Ten Things Andrew Scheer Must Do
Andrew Scheer’s upset win in the Conservative leadership race was dramatic. So far the party seems united and eager and ready to move forward. Here’s a list of ten things Andrew Scheer needs to do in order to stay successful.
#1. Stay humble
A large part of Andrew’s appeal was his “aw-shucks” demeanour. He ran a positive campaign that avoided negative slams on any of the other leaders. He was able to criticize policy and positions while not going so far as to hit people personally. He has an affable way about him that appears as humility, and hopefully this is sincere and lasting. People will want a leader that isn’t so self-aggrandizing after the Justin experience.
#2. Stay nice
This is different than staying humble. Staying nice means keeping the softer tone that so many felt was needed after the 2015 campaign began to look too Nixonian. Justin Trudeau was nice in the sense that he was energetic and happy and outgoing. Scheer needs to retain his niceness as he meets people across the country and makes a million first impressions. No raging against the Liberal machine. Stay nice.
#3. No raging against the Liberals
Most people don’t hate the Liberals in the same way that many Conservative supporters do. Trying to stir up people’s anger isn’t going to work, when most people aren’t angry. You just look like a weirdo if you try.
The presentation needs to be, “We can do better” and leave it at that. There’s plenty of time to get angry about real things that will show up, but in the meantime, don’t bother trying to stir a pot that’s not boiling.
#4. Take the kids on a cross-country vacation
A big selling point is Andrew’s young family. It’s attractive to have a leader in place that represents Canada’s future. It also reinforces the fact that Scheer has skin in the game and heirs that will be affected by Canada’s future.
Getting out and meeting normal people is a big part of politics. Ideology-obsessed political junkies don’t realize how much relationship building matters. Until the policy conference is over next year, Andrew Scheer needs to be in the “selling Andrew Scheer” business.
#5. Give Bernier loads of responsibility
Bernier almost won the leadership. Don’t allow a Paul Martin situation to brew. Scheer is better off acknowledging that Bernier is second-in-command and making it clear that he is going to be a big player in the future. His supporters aren’t going away and many of his ideas are worth pursuing. Maxime Bernier needs to be a massive piece of the Conservative Party-puzzle in order to succeed in the future. (Make him Minister of Finance)
(There are rumours that Bernier may become the leader of a provincial party in Quebec. If that happens then don’t worry about point #5.)
#6. Get to the Maritimes
Andrew Scheer is the perfect type of conservative for attracting Maritime votes. He dominated in New Brunswick and performed well in Nova Scotia. There are easily 20 seats for the taking in the region with a “Nice Guy” leader that’s able to bring in the non-political vote.
#7. Power up your fluency
Andrew needs to brush up on the French. He was better than most of the other candidates during the leadership race, but that’s not going to be good enough during a real campaign in 2019. There is plenty of time to do better. Go hang out in Montreal for a while.
#8. Photo-Op with the military
Justin Trudeau photo ops non-stop and he does it with unicorn puppets or whatever else happens along. If Scheer wants to brand himself as the new “Harper with a smile” then take a more serious approach and partner up with Erin O’Toole and showcase the military.
Military neglect is a huge issue for Canada and Erin O’Toole hit third place with over 20% of the vote, largely on a military-heavy platform. There is a hunger for this file to be addressed. The notion that Canadians only want to pay lip-service to military issues is coming to an end. All of our assets are becoming garbage and with Trump’s NATO demands, it’s time for Canada to make some heavy investments in our military. We can start planting the seeds for this with a tour of Canada’s armed forces.
#9. Reach out to immigrants
Jason Kenney worked tirelessly on the immigration file. He reached out to immigrant communities in order to build those relationships that supersede politics and educate newcomers about the policy and principle of Canadian conservatism.
Scheer needs to do more of that.
Andrew’s so-con credibility can win over urban ridings in this way, by creating new-Canadian allies for 2019. Let’s drop the refugee rhetoric and the Kellie Leitch-hysterics and focus on growing the tent instead of placating the fringe of the base.
#10. Stop by Poletical again!