EDIT: Here is a link to a reading of this article for those who wish to watch/listen instead (in Audio and Video) http://frankvaughan.ca/index.php/2018/07/10/video-a-reading-of-criticism-of-scheers-leadership-explained-in-depth/
A growing number of conservatives are increasingly frustrated by the leadership style of Andrew Scheer, or better put, the lack thereof. He has essentially adopted the Liberal playbook, relying on selfies, pandering to minorities, smiling, glad-handing, and all the other garden variety ways of politicking which are the quaint and empty practices of a former era.
The new paradigm will require much more from our leaders and that is a good thing.
We are living in the information age of instantaneous connectivity, where people can reach thousands if they have something compelling to say, and have little excuse for silence.
What could be a more compelling argument for noisemaking to Andrew Scheer, and those in his sphere, than calling Justin Trudeau out for #GroperGate?
Trudeau has spent 3 years declaring that he is the ultimate feminist. Three years parading around on his credentials as the barely-man representative of Peoplekind. This is the dude who once fired his M.P.’s over accusations made in relation to sexual misconduct, and made great hay with the media coverage those accusations generated, virtue signaling amply about his non-gender specific feminism.
Yes… That last term was completely and paradoxically nonsensical…
What is there about the Liberal Party of Canada’s governance model that isn’t rationally insensitive?
Getting back to the thesis, what could be more important to the CPC leadership than hammering the living hell out of Trudeau over #GroperGate? He is dead to rights, and his credibility is at this moment non-existent. All it would take is a good, solid push, and you could topple a Prime Minister.
But, alas, the Calgary Stampede, and doing the best job of pandering (while wearing blue jeans and a cowboy hat) a CPC leader ever could seems to be the greater public priority for Andrew Scheer.
Just head on over to his Twitter feed and exercise your scroll finger. What is the ratio of pandering photographs and selfies to issue-based posts? 5 to 1? 10 to 1? 20 to 1? It depends how far you scroll, I suppose. What issues do get attention, versus what issues get rare or no mention? Why?
Think about it. Where is the champion that will turn back the tide of creeping socialism, spiraling debt, and economic suicide on both the free trade and domestic production fronts?
Getting back to #GroperGate, the latest thing being almost completely missed, the CPC is letting the biggest scandal of Trudeau’s character (and there have been several) slip through their fingers without calling viciously intense attention to it. Instead of going for his political jugular, Scheer has chosen to completely ignore the issue.
Just to provide an example of an approach the CPC could be taking:
The day after Rose Knight broke her silence to reiterate that #GroperGate occurred as she claimed and that Trudeau’s apology was delivered as she stated, Trudeau, in typically oblivious fashion, decided that a shirtless jog through the streets of Toronto was the wisest course of action.
He literally flaunted his sexuality in a way he knew the media would see (his lapdogs took video of the jog, along with pictures of half-naked Justin, spamming social media with it) and it constitutes plump, low hanging fruit to fuel a political offensive.
The memes make themselves in my head, dancing in such a number it’s hard to pick one to start out with. If I didn’t have to work for a living I could just kick out meme’s all day for weeks.
But did the CPC officially point this out? Was there a statement? Were there hard hitting memes? Did Andrew Scheer tap into this pool of political capital, and call out the Prime Minister’s double standard, his fake feminism, and his completely insensitive jog?
No. Not even slightly. Not a hard-hitting word in either official language.
If silence is consent his silence is deafening.
I am constantly being told that Scheer’s name recognition is low in Canada, and he is doing everything he can to increase his profile (hence the Trudeau style selfie tour and social media presence), and they are not wrong to be concerned. CPC engagement on Twitter, Facebook, and Andrew Scheer’s official profile itself is abysmal. My content sometimes gets as much or more engagement, and I am a virtual unknown.
The engagement is definitely lower than it should be when gauged against their total followers, by which I mean that their hundreds of thousands of followers are not engaging with their content in enthusiastic numbers. The pinned video on the CPC’s Twitter page, published June 12th (one month ago, roughly) has 9,000 views, compared with 132,000 followers. That is 1 view for every 14 (ish) CPC followers, and as a content producer, I can tell you a whole pile of those never made it to the end.
We are dead in the water because our messaging is boring and safe. We avoid the toughest issues and focus on nerf ball political statements which are so thoroughly vetted and message tested that all semblance of passion was dead 12 edits from the final version.
The greatest modern weapon of political warfare is social media and we are losing it to the left. They are trouncing us in this country, and we cannot safe space/virtue signal/diversity train/SOGI our way to victory.
More of the same will not fix this problem, and God save me from more selfies, more handshakes, and more lame attempts to look sedatively normal instead of stepping into the exceptional and risking the abnormal.
Ah, but to be renewed: To be a fresh and vigorous political force online, attacking Trudeau on every front, prying open every weakness. This is the dream I have. Pragmatic, wise and rationally-derived principles unleashed in fluid and artful forms online, as well as off.
But Andrew’s CPC does nothing of the sort.
Some of his members wade in, but they have to be careful of the boss and his circle: Get too close to the truth and you will be back benched.
Until our party decides it will fight for our votes, and for the country, with vigor and daring, what is there really to win?
Patrick Brown lost his job in part due to contentious allegations of sexual misconduct. The media was all over him hard and fast, and his own staffers abandoned ship in short order. Under massive, continuous and enormous pressure he stepped down. This should also be the same, going back the other way, in the pursuit of #GroperGate. Yet everyone, but for a precious few, is yawning, including Andrew Scheer.
Now, I despised Brown’s leadership style and his politics. There is no way in hell I would have voted for a party he led, come what may. If it took 4 more years of Wynne to finally give us a Ford (brave, unapologetic conservatism) or even to build a new conservative party that was truly principled, I was ready to refuse my ballot or vote “new”.
Which brings me to another point: Only pragmatism and ideas will ever own my vote. Never a man, a woman, nor a party. If the Liberals somehow rejected the rampant Marxism and divisive identity politics they now hold dear and rediscovered classical liberalism, fiscal responsibility, border security, and common sense, I would consider a vote for their slate.
Fat chance that is happening anytime soon, but I rarely close off any possibility. The doorway to destructive limitations is framed by that most powerful word “never”.
All of this is to say I am not a “win at all costs” panic campaigner for the CPC. Not yet, anyway.
I want to see them hitting Trudeau every day on the harder issues, not the official residences’ swingsets. I want to see a plan for dealing with Trump’s America and avoiding a trade war. I want to see the #GroperGate hashtag on the CPC leader’s profile. I want to see strong language, passion, and determination. I want specific policy planks that differentiate the opposition from the government.
Instead, we get silence and selfies. That isn’t good enough for me, and it shouldn’t be good enough for you. All of us deserve better.
He forced his M.P.’s to vote for the Paris Climate Treaty, which supports the carbon tax he claims to oppose, just like Trudeau.
Scheer supports Supply Management, and forces his M.P.’s to support it; just like Trudeau demands all of his M.P.’s be pro-choice.
Scheer engages in the total control of messaging and the silencing of differing points of view within his party, just like Trudeau.
I could add further to this list, though I’ve taken enough of your valuable time with these truths to make my overarching point: How can conservatives trust a leader to deliver on his promises when he contradicts them openly? How can we count on a leader who seems content to sit on his biscuit and never risk it, planning to win by remaining invisible, to deliver the sort of bold reforms our imperiled country needs? What good is his word when he gives us so few words? What good are his commitments when they are so weakly conjured, and vaguely defined?
I want a leader who will lead.
Should he decide to start calling for Trudeau’s resignation tomorrow, I would celebrate. I would sing his praises. Should he come forth out of the blue with a bold, daring, and honest attack on the media party, and the Liberal government, I would amplify his message and rejoice at his new found courage.
But until then, my critique is the best way I can serve him, the country, and the party I belong to.
One final thought. Whenever I criticize Scheer, many of his diehard supporters hearken back to the leadership election. It is not I who brings forth the specter of it. It is my critics. I talk about Scheer, and they talk about Bernier.
What does that tell you?
Bernier was my pick for leader, and he has led well since he lost the point spread, beaten by the process, not the voter. Bernier leads through sound principle underlying edgy bombardments of the liberals from all angles.
He is brave. He is incisive. He has charm, wit, and bravely pursues an attack on the creeping socialism that has become synonymous with the word Canada. He goes against the grain and is better aligned with coming storms of change.
I have immense respect for that. What reasonable person wouldn’t?
But this article is not about Bernier. My recent content is not about Bernier. It is about Andrew Scheer. When you make it about Max, you only reveal insecurity, which speaks very loudly to anyone woke enough to understand the meaning of such things (and there are more and more of us every single day).
If you believe Scheer has a Machiavelian plan to win the election doing the least amount possible, and think such a plan brilliant, consider this:
A man who would lead from the back just to squeak in a win as quietly as possible will most likely rule in the same way. He will try to hold onto power, afraid of making moves that might jeopardize his power, and be very reluctant to deliver his most desirable commitments. That is the calling card of politics as usual.
Every one of you who supports a leader of any stripe wants something from him. You have a dream of a Canada you wish to see achieved. How can you rest such precious dreams on a man so afraid to act? How can you sell them so cheaply and unreservedly without proof that they are well placed, and will be honored by those who hold them in trust? Should you not at least dare a criticism in your dream’s defense where warranted?
We need leadership, not scheming. Principles, not selfies. Bravery, not silence.
I scarcely imagined how much this would be to ask of some of my fellow Conservatives, and that to some I am little more than a trouble-making traitor.
The facts of the situation give me very little choice.