Monday, January 08, 2018

Getting Mugged By The Future

When the Conservatives went shopping for a new leader, they chose the wrong guy. Alan Freeman writes:

With each passing day, it’s becoming clearer that Canada’s Official Opposition is led by a man who might have what it takes to rock a high school model Parliament, but little else. In federal politics, Scheer is a catastrophe — a gift to Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada and the most hapless and inept major party leader since Stéphane Dion vanished from the scene.
I’m sure Scheer is a nice fellow and a great dad — but he’s living in the wrong country. His socially conservative beliefs might work for him if he were running for governor of Indiana, or to replace Ted Cruz as the Tea Party flag-bearer, but he’s never going to be elected prime minister of Canada in the second decade of the 21st century.

Stephen Harper understood the rabid right wing of his party. He had a tacit agreement with them. If they kept their mouths shut, he would incorporate some of their ideas into policy:

The old Stephen Harper tactic [was to keep] the rabid right-wingers inside the tent while trying to conceal from voters the extent of their influence in the party. But Harper was an opportunist — a smart, driven, Machiavellian leader who instilled fear in both his supporters and opponents. Scheer is a weak man; his opportunism smacks not of calculation, but of desperation.

Consider how long it took Scheer to deal with Senator Lynn Beyak:

Scheer waited far too long to deal with Beyak. He has yet to demonstrate that he has the temperament and nerve to keep the politically-incorrect, angry base of the Conservatives in check, as Harper did. Scheer’s confrontation with Beyak made him look weak — and he’ll look weaker still every time the scenario repeats itself. And it will.

Modern conservatives continue to live in the past. And they keep getting mugged by the future.

Image: Huffington Post


Steve said...

Canadians have seen what happens when the country is run by the high school debating team. Americans saw the same thing, quell le diffeance.

the salamander said...

.. don't know who Freeman is.. but read his article with great interest. As a non partisan Canadian I keep an eagle eye for environmental advocates in government.. or at least in Parliament, or at least in 'politics' or in mainstream media. This is simply me repeating mistakes. The tug of war for many older Canadians who lived and loved through the halycon years.. can be wrenching. I saw the Dief, the earnest Stanfield, Nixon, Trudeaumania, brown bags o cash Lying Brian, The Bush years, the 'arrival' of Toronto boy Stephen Harper, Obama, the arrival of El Trumpo Bankrupto.. I saw & read of Thomas Mulcair's spirited BBQ'ing of Harper & have read Fire & Fury.. hell I saw & read mucho.. even got some by osmosis. Thus Scheer gets pinatad and so I add that to my little recognition & memory bank.

I recognize steaming horse balls & political posturing.. just as I understand Potemkin Villages.. or Kent State.. or Palestine.. or Shakespeare, or Monty Python.. or who Lester B Pearson was. So Freeman gets the nod, buttressing my personal view or opinion.. that Andrew Scheer is a caretaker 'leader' lacking 'the right stuff' (though the right stuff is in short supply these days) I see Scheer as still the useful idiot for the Harper Rump ReformaTories.. while Jason Kenney who was unelectable.. has migrated to Alberta. The 'leadership' campaign of these weird political animals was some sort of 2 year political play or delay.. If there was a purpose, it got very stale, very quickly, then farcical

But that's the current state of Canadian politics eh ? I see at the provincial level the farce of Patrick Brown - 'conservative leader' .. and the similar strategy of Mr Singh - federal NDP.. ie outsell the competition for new political party members.. and hey presto, you're 'a leader'.. hell, real estate awards may be harder earned.. or CEO bonuses at Post Media.. who can say? Meanwhile, Trudeau trundles on.. Trump does too.. Welcome to North American 'politics' eh.. its to laugh. Public servants ? Haha.. haha..

Owen Gray said...

It will take more than a leader who can smile to put the Conservatives back in contention, Steve.

Owen Gray said...

Freeman is a journalist who's worked inside government, salamander. He knows how sausage gets made.

The Mound of Sound said...

I wish I could muster the old enthusiasm for all things parliamentary in Canada but I no longer have the energy for what is a pointless exercise. As I wrote on Lorne's blog the other day, the qualities we need in political leadership are no longer on offer from any party. The great and worsening challenges of the day that may prove so devastating to our children and grandchildren receive, at best, lip service but no meaningful response.

Like most of us I had great hopes that JT would restore to parliament the vision that Harper so eschewed. He certainly held out promises of vision while he was seducing Canadians to vote for him only to renege on what our country and people so need once Trudeau's own needs were met.

That is the reason I joined the Dark Mountain movement because I was tired of the lies that society tells itself in order to stumble from day to day. It's only when freed of those shackles that it becomes really possible to progress from dissent to protest and, eventually, defiance.

Do I care about Andrew Scheer? Not a whit. If anything it would suit me that the Tories be led by someone utterly hapless than another operator such as Harper.

Owen Gray said...

Sheer, like most conservatives, is stuck in the 19th century, Mound. Despite his rhetoric, Justin can't get out of the 20th century. By the time we get a 21st century leader, it may be too late.

Steve said...

Game of Thrones worthy history.

Steve said...

I am here Owen, ready to launch the Lee Quan Yew Canada party. Yes we keep canning. Look you just keyed that car we have it on video. So its the cane or the Justice system take your choice.

Every Canadian is allowed to own 1000 sq feet for $100,000.

Oil is always going to be around, lets build a lazer refinery to melt and refine tar sands in one stroke and the byproduct we will sell to Miami to replace all that dissapperaring sand.

A superconducting train from coast to coast that also moves electricity with no loss. Labradour meet BC and all points inbetween.

Thats it, you do those three things and everthing else will take care of itself.

Owen Gray said...

I'm afraid that it's going to take more than three initiative to set things right, Steve.

Steve said...

Well we can star making sense at least. Cultural appropriation is nonsense. I stole your culture from you, give me a break. What happened to free expression. Copy is the highest form of flattery. Take that to the bank of self esteem. We make a canoe because its a beautiful design centuries old who do we pay? Same for makeup. I think I have made a very progressive and beautiful case that cultural appropriation is nonsense.

Owen Gray said...

As an English Canadaian, you'd have a hard time convincing French Canadians of that proposition, Steve.

Steve said...

Yeah the cour du bois invented free trade.

Owen Gray said...

It's a little more complicated than that, Steve. Incidently, it's courrier du bois.