Younger, More Progressive-Minded Canadians – Especially – Know this Party doesn’t care about Climate Change and Many other Issues of Concern to Them
A News Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted December 12th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
If you are a regular follower of the news, you probably already know that Andrew Scheer made the announcement this December 12th to resign his leadership of Canada’s Conservative Party to spend more time with his family.
That’s right. We can now count Andrew Scheer among the latest to fight tooth and nail to keep his leadership right up to the moment he threw himself on an ever growing pile of political carcasses to spend more time with his family.
Isn’t it way past time these people came up with something better than saying they want to spend more time with their family? How about something like; “I’ve decided to resign so I can spend more time learning how to play the piano.”
At least that would be a little refreshing and it might even have some of us feeling a bit puzzled. There is nothing puzzling any more about a politician saying they are quitting to spend more time with their family.
In the case of Andrew Scheer, what I would be doing right now if I was a cartoonist, is drawing a picture of Scheer standing up in parliament, saying he wants to spend more time with his family with 120 knives stuck in his back – one for every person sitting in his federal Conservative Party caucus, with the exception of himself.
Those knives have been out since this past October when Scheer fell short of leading his federal Tories to winning enough seats to topple Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and form a Conservative government. And those knives come from Conservatives who wanted the rest of us to believe, right up to the day of the October 21st date of the election, that Scheer was the bright and shinning answer to any and all of Canada’s ills.
Then the votes were counted and the knives came out, and now listen to what people inside his own party are saying about him.
So many of these same Conservatives who knew Scheer was a socially conservative member of the Christian right when they picked him as leader , then worked so feverishly to peddle him off on the rest of us as a prime minister in waiting, are now saying that maybe he should have done more to address questions about where he and his party stand on the issue of abortion, and maybe he should have addressed questions on gay rights issues instead of find the quickest highway out of town if he found out they were holding a Pride Parade there.
And now they are complaining that Scheer should have put together a more detailed climate change plan and shown more interest in addressing that issue when they knew, or should have known that going back to his years as a disciple of Stephen Harper, he was, and continues to be a full-throated supporter of the tar sands and of building more tar pipes, and was a laggard on taking action to address the climate emergency, if not a complete climate denier.
Yet none of that appeared to be a problem for any of them, right up to the time Scheer failed to lead them to victory in last October’s election.
Trump across the border recently called Canada’s re-elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, “two-faced” after he was caught on a video making fun of America’s thin-skinned president during a meeting of NATO leaders.
Whether Trudeau is two-faced or not, there are enough faces in the Conservative Party of Canada to fill up a high school yearbook.
And as Scheer leaves as the party’s leader, I would at least give him this much. Aside from shooting us the line that he is resigning to spend more time with his family, and aside from allegations in recently posted media reports that he was using money from Conservative Party donors to cover the cost of sending his children to private schools, he appears to be far more honest than many in his party when it comes to where he stands on issues like climate change, gay rights and a woman’s right to choose.
With Scheer’s departure, many Conservatives may be breathing a sigh of relief that he is gone and they now have an opportunity to pick a leader who says things the rest of us who want climate action and care about human rights issues might find less objectionable.
I am betting that replacing Scheer with a leader that sounds a little more moderate is not going to make any difference though.
Surveys and polls show that there are growing numbers of progressive-minded people out there, many of them young, who want climate action and who care more about human rights issues than they do about more cuts to taxes and to services like health care, environmental protection and education.
They care deeply about these issues and they know there are no welome matts for their concerns at the doors of today’s breed of Conservatives in Canada, federal and provincial, or their Republican counterparts in the United States.
It’s not in their DNA and it is just not going to happen.
Not to make light of Scheer’s failure, earlier on, to reveal his dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, at least he was a little more honest about the way he went about addressing or just as often not addressing issues like gay marriage and climate change.
The problem for the Conservatives though is that we still have plenty of examples around, like Doug Ford in Ontario and Jason Kenney in Alberta, to remind us where current Conservative Parties across the country, and their hard-core members and supporters, really stand.
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