Yes, Andrew Scheer Should Run

July 4th, 2016 | D. Stone
andrew sheer
With high profile candidates like Jason Kenney, Kevin O'Leary and Lisa Raitt looking to be out of the running, the Conservative race needs someone like Andrew Scheer. Scheer would be the only Conservative MP from Saskatchewan to seek the leadership of the Conservative Party if he were to run. In 2011, Scheer was elected the youngest Speaker Of The House in Canadian history and his reputation as a balanced, principled member of the party is cut into least among his Regina—Qu'Appelle constituents.

When I heard that Andrew Scheer spoke at a recent Conservative leadership event in Calgary, it injected some long-needed excitement into my veins. So far, the Conservative race has been marred with speculation about Kevin O'Leary and Peter Mackay, but has produced no actual results. As far as we can see, Kevin O'Leary is playing games and Peter Mackay is as unsure and uninspiring as he was as Defence Minister. The three declared candidates can barely keep my attention long enough to explain their positions on important issues. With the exception of Maxime Bernier, the current Conservative leadership race is worse than a campy 80's soap opera and has about as much substance as an episode of Falcon Crest

Maxime Bernier has the best policy and represents the future of the Conservative Party, but his inability to articulate his vision to an English audience might be a setback. It might sound prejudiced to say Bernier's broken English is a setback, but it wouldn't stop me from buying a party membership and voting for him. His thick French doesn't turn me off, but I fear it might make him a punching bag for Liberals and New Democrats when he misunderstands a question, or has an unfortunate slip of the tongue in front of media. It was never a problem for Jean Chretien, but let's face it, Canada isn't a conservative country. A Liberal can get away with letting convicted terrorists keep their citizenships and telling voters that Islamic genital mutilation shouldn't be called "barbaric". We can all agree that Conservatives have a tougher time in Canada than Liberals, so carefully articulated policies and speeches are mandatory for any Conservative leader.

Michael Chong has low name recognition, but his ethnicity might appeal to some Conservative voters who think the next leader should belong to a minority or some marginalized group. I don't subscribe to that idea and Michael Chong's legacy is a mystery to me, so his leadership bid has barely been a blip on my radar. All I know about Mr. Chong is that his mother is Dutch and that he supports a carbon tax.

Kellie Leitch supported the disastrous Barbaric Practices Hotline (snitch line) that acted as another anvil in the Conservative boat. Her policy positions on marijuana legalization and various other social and criminal policies are foggy at best. I don't know where Kellie Leitch stands on most things, but I know that among the three current choices, she's dead last in my books.

Enter Andrew Scheer, the humourous, witty and well spoken Conservative from Regina.

In 2004, Andrew Scheer unseated the federal NDP incumbent for Regina—Qu'Appelle, Lorne Nystrom, and has perpetually kicked everyone else's ass since. Since being brutally defeated, the former NDP socialist has joined the private sector and become a capitalist, working for Brihtenvantage International Business Consulting. Nystrom tried to win his seat back from Scheer in 2006, but lost by even bigger margins to the newly minted Speaker Of The House. When the Conservatives lost their majority, Scheer was appointed the Conservative House Leader by Rona Ambrose.

Andrew Scheer knows leadership. He has almost a decade of leadership experience inside the Conservative Party and his oratory skills in the House Of Commons are a force to be reckoned with. There isn't a more natural choice for the party's permanent leadership than Andrew Scheer. Keeping order in the House is no easy task, but Andrew Scheer was able to pull it off in ways that current Speaker, Geoff Regan, can only dream about. Regan's legacy will be remembered as one that failed to reign in House decorum by letting the Prime Minister elbow his way through a socialist gaggle and allowing Liberals to heckle the opposition into silence. Andrew Scheer and Geoff Regan have incomparable legacies when they're put side by side. Scheer's is one of respect and order, while Regan's is one of disrespect and disorder.

Andrew Scheer knows winning. He's constantly smiling and has a calm composure, which is what has helped propel him to the top of every election in Regina—Qu'Appelle since 2004. His current record is 4-0. If we include his successful election to Speaker Of The House in 2011, when he defeated Denise Savoie, that brings his record to 5-0. Scheer is not only one of the youngest MPs in Canadian history, he has an undefeated record. Andrew Scheer hasn't lost an election yet, which could be exactly what the Conservative Party needs going into 2019 against Justin Trudeau.

When we compare him to the the three currently declared contenders, Scheer doesn't share any of their faults. Scheer speaks perfect English and has no problem articulating his ideas, although I'm not so sure about his French. When he speaks and tells stories in English, he's engaging and inspiring, unlike Michael Chong and Kellie Leitch, who both put me to sleep almost as soon as they open their mouths. Scheer is witty, charming, charismatic and well equipped for the party's leadership. He knows how to talk, how to engage, how to lead and how to win. Whatever his policies will be, it's very likely that he'll be able to convince Canadians that they are the right ones for Canada. That's something I'm not convinced Maxime Bernier has done yet.

If Scheer steps into the race, I'm convinced he'll become the front-runner almost instantly. Conservatives will see his experience, witness his charisma and hear his ideas. That will be enough to send Andrew Scheer into the party's leadership position and, possibly, into the Prime Minister's Office in 2019.