05.28.2017 08:13 AM

From tomorrow’s column about The Smirker

To wit:

“Barton: But do you, yourself, believe [in gay marriage]?

Scheer: I, it’s, look, I don’t – it’s absolutely – our party dealt with this issue in Vancouver and, you know, there was a specific policy plank in our platform, and I think members decided, a lot of social conservatives who, you know, have differing views on that decided, look, if it’s not something that’s ever going to be changed, it’s been this way for ten years – I have my own personal beliefs and, you know, my own faith background, but at this point in time with the Conservative Party of Canada trying to build a national viable coalition, it’s not something that …

Barton: But that sounds like, you’re just going to, you’re going to live with it. You’re going to live with the fact that gay people can get married; it’s not, but it’s not something you believe in.

Scheer: Look, it doesn’t matter, like if people have personal views on things, there’s a lot of things that divide us as Conservatives and there’s a lot of things that unite us. This is one of those issues that – it’s a – it happened in 2005, you know I was a Member of Parliament at the time, I voted my conscience.”

Get that? “It doesn’t matter.” And: “I voted my conscience.” And: the most weaselly, slippery answer any politician has given since Brian Mulroney slunk back to the august salons of the Ritz-Carlton.

You made a big mistake, Conservatives. You’ll never believe that of me, but you’ll believe it soon enough. 

15 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Well, Patrick Brown, leader of the Ontario PC’s was wishy washy at best on the subject to, but has changed his view coming around to support gay marriage 100%. Is it sincere or “politics”? I would hope the former.

    Will Scheer do the same? Only time will tell.

    I heard Scheer beat Bernier in Bernier’s own riding. Is that correct?

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Matt,

      CBC reported on a 1% difference at some point in the voting with Bernier ahead. Apparently, it was related to supply management.

  2. Steve T says:

    So, just for clarity, a politician is always to be judged on their personal beliefs? Irrespective of what they say the party will stand for, and irrespective of how they actual govern the party, and irrespective of the actual party platform? They are always to be held to their personal beliefs.

    Just want to be sure we can apply that across the board, to every politician of every political stripe.

  3. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    I understand what Scheer meant when he said “It doesn’t matter.” He meant, I think, that it’s settled law. But if that is indeed what he meant, he should have said that. As a result, he leaves the impression that same-sex marriage doesn’t matter — when, of course, it does, as it’s a charter right.

    Scheer was trying to swim in Harper’s waters but his own words undermined that effort.
    ,
    However, unlike Bernier, he’s not prepared to reopen this debate by allowing private member legislation. Now, Bernier’s position would have been a red-letter day for fireworks.

  4. Simon says:

    I’m really doubtful that the Liberals can make anti-gay marriage, pro-life zealot stick to Scheer. And that’s all he has to do, prevent it sticking to him. If people really believe he’s not going to reopen the debate (like they did with Harper) then the issue is moot. And if he’s able to keep the so-cons on side with his campus free speech bill, then there might be no destabilizing eruptions on that score for Liberals to exploit.

    The current social debate is on transgender rights (it’s a massive obsession of conservatives in the US, just check out Breitbart news). However, I notice the Liberals are not bringing this up. Why not, you ask? Because the championing of trans rights is still in NDP territory, much like gay rights was in the 1990’s. The public still hasn’t moved enough for Liberals to embrace the issue and use it as a wedge with the Conservatives. I think public opinion will move fast on trans rights just because it’s not a long jump from gay marriage. However, it’s not there yet. (It will be interesting to see if the NDP use it as a wedge this cycle against the Liberals).

    In my opinion, the only possible so-con stick the Liberals are going to have to beat Scheer with (so far) is the campus free speech bill. If so, that is going to be interesting too. In the current climate, free speech unites both so-cons *and* libertarians (as well as possibly minorities who resent other groups getting special protections). Can voters outside that group be scared into thinking enforcing free speech on campuses is the beginning of The Handmaid’s Tale? Seems highly dubious.

  5. Matt from Ottawa says:

    Warren, I would have to respectfully disagree with you. As long as he takes the Harper approach and sticks with his promise to not open the debate, I dont see it as being a big issue. Don’t forget there are many MPs in the Liberal Camp and to the lesser extent the NDP camp who are against abortion (John McKay) and many who are against same sex marriage (omar alghabra) because of their own moral and religious reasons. In Canada, we are all allowed our own beliefs. As long as they dont try to impose those beliefs on the rest of us, it is what it is. What I am concerned most about is their views and plans for the economy and the day to day business of running government. Right now Gerald Butts et al seemed focused on this, and less about anything else. Why? Because Andrew Scheer comes with very little baggage (in comparison to Bernier or god forbid O’Leary) Personally, Michael Chong was my first choice on my ballot, but its democracy

  6. Charlie says:

    Exactly.

    There is so much more of this kind of shit where Scheer waffles on social issues.

    This was indeed a huge mistake for Conservatives, but its precisely the mistake I expected them to make. Electing someone so similar to Stephen Harper to take the party into 2019 is a clear indication that the party has no identity in the post-Harper era.

    Issues like gay marriage and abortion are going drag Scheer down if he doesn’t unequivocally take a stand; and depending on where he does decide to show a spine, he will end up alienating half of his support base.

    One thing Conservatives should have realized is that Stephen Harper stiffed the so-cons in his party for quite some time and it was mostly tolerated because he got them to government and the Liberals were a disaster. Looking forward to 2019, I cannot fathom this charisma-less man making a palatable case to a broad enough base of Canadians to win them back seats in urban centres. No matter how much Conservatives wish for Canadians to just tire of Trudeau and return to an unchanged Conservative party, its not going to happen.

    This party is gong to be in the wilderness for a while. For the time being, I’m interested in seeing where the former leadership candidates end up in caucus. What roles people like Trost, Leitch, Chong and Raitt play is going to be very telling of what kind of leader Scheer wants to be.

  7. Houland Wolfe says:

    More Scheer madness!

  8. the salamander says:

    .. ah, the ‘apple cheeked insipid boyish faux christian youthful evangelical Harper handmaiden choirboy’ Herr Scheer! Locked n loaded to inflict Stornoway with his milksop deflections, and ‘heavenly days’ ‘charm’ and partisan chaff.

    He’ll save a bundle on groceries, transplanting his wife n 5 cherubs back to his hometown, where the evangels do roam and have an office of religious nonsense in the Commons Centre Block eh.. and big bonus, Canadian taxpayers can pay for his single malt scotch as well as everything else.. chef, limo, staples, bibles, tracts, haircuts.. you name it..

    its on our dime, just like Rona and the RodeoBoy bullrider with the big belt buckles and the stock portfolio built for two, based on a truly laughable amount of insider info from Rona, Doc Kellie th Leitch, Jason doh Kenney & a splendiferous multitude of partisan Senators, the NEB, et al, forever n ever amen, hosannah in the highest praise te Lord n hallelujah ..let’s frack Canada to feed the insatiable Asian economies & pretend bigly that supertankers of Dilbit, LNG to Asia provide ‘Energy Security’ for Canadians.. I guess its the Lord will heat your homes.. via a truly wondrous minor miracle.. wot ! ?

    Millionaires r Us.. eh!

  9. Eastern Rebellion says:

    We’ll see…I recall all of the progressives hand-wringing and whinging about Prime Minister Harper’s “hidden agenda” when he was in power. I guess it must have been hidden really well because to my knowledge, it never actually appeared. Scheer will have to find a way to appeal to a majority of Canadians, if he is going to be successful. Let’s not forget how many of the media elite pooh-poohed Donald, and said HRC would wipe the floor with him. Didn’t turn out that way did it.

  10. Miles Lunn says:

    I agree Scheer was not the best choice, Chong and Raitt would be better, but over Bernier I think Scheer was a better choice. Looking across the country geographically here is how I see it.

    Atlantic Canada – Has the highest religious attendance and is fairly social conservative, its more spending cuts and cuts to social programs that hurt the Tories here. Raitt, O’Toole or Chong probably could have regained some seats here but not beat Trudeau, Scheer might gain a few traditional Tory ones while Bernier would ensure another shut out.

    Quebec – Bernier’s stance on supply management would have killed him in rural Quebec where they have the best chance at gains. Chong’s stance on Quebec as a nation and Lisa Raitt’s lack of French would have hurt them. No matter who they choose, holding the 12 seats they currently hold will be a challenge and making gains will be tough especially with the decline of the BQ and NDP who more will migrate to the Liberals than Tories (They might pick up some older traditional rural BQ voters, but progressive BQ voters and NDP will likely swing over to the Liberals).

    Ontario – Chong, Raitt, or O’Toole could have made the 905 belt more competitive whereas Scheer is not the best to pick up there although his stances could work with immigrant communities, but skeptical on that. At least with him they should hold most of Rural Ontario whereas Bernier would have put those seats in danger with his stance on health care and supply management

    Prairies – Asides from a few urban ridings those will go conservative no matter who wins.

    British Columbia – Scheer is not the best choice here, while Chong would have been as BC is a very environmentally conscious province and his democratic reform would have appealed strongly as BC has a strong populist view on politics and that is how the Reform in the 90s not their right wing politics that allowed them to do well in BC. Bernier is a wildcard and what happens next Wednesday when Andrew Weaver decides who to back would have probably played a bigger role in how well he would do here. An NDP-Green coalition would likely lead to a right wing backlash as whenever the NDP is in government in BC, the right always does well. By contrast a continued BC Liberal government would just damage the right even fiscal conservatives more thus making anyone on the right face a tough challenge outside their few strongholds.

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