Trudeau’s Diversity – Andrew Sheer
Justin Trudeau is wrong: Diversity isn’t Canada’s strength
It’s one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s favourite turns of phrase: “Canada’s strength comes from our diversity.” In his official statement after the alleged terrorist attack in Edmonton he invoked it, and whether the occasion is celebratory, tragic or anything in between, he never misses an opportunity to say that diversity is our strength. He’s made it his brand identity, because the line’s a political winner.
But it misses something about what makes our society strong, and what Islamist-inspired terrorists, fascists on the right and so-called anti-fascists on the left all seek to destroy.
Trudeau cabinet should be based on merit, not gender
The question is which direction we want to move from here. Do we want cabinet to move toward the (still distant) meritocratic ideal, or away from it? Do we want individuals to be chosen more for their talent and experience and less for their sex, race and so on, or the reverse? Is merit an attainable or even desirable goal, or is the whole thing just a spoils system — in which the only objective is to make sure your group is at the front of the line?
How we answer this will depend in part on what we think cabinet is for. Is it intended to be a reflection of society, in all its multi-faceted diversity? Or is it intended to govern the country? If the first, then the dominant consideration in choosing a cabinet will be to hit the right percentages of sex, race, disability, etc. — or rather, since it is impossible to embody the full range of social differentiation in a cabinet of any manageable size, to balance the claims of competing identity groups for scarce cabinet seats.
Canada is ‘work in progress,’ Justin Trudeau tells UN General Assembly
Describing Canada as a “work in progress,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the UN Thursday about the country’s failures and mistakes in its historical relationship with Indigenous people and his hope to right the wrongs of the past.
“There are, today, children living on reserves in Canada who cannot safely drink, or bathe in, or even play in the water that comes out of their taps,” Trudeau said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
He said Indigenous families putting their kids to bed at night are beset by worry that their children will run away before morning or commit suicide in the night.
“And for far too many Indigenous women, life in Canada includes threats of violence so frequent and severe that Amnesty International has called it ‘a human rights crisis,'” Trudeau said.
Andrew Scheer 101
Andrew Scheer is a Saskatchewan transplant from Ottawa, and has held the riding of Regina—Qu’Appelle since 2004. At 38 he was the youngest candidate running for Conservative leader. He was the Speaker of the House between 2011 and 2015 (also the youngest Speaker in Canadian history). He’s deeply respected by his caucus, and had the most endorsements from sitting CPC MPs as any other candidates.
Scheer is a social conservative who’s against abortion, equal marriage, transgender rights, and assisted-suicide — although he ran a campaign focused on party unity and staple conservative issues like balancing the budget.
“Harper with a smile”
While there’s still lots up in the air, Scheer doesn’t seem to represent any major break with the CPC. He ran on a platform of fiscal conservatism, and he looks like more of the same. A Harper 2.0, or as John Ibbitson is calling him— “Harper with a smile”. He’s apparently a very likeable guy — which actually makes him scary. Remember how bland and unlikable Harper was — and all the damage he still managed to do over 10 years? Picture a a happy Harper with none of the baggage, and you’ve got Andrew Scheer.
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!