A Not-So-Fond Farewell to Andrew Scheer

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Andrew Scheer has shown himself the door of the leadership of the Conservative Party, making a good show of saying it’s to put his family first.

Which is pretty funny, considering Global News reported he was forced to resign because it turns out he was taking Conservative Party fundraising money to pay for part of his children’s private school tuition, without the party fund’s board approving it.

When he said how it was “one of the most difficult decisions” he has made, he was offering something of a partial story.

“This was not a decision I came to lightly.  This was a decision I came to after many long hard conversations with friends and family over the past two months since the election campaign,” Scheer said.

Seems like the decision was already made for him, it was just about whether he was to give in or try and fight it out.  When your choices are jump or be pushed, it’s probably not the most pleasant experience, but “difficult” is putting a bit of a spin on it.

Scheer has decided to stay on as leader until a new permanent leader is found.  It will be interesting to see if that lasts, if the anger within the party at his first performance, and now his dubious use of party funds builds further, it’s not impossible we’ll see an interim leader sooner than later.

It wouldn’t be the first time Scheer tried to placate the angsty members of his party with a too-late measure.  When he sacked his communications director and chief of staff, it was already too late for that to matter.  Will resigning and staying on be enough?  Guess we’ll find out.

The party’s executive director Dustin van Vugt said he had approved the expenses, and all the necessary people had signed off on them.  Given the reaction of anonymous Conservative sources now speaking to every reporter who will listen, not everyone was in the loop or as approving as van Vugt.

I was never particularly fond of the man.  I don’t think he was particularly honest, or upstanding, and his polices were mostly shit.  Usually there is some kind of “but” here, where a columnist might wish him well, and rattle on about the importance of public service, yadda yadda, sacrifice, and on and on.

Instead, let’s think about what it means for a guy to be forced out for just one more hypocrisy.

He couldn’t help himself, every time he hopped in front of a mic, of saying how Justin Trudeau didn’t have the “moral authority” to govern, or how Trudeau had wasted money on this or that.  And the whole time he’s doing this, he’s taking money out of the Tory war chest to pay for his kids to go to private school.

This guy, Mr. Moral Authority, didn’t even have the necessary moral equipment to refrain from grifting his party — heavily subsidized by tax rebates on donations! — to keep his kids away from the serfs and rabble of the public school system.  The absolute nerve of the guy.

So, no, there will be no “but.”  Andrew Scheer is a life-long politician who was oh so close to the crowning glory of the prime minister’s office, and now he’s headed out on his ass thanks to his own entitlement.

He was never able to give a straight answer on basically anything of substance.  The policies he tried to sell as effective and necessary — say, his climate plan — was anything but.  Andrew Scheer always seemed to have something of a wild west movie set about him.  All the frontage looked more or less correct, but even though you could never quite get the angle to see behind them, there was always a sense you wouldn’t find anything past the façade.

Scheer was a shell of a man, certainly no bastion of morality.  His farewell speech in the Commons was just the latest example of this emptiness.  While he was going on about doing this for his family and the immense privilege of leading his party, it was coming to light his reasons for his departure were less noble.

His opponents in the Commons then took the time to say nice things about him.  Which is kind of them, but maybe more chivalrous than he deserved.

Scheer always seemed to think he deserved to be prime minister.  He’s been a politician for nearly his whole life.  He ran to be a school board trustee when he was still in university, then worked in an MP’s office for a time, before striking out for his sorta-not-really career in insurance.  Then he was in the Commons under his own steam, where he’s been ever since.

The arc of his time in the big boy chair of the Conservative Party will go down as an utter failure.  Despite the claims of success this election — increasing the total number of votes and so on — Scheer lost this election on his own.  When voting day arrived, it was clear he couldn’t convince enough Canadians to vote for his vision for Canada, because enough of the country was able to see he had no vision.

His ambition for the country was to fulfill his ambition to lead it.

Scheer’s exit fits with his reign.  Unable this one last time to tell the full truth of his departure, he once again resorted to the sort of empty bullshit he’s always pushed.

The country is better off that he’s leaving.  He won’t be missed.

Photo Credit: National Observer

More from Robert Hiltz.     @robert_hiltz

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