Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hey, Liberals! Your leader is young? Take that. Ours is even younger!

And so goes the decision by Conservative members on the last and 13th ranked ballot.

A risky decision if you ask me, but one that will require even more work by the party.

Remember that each riding is awarded 100 points no matter how many members that riding has (provided there is a minimum).  I was always in favour of this voting system over one member one vote (OMOV) as our own House of Commons works this way for the most part.  This worked to Bernier's advantage as Quebec ridings don't have a lot of members, so he was able to snag a lot of them, EXCEPT HIS OWN RIDING!  D'oh!

Anyway, I didn't even watch the results as I was busy that afternoon, probably like most Canadians who didn't care to watch or pay attention, as boring as this race was, save Kevin O'Leary's entrance and exit, just prior to the last ballot, that must have been like watching your favourite hockey team in double overtime, only to lose (see the irony with the Ottawa Senators and senators aren't elected? ha! no? ok.)

I began supporting Maxime Bernier around Christmas time and donated to his campaign--even met him in Edmonton when the debate was here.  I think few realized at that time that he would be the front-runner to catch.

(On a separate note, yesterday, Libertarian Party leader Tim Moen has offered to step down if Bernier will take up the leadership of that fledging party.  I highly doubt he does as he's currently a Conservative MP.)

Meanwhile, there was Andrew Scheer's campaign--full of support from existing and former MPs. This proved the winning strategy as it had those MPs hit the pavement to ensure they locked up the members of their riding.  Erin O'Toole had two more MPs and was on the ballot until the 2nd last one, and a lot of his supporters had Scheer over Bernier to put Scheer over 50%.

Here's how MP and Senator support played out.  Source here.

Mr. Scheer is leading the pack in receiving the caucus endorsements. He has the support of 24 MPs and eight Senators, followed by Conservative MP Erin O’Toole (Durham, Ont.) who has the support of 26 MPs and two Senators.
Conservative MP Maxime Bernier (Beauce, Que.) has the support of six MPs and six Senators; Conservative MP Lisa Raitt (Milton, Ont.) has the support of three MPs and two Senators; Conservative MP Kellie Leitch (Simcoe-Grey, Ont.) has the support of three MPs; Conservative MP Michael Chong (Wellington-Halton Hills, Ont.) has the support of two MPs and one Senator; businessman Kevin O’Leary has the support of two MPs and two Senators, and Conservative MP Steven Blaney (Bellechasse-Les Etchemins-Lévis, Que.) has the support of two Senators.
Former Conservative MP Andrew Saxton, businessman Rick Peterson, former Conservative MP Pierre Lemieux, Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai (Calgary Forest Lawn, Alta.), Conservative MP Brad Trost (Saskatoon-University, Sask.) and former Conservative MP Chris Alexander have no endorsements from any of the incumbent Conservative MPs or current Senators. 
So, there's no doubt that Scheer was seemingly handpicked by a group of MPs who looked among their caucus for young and charming person, and then convinced him to run.

"Hey Liberals!  You call that young and charming?  Well, here's what we've got!"

The problem is the media and Liberals are already out in full force plastering what Scheer has voted on and what he's said that appears to go against every liberal/progressive social conservative policy ever.  "Yeah, he might be younger than our guy, but his beliefs are not!  Ha!"

The young Millennial generation that voted big time for Trudeau will grow their voting block as they age.  Turning them into disaffected Liberal voters will prove difficult, especially how the Liberals have been successfully staging Trudeau "run ins" with grads and weddings--just as they did with his father in the late 60's with "fake Beatlesque fans" chasing him around.  Well, it works.

The Liberals have gaffed a lot, but voters have bad memories and many continue to opt for fuzzy feelings.  You'll usually hear "I don't like him/her" or "I like him".  "Like" not "support" is the operative word here.  How do these leaders make you FEEL?

So now the work for these MPs and Senators that went to bat for Scheer for the leadership will need to work even harder to spin him in a positive light on top of what he'll try and do for himself in the next two years--that is, to paint him as a warm fuzzy pragmatist above all else, damn his personal views.

As I've always predicted, if the Conservatives don't choose an even more socially progressive and more fiscally conservative person than Trudeau, they won't win.  For me, that guy was Max Bernier.  Even then, he would have had a mountain to climb to beat Trudeau, but only if Trudeau was falling down said mountain.  Conservative picked a more fiscal guy, but not socially progressive, and those issues beat out fiscal.

With that notion, Trudeau's Liberals will win in 2019 with an even larger government caucus.  The NDP will rebound with many of their usual soft-supporters disenfranchised with Trudeau going back on many of their key issues, and not seeing a risk of a Conservative gov't will feel comfortable voting NDP again.

Further, history shows no new one term majority government loses if they weren't a minority gov't before.

And so the Conservatives under Scheer will lose badly.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there were quiet saboteurs within to ensure this.  A leadership vote will ensue, and a new leader will be chosen quickly in 2020 to give them 3 years to become acquainted with the electorate as opposition leader.  That is, of course, unless that person is already familiar.

Enter Peter MacKay.