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Don Martin: Scheer will enter history books as a one-term mistake
OTTAWA -- In the weeks following the election, Andrew Scheer became increasingly isolated in his personal bunker, trying to ignore the pounding of enemy artillery getting ever closer to taking down his leadership of the Conservative party.
What should've been a thunder of return fire from MPs defending him was replaced by crickets.
Even those loyal to him confide they couldn't connect with him personally, getting no response even when their help was being offered
His performances in Question Period were limp and predictable, his choice of a deputy leader who had defected from Liberal ranks last year was a caucus relations disaster and a website supporting his leadership sputtered to life, but showed little sign of engagement activity.
On rare days when he faced the media to the inevitable onslaught of questions about his leadership, he had a grim deer-in-headlights look.
The fight had gone out of him after just 30 months in the job.
That's why Scheer deserves kudos for recognizing his leadership was on life support and opting to unplug.
It may be his use of party funds to finance a costlier private school in Ottawa for his kids was partly to blame for his dash for the door. The optics of using donor money to give his children a religious education are definitely squeamish.
But it’s more likely he was weary of being a political piñata and that he had the street smarts to realize he would fight a divisive four month battle to lose at the end of the day.
And so he’s gone, a leader without distinctive accomplishment who could’ve and should’ve won the last election over a Liberal leader embroiled in personal scandals.
But his failures have given the Conservatives some important lessons as they look for a savior to put them back in the good books with urban voters in Ontario.
He has proved there is no longer a route to victory for a person with deeply held social conservative beliefs, even if they vow to never legislate them as a government.
He showed there’s a need for a leader with a progressive plan to fight climate change instead of a single-minded loathing of the carbon tax.
And in an age where personality counts more than a platform, he’s shown that the Conservatives need a leader with more than dimples and an aw-shucks charisma.
Andrew Scheer will enter the history books as a nice guy who became a one-term mistake that was quickly corrected.
That’s the Last Word.