Imagine you’re a politician.
Even better , you’re the leader of a political party. The leader of the main opposition party , even. And yet , most Canadians wouldn’t know you if they tripped over you in the tool aisle of the local Canadian Tire.
What to do ?
Especially when the Prime Minister ( your target ) is blessed with a famous name and the considerable advantages of incumbency. How do you shift his spotlight your way ?
Short of lighting yourself on fire or dancing nude in the streets ( or doing both together , I suppose ) there isn’t much any opposition leader can do to up their profile in between election cycles. No , the life of an opposition leader is an endless cycle of low-impact rubber chicken dinners , bingo hall grip and grins and sessions spent asking the Prime Minister questions he never ever answers.
So Andrew Scheer should count himself blessed that Justin Trudeau has lit himself on fire , an exquisitely engineered fire , over SNC-Lavalin. After all , it’s not every day a sitting Prime Minister cripples himself to the point where even Jagmeet Singh risks becoming competitive.
Looked at through a more practical lens : when Trudeau goes is not even Scheer’s call to make in a majority Parliament. Absent a revolt from the Liberal caucus , or perhaps some criminal charges , Trudeau will be Prime Minister come this fall’s federal election. And while Trudeau’s head would be a helluva trophy , it might be better for a severely tainted Trudeau to lead his troops into that fight. Scheer should focus on inflicting a thousand cuts , not trying to land the killer blow.
What the SNC situation now calls for is a calm and systematic destruction of Trudeau’s arguments , such as he’s made them. The people who don’t follow politics need to see a robust defence of Canada’s institutions and constitutional conventions , along with clear reminders of what will be lost should Trudeau be allowed to skate away from the mess he’s made. Thankfully , the federal court and the OECD are already helping on these fronts; there is no need for Conservatives to over-egg the pudding.
I too , thought that was a a political misstep on Scheer’s part … Jumping the gun too quickly … Make it known that ‘ could be where we’re heading ‘ … But project some leadership qualities by allowing all pertinent information come to the fore before making that assertion … The press and critics will toss those big bombs willingly anyway … Plus , if Junior weasels his way out of this , it just becomes fodder for him to fling at the opposition leader making ‘ hasty decisions ‘ …
And to Scheer’s credit , he’s showing signs of a recalibration. The Tories now appear ready to savour Trudeau’s pain like a fine wine , not like a beer in a frat house.
I rather like Andy’s analogy on that one !!! …
With the Prime Minister’s jobs claims now in dispute , the legal arguments for offering a DPA in tatters and his strategy now to stay quiet and suppress all further testimony from either Wilson-Raybould or his staff , Trudeau has painted himself into an ugly corner. Scheer must satisfy himself with keeping Trudeau in that corner and hemming him in even further , not pushing for an outcome he can’t deliver.
In short , Canadians need to look at Scheer and see a Prime Minister in waiting. Someone with their interests at heart and not his own , even if the two intersect.