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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED - All this was predictable, and is easily traced to the decision to shut Max Bernier out of a significant role in the Scheer-led party

The mainstream media (aka the Liberal publicity office) is currently running stories about Andrew Scheer’s alleged tenuous grasp of the conservative party leadership. Unusual people are out in the media expounding on the necessity of replacing Scheer.

Andrew Scheer win the CPC leadership race
The ‘dump Scheer’ narrative lacks advice on who could do a better job or on how to fix the party to prevent the next leader from becoming another victim of internal interference and bickering. If the people promoting a change in leadership have no constructive solutions, they have no credibility.

All this was predictable and is easily traced to the decision to shut Max Bernier out of a significant role in the Scheer-led party following the May 2017 leadership race.

The leadership battle was close; based on votes cast, Scheer won with 53%. Under the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) convoluted and silly points program, Sheer won with 50.95%. Dismissing Bernier and the 47% of voting party members who liked his approach to conservative policies was a monumental error.

Maxime Bernier during Conservative leadership race
Conservative Party efforts during the 2019 campaign, to slander and undermine Bernier and the People’s Party, raised a lot of anger and lost the CPC support. The CPC was effectively demeaning long-time conservative supporters who favoured Bernier as a leader and espoused his policies. 

Without that support, a CPC majority was not possible. Many simply did not vote in the election.             

Dumping Scheer is an admission that the leadership selection race, that Scheer won in May 2017, was defective. 

Why would a repeat selection race prove to be any better? Most of the same party officials and organizers are still in place. They caused, rather then resolved, internal party tensions.

Have a close look at who the media is dredging up to support claims of strong opposition by “prominent conservatives” in opposition to Scheer is revealing:

Jenni Byrne was part of Harper’s inner circle for years and became CPC campaign manager when Doug Finlay passed away. On taking control of the conservative election campaign, Ms Byrne drove the bus into a ditch and lost 60 of the 159 seats the CPC held at dissolution (38%) during the 2015 election campaign. Byrne is joined by ...

Kory Teneycke, a Toronto lobbyist who ran Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s leadership and election campaigns and once served as a communications director for Stephen Harper ...

Jeff Ballingall, founder of Ontario Proud, a former political staffer who worked for Sun News Network and worked in the administration of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a video specialist for the Conservative Caucus and as a communications manager for Jim Prentice ... and ...

John Reynolds, former conservative MP who co-chaired former prime minister Stephen Harper’s successful 2006 election campaign.

Teneycke and Reynolds were both involved in runner-up Maxime Bernier’s leadership campaign. The movement to dump Scheer was created by the CPC party and Scheer advisors. Conservative party officials and hired specialists are responsible for the mess the party finds itself in. 

Blaming Scheer for the party failure is a nasty way of avoiding accountability for bad party advice and strategy.

Calls for party unity are unrealistic. CPC members have nothing to pledge loyalty too, or to unify under. The significant proportion of members who liked Max Bernier’s policies, and voted accordingly in the leadership race, were cut adrift ... ignored ... insulted ... and slandered. Those are conservatives Scheer and the Conservative party need to reconnect with in order to regain relevancy.

No new party leader can accomplish that prior to the next election. Conservative Party brass needs to admit to its errors in judgement and immediately open peace talks with Bernier and his followers.

If the CPC fails to give Bernier a significant role in the opposition ranks, and does not adopt many of the PPC policies during its April 2020 convention, the Conservative Party will go the way of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada; a gradual fade into oblivion.

Those driving the calls for a Scheer resignation are members the same group of incompetents who engineered the 2015 election loss. They may excel at selling appliances, cars, cereal and soap but democratic political representation is different.

We will not get rid of the soap salesman in power by trying to employ the same tactics. People are fed up with that approach and yearn for a party and leader who will recognize their intelligence.

For the Conservative Party this is do or die.

They either downshift and change direction or drive off a cliff in 2021 ... their choice.

John Feldsted
Political Commentator, Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


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