June 14, 2024
Scheer benefits as Trudeau takes tumble from sunny heights
Politics is very much a leadership see-saw. If your opponent is up, you are down. In a way, Scheer and Trudeau are each other’s best hope.
Politics is very much a leadership see-saw. If your opponent is up, you are down. In a way, Scheer and Trudeau are each other’s best hope.

The dynamics of the federal election to come had their start in the tumults over SNC-Lavalin and the eventual resignations of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Joan Philpott. As many have noted, this hit Justin Trudeau in several of the places where the prime minister claims to live. It more than dented his male feminism brand when two women, who were acknowledged to be leaders in his caucus, found it morally necessary to leave his cabinet. What’s a male feminist to say when his strongest women no longer want to stay in the same room with him?

There has been much more since then — merely to mention China, and the report on the MMIWG inquiry with its conclusion of “genocide,” and you have a grasp of the problems attending Trudeau’s government and his leadership in particular. It is now quite commonplace, when travelling anywhere in this country, for people to ask: “Is Mr. Trudeau going to lose the next election?” I know this is merely anecdotal, but it is equally anecdotal that people were not asking that question nearly as frequently last year.

He is severely damaged. He has lost his King Sherpa, Gerald Butts, and he gives the air in public of someone drifting and not quite being able to find his balance. If I may turn to a little meteorological fancy, he enjoyed B.C. weather for a goodly portion of his term, but now as he heads for the next vote, he’s definitely in Newfoundland.

All of which, by the familiar equation of electoral politics, is good news for Andrew Scheer. Politics is very much a leadership see-saw. If your opponent is up, you are down. Since Scheer won the Conservative leadership he has not thrilled. His has very much been a work-a-day performance. He is not particularly strong in the Commons, though through this latter period of Mr. Trudeau’s torments, he has improved. Of charisma the best that may be said is that he knows the meaning of the term, but its golden sheen has not visited him.

Speaking candidly, it must be said he does not excite any strong enthusiasms among even partisan Conservatives.

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