Andrew Scheer is not entirely to blame for Conservative electoral challenges. The party’s policies don’t mobilize enough Canadians to win.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has a rough few months ahead of him. Despite an increase in votes and seats, his election performance is being panned by many. He gained votes and seats while losing personal appeal and popularity – a difficult result upon which to base a “trust me” appeal to party members. Whether Scheer will last as leader until April, when the party holds a formal leadership review, is an open question.
But Conservatives need to look beyond the leader and the fresh wounds of the six-week campaign. A visceral disdain for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, combined with a hubristic belief that this election should have been won, risks blinding Conservatives in a diagnosis of what really went wrong and what must now be confronted if this regionalized, marginalized and perennial minority party is actually going to win power across the country.
Politics is a game of addition. You win by adding new voters to your coalition. So, why do federal Conservatives focus on their core vote all the time? When you turn your base from a floor into a ceiling, you will lose every election every time. Seeing politics from a “movement” perspective has you cater to “values voters” and mobilization of supporters, not adding to your overall voter pool.