I can’t help but quote the late Yogi Berra who once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” The election results are a big throwback to the Trudeau the Elder era. Quebec and Ontario elected the government and the West has been shut out. Canada is a divided, acrimonious country. No wonder there is a strong Wexit movement.
Immediately following the election results, there were calls for Mr. Scheer to resign. The odd thing is there were no calls for Mr. Trudeau to resign. He lost the majority and lost a large number of seats. For reasons I do not understand, the Liberals still view him as an asset. Maybe this is because the press fawn all over him.
The maddening thing here is that the country did not so much elect Mr. Trudeau as it did not elect Mr. Scheer. I think Peter MacKay summed it up nicely saying, “Yeah, to use a good Canadian analogy, it was like having a breakaway on an open net and missing the net.” To take this analogy a little further, the pass to Andrew Scheer to set up the breakaway came from Justin Trudeau. Mr. Scheer was never prepared for what should have been obvious questions. Why did he not have prepared answers for questions on his stance on same-sex marriage and abortion? Stumbling over the answers he gave made him seem weak and ineffectual. Of course, the press jumped all over this, which only served to make the situation worse.
This will most likely be a stable minority government. The NDP do not want, and cannot afford, another election any time soon. The Bloc clearly like where they are at the moment, meaning they would likely support the government if it looked like they would fall in a vote. So, we are stuck with four more years of Justin Trudeau. This means four more years of excessive government spending, large deficits and debt, and increasing interest payments to finance the debt. Also, and more importantly for Alberta, there will be four more years of pipeline stalling and anti-oil rhetoric, accompanied by climate change whining.
The only upside I can see here is that this gives the Conservatives time to gracefully engineer the exit of Andrew Scheer. There are several worthy, high-profile candidates out there. Personally, I would like to see Mr. Harper come back, but that is not going to happen. Although he denies it, I cannot help but think Peter MacKay is quietly preparing. I think Rona Ambrose did an excellent job when she was interim leader. She should have been allowed to run in the leadership race. She probably would have won the leadership and likely would have won the election. Another potential star candidate would be Michelle Rempel. We need to unseat Mr. Trudeau, and in order to do that, the Conservatives need to elect one of these people as the new leader.
Frank Atkins is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.