TORONTO - There are so many “after the fact experts” in the political arena that it is impossible not to end up on a cross – no blasphemy or disrespect intended – no matter what one does. Or, as the pre-eminent authority on statecraft, Cardinal Richelieu, is reported to have said: have a man put but two words to paper and I will have sucient cause to hang him. The Ottawa Press Corps and punditry would be only to willing to serve as the Hangman.
Okay; Now then, Andrew Scheer, now former Leader of the Official Opposition has resigned from office so that he can spend more time with his family (the traditional, outdated, unalphabetized one - no disrespect intended, but it is his apparent preference for that type that got him into trouble politically). Where does that lease the rest of us? More specifically – because I’m not a member of that party, just to be clear - where does it leave the Conservative Party?
If you are hearing some cheering in the background, you are close to the aspirants scheming for Scheer’s throne, therefore, already familiar with the talking-point candidates who have been lining up since the October 21 electoral results. In that case, you have no need to generate a rationale or body of thought to justify his ouster, sorry, I meant “voluntary exit”.
Everyone seems to already have moved on to who is Mr./Ms. Next. It’s theatre, not policy, not vision. Like theatre, it’s not real and, as in bad theatre or lousy movies, the audience can rise and lose nothing. There are always actors to give a di®erent zing or momentary distraction.
Speaking of distractions, there are already at least six dragon-slayers whose teams have been chomping at the bit to replace Scheer. If you think they’ll be nice to each other, you believe in fairy tales. Without having announced, they are (in alphabetic order): Rona Ambrose, Doug Ford, Jason Kenney, Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole, Lisa Raitt. There will be others – ambition is like Divine Providence unperturbed by limits.
Some caution might be advised, nonetheless, just in case some unexpected people become attracted to the allure of leading the experts in knife-fights. What happens if a groundswell of support for Scheer unexpectedly develops? He might just be able to get more than 50% of the Party memberships in a leadership convention, even if in a Party review he might not get the 80% required to survive as leader today.
Secondly, an outsider to the Establishment may appear and disrupt all other plans. My money is on Candice Bergen, former Cabinet Minister and current MP from Morden, Manitoba. She’s experienced, humble, smart, baggagefree, presents well and is nobody’s fool. On second thought, why would she do it?