Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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Scheer wins Tory leadership in a nailbiter

Here’s a quick note I bashed off for Facebook on the dramatic Conservative Party of Canada leadership win by Andrew Scheer — and his less-than-dramatic acceptance speech.

Count me surprised that Andrew Scheer captured the Conservative crown by a narrow margin (51-49 over presumptive favourite Maxime Bernier), but also colour me unimpressed with the guy based on his acceptance speech.

He’s cut from the same cloth as Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall on a carbon tax — if Scheer’s party forms government in 2019, he will rescind the Liberals’ carbon pricing plan. In the meantime, he will support provinces fighting the Liberal policy (Saskatchewan is the only one so far).

But in terms of what he will do to fight climate change, we didn’t hear bupkus.

Typical Tory.

Didn’t hear much about crime-fighting, a particular obsession of the Harper-era Tories, but did hear nostrums such as “ending policies that punish hard work and success.”

Ooh, do you mean tax reductions? Tell me more!!

He didn’t find many themes to truly ignite the crowd. One that got a minor roar was his promise to cut funding to universities that don’t uphold “free speech.”

Saskatchewan super-pundit Murray Mandryk told me over Twitter that Scheer is a nice guy who is a very professional politician.

The question to be answered in the coming days is this: Is he a leader? He’s served a four-year term as speaker of the House of Commons, but that’s not the same as being a party boss.

His problem will be keeping a lid on emboldened social conservative Tories, who saw their standard-bearer Brad Trost (another Sask. MP) do surprisingly well.

Canada’s a fairly centrist country. My feeling is we don’t want the culture wars to flare up.

If they do and ordinary people flock to the Libs in 2019 as a result, I suspect we will see a very short leadership career for Mr. Scheer.

Sat, May 27 2017 » Main Page, politics