you search for the truth. The Liberal Party of Canada will never see the value of the free market as clearly as a true conservative, and the Conservative Party will likely have a blindspot for areas where government intervention is justified and beneficial.
Therefore, Canada needs a strong Conservative Party. We need it to make the case for the free market, individual responsibility, and to question movements of “social progress” before we test the depth of the water with both feet. Conservatism plays a role of restraint, of sober second thought, and of understanding the benefit that a free market can bring.
Under Andrew Scheer, the Conservative Party isn’t playing its role. In politics, there’s a time to lead and a time to listen. Scheer has almost exclusively been listening. He hasn’t been a leader who confidently pitches a conservative vision and conservative solutions to Canada. Instead he’s relied on polling data to see which policies would be readily accepted by enough people to give him a slim advantage in the polls.
There’s a big problem with the Conservative Party leader not leading: Canada generally isn’t a conservative country. We tend to trust our government not to abuse power. We tend to think that government intervention can accomplish a lot of good. Without an articulate Conservative Party leader, we will not naturally produce conservative solutions and roll back graft and government getting too big.
The lack of a Conservative voice under Scheer harms us when we’re trying to solve the big issues of our time, because a conservative perspective is valuable to solving the big issues even if you’re a non-conservative.
Let’s take climate change as an example. How much value are we losing in the fight against climate change by not having Conservatives at the table? Every prominent voice speaks only of government solutions. We need people who understand the benefit government can bring to a huge issue like this.
But think of the possibilities of adding free market solutions to government intervention. Think of the benefit of having a strong voice for nuclear power, revenue neutrality in the carbon tax, and private sector innovation for climate change. It’s not an either-or issue solution when it comes to climate change.
But under Scheer’s leadership, these solutions either aren’t talked about, or they’re given lip service.
Think of the possibilities of addressing poverty with a Conservative voice at the table. Trudeau has contributed to poverty reduction with the Canada Child Benefit, which provides a monthly lump sum to parents (though I note that this initiative does not only target people in poverty).
What is the conservative value-added to the debate on poverty reduction? I would suggest that it’s the understanding of incentives and personal responsibility. A perfect example is the centre-right BC Liberal Party, which introduced the Single Parent Initiative in 2015. The Initiative provided single parents a way out of poverty by paying for the parent’s tuition payments for training and childcare for their dependants, all while keeping their social assistance cheque. It wasn’t just a handout. It was a fundamentally conservative policy.
Scheer never made any bold proposals like this. For affordability, Scheer did a mix of targeted tax credits providing minimal relief along with simple handouts that could have just as easily been proposed by the Liberal Party, like making EI parental leave benefits tax-free. Stephen Harper provided more leadership by proposing that parents getting EI parental leave could earn self-employment income without having their benefits clawed back. Recognizing the incentives that could get someone back to work is a conservative skill.
We can also consider the value of Conservatives on social issues. People with dangerous amounts of self-certainty are quick to sneer that you shouldn’t be on the wrong side of history, but there have been times when the forces of “social progress” ended up being complete nonsense. Forced sterilization of certain groups of people in order to improve the human race comes to mind.
The problem is, we can’t really know which progressive movements are the “right side of history” without hindsight. Conservatives can provide second thought and value for how things have traditionally been done. We don’t thoughtlessly dismiss the past.
We need that restraint in the topics of social progress today. Laws like Bill C-16 have restricted people’s freedom to speak out on the topic of gender identity. The law passed with nary a peep from the formal Conservative Party. Conservatives, fresh off of realizing that they had the wrong side of the legal marriage debate, seem reticent to weigh in on this social issue and defend the civil liberties of people who question gender identity ideology, even when most common sense people would want them to do this.
Now, people who are far from conservative, like feminist Meghan Murphy, are seemingly alone in their fight against gender identity ideology and standing up for civil rights.
Imagine the assistance that an articulate Conservative leader could bring to this debate that’s happening outside of our formal political scene. We don’t know, because Andrew Scheer never talks about this issue in public. It’s too divisive for him.
Without Conservatives at the table, our society is going all-in on one side of the ideological spectrum. We’re abandoning one side of the ideological tug of war that’s healthy for a society, and that could result in our country going over the edge of a cliff. We’re losing solutions that matter to the issues you care about.
It’s not just that the Conservative Party that deserves better. Canada deserves better. Canada deserves strong Conservatives.