Election 2019: Ten Lessons For Conservatives 

December 1st, 2019 | JH

I thought the "Replace Andrew Scheer" hysteria would have subsided by now, but now is still a good time to provide some alternative analysis regarding the ill-fated Conservative Party campaign of 2019.

Here are ten lessons from the 2019 campaign.

Lesson #1 : Why make The Rebel an enemy?

The Rebel is one of the most ardent conservative media outlets in the country. I get that the CPC wants total control over Conservative Inc. messaging, but the reality is that there is a lot of infrastructure out there to help you get your message out and you’re not winning over anyone by sidelining right-wing allies.

The whole Faith Goldy/Gavin McInnes era is over at The Rebel and it’s been addressed by Ezra long ago. As we move forward, you’re going to need parallel media to get your story across and we don’t have much of it in Canada.

Lesson #2 : The mainstream media hates you

The mainstream media in Canada is in a constant state of destruction. Technology and television viewing habits have destroyed the nightly news. Nobody wants to pay for newspapers anymore. Radio is for elderly people.

Trudeau came to the rescue with the $600M bailout and it has bought him enormous goodwill.

The CBC has always had a conservative hate-on and between Harper failing to abolish it and Scheer promising that he will… it’s led to a billion-dollar Liberal propaganda machine.

Stop campaigning like it’s 1995 and launch a proper 21st Century campaign outside of the mainstream media.

Lesson #3: Hating Trudeau isn’t enough

Liberals made this mistake against Harper. They hated him so passionately that they assumed everyone else did too, but what happened was that over time people came to accept Harper in larger and larger numbers. The Liberals couldn’t let go of this idea that Harper was literally Hitler and it caused their campaigns to be echo chambers.

Now the Conservatives are doing the same thing.

I get it. Trudeau is awful on so many levels that it’s dumbfounding that people don’t see it. Nevertheless, you can’t just keep hating on the guy, you need to provide people with a reason to switch their votes.

Lesson #4: US citizenship

The US citizenship thing was bad. I remember the whole “Stephane Dion is a citizen of France” thing in 2008. I remember the “Just Visiting” thing against Ignatieff in 2011. Why would you subject yourself to this? It’s an appalling amateur-hour mistake.

It gives the impression that Scheer wants to keep his options open for working in the U.S. if this politics thing comes to an end. Even worse, it gives the impression to his critics that he’s taking orders from his American betters.

Ditch the passport, dude.

Lesson #5: It’s time to stop battling within the liberal frame

Harper was a master at maneuvering within the liberal frame in order to chess-play a relatively milquetoast conservative agenda. The problem is that this maneuvering means you’re still playing the Liberal’s game and as time goes on, they will still call the shots and move the agenda.

Consequently, the country keeps moving to the left. This makes it more difficult to win as time goes on and has led to loads of unsolicited advice to replace Scheer with a progressive leader with a progressive agenda.

A second Liberal party is pointless and will ultimately fail. It’s time to be a little more aggressively conservative. How?

Instead of obfuscating and dismissing and speaking in code and straight up capitulating regarding issues like abortion or climate change or immigration or gay marriage,it’s time to be brutally honest and assertive without being crass or rude. By communicating more clearly and explicitly you can not only mobilize more real conservative support, you can organize more soft conservative support by strengthening the demarcation between the Conservatives and everyone else.

Harper’s crafty approach barely worked ten years ago and today the country is far more left-wing and disastrously woke than back then. Cowering will get you crushed. Fighting will gain you respect.

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"Stop campaigning like it’s 1995 and launch a proper 21st Century campaign..."

Lesson #6: What was up with Warren Kinsella?

Why would you go within arms length of that guy? The fact thatyou did speaks poorly of character and savvy. Super bad choice.

The blow up in the last few days of campaigning probably hurt you more than whatever damage was inflicted on the PPC.

Lesson #7: Imaging

I remember early in the campaign Scheer was at some parade in New Brunswick with Trudeau in attendance and Trudeau shook his hand and Scheer said, “You need to come clean with Canadians.” Scheer looked awkward and bashful and the whole thing was weirdly weak. The CPC geniuses promoted it via social media as “Scheer taking Trudeau to task”.

It sucked and the campaign team should’ve known it sucked.

Pictures like this are terrible and yet they were put out:


Lesson #8: Scheer needs to stop smirking

Hard times are coming to Canada and if an appetite for political change arrives, people are going to want someone serious in office. Some hack wrote that Scheer looks like, “a man who just showed up to his own surprize birthday party.”

That stings because it is too true.

Wipe the smirk off the face.

Lesson #9: Do you guys even really want to win?

There’s a comfort level to being the righteously indignant opposition. Canadian Conservatives can do the rounds with their standard argy-bargy. They can act out in Question Period and all go out for drinks at the same bar afterward. It’s a big silly show and to a large extent, modern nations are outgrowing these politics.

Nevertheless, people are adversely affected by what goes on in Ottawa and I often think the CPC is way too comfortable, just going along for the ride. Win or lose the elected MPs get their six figure incomes and their gold-plated pensions. Their staff keep on staffing. Their hired hands keep getting contracts.

I suspect that Conservative voters are more passionate about this stuff than many paid members of the CPC are. Perhaps that’s why I voted PPC this time around. As fraudulent as that one-man party was, at least it wasn’t so complacent and plastic.

Lesson #10: There is nothing to learn

Voters are fickle. If an election were called right now, we’d probably get different results already. Often incumbent parties are in power for at least a couple of terms before as Brian Mulroney recounted, “The tides come in and the tides come out”.

Next election might be won by Conservatives, or not… who knows. There doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it other than to show up and try. Trudeau has proven that qualifications and decency and competency and integrity don’t matter to Canadians so the next election campaign can pretty much be whatever anyone wants it to be and there is no telling how it will go.

“Spend lots of money” seems to be the only rule.

In the meantime, stick with Scheer, do better and stop listening to progressives.

© 2019 Poletical