I cannot tell a lie. I did not expect to be, but I was really disappointed when Andrew Scheer won the Tory leadership. For a time, I had to mourn Mad Max, even though Scheer had been my own second choice.
Bernier was the exciting candidate. I hope he does not go away.
But it may be that Scheer was the wiser choice. He does a better job of representing the Conservative party as a whole, all factions. That may be more important. He is a smart guy, a good speaker in the Commons, popular with MPs.
It is interesting to analyze the vote to figure out how strong each of the factions are within the party. It gives a good idea of what the new leader has to work with, and who needs to have a place at the table.
SoCons – 40%. This is roughly Scheer’s tenth ballot total. This is the point at which Brad Trost dropped out, leaving Scheer the only social conservative candidate. For the hard-core SoCon vote, see Trost’s final total: 14.3%. But some hard core SoCons may already have been with Scheer at this point, on winnability.
Libertarians - 30% This, I think, can be assumed from Bernier’s first ballot total. He was THE libertarian/classic liberal candidate in the race, and I can see no reason for a liberal to vote for anyone else.
Red Tories – 20%. O'Toole final ballot. At this point, I think Red Tories had nowhere else to go. For hard core Red Tories, 7.5% – Michael Chong first ballot results. This may well include some non-Tories who signed up to vote in the leadership, but who would never vote Conservative in an actual election. Grits just hedging their bets.
Populists – 10%. Kellie Leitch’s final vote total. These are the Trumpists. Evidently only a minor faction in the Canadian Conservative party.
One thing that really struck me was how dignified, polite, and friendly it all was, in comparison to recent politics in the US. This despite the fact that ideological differences were really quite strong.
Civil political discourse still holds among Canadian Conservatives. Andrew Scheer is an exceptionally good model of that.
And maybe that is what Canada most wants, and most needs, at this historical moment: a leader and a party that will preserve our best traditions of peace, order, general amity, politeness, and good government. We do not want to happen here what has been happening in the US.
Some are saying, as if it is a criticism, that Scheer is too much like Harper.
Recently, I was invited to participate in a poll on who had been the best prime minister of Canada ever.
Look at the candidates. Look at the record.
It is hard not to conclude that it was Harper.