In the third and final installment of 'The Tyee Trolls Andrew Scheer,' Steve Burgess explores how the slippery 'summer help' guy is pulling out all the stops to distance himself from, well, Andrew Scheer.
..when Scheer appeared on CBC the week before, taking questions from five undecided voters, he was a right friendly feller. He told one questioner he cared deeply about climate change. He claimed to another that he welcomed new immigrants and would at least maintain current immigration levels. He told a third that services for people on the margins will be maintained. Of course, you would say that on the CBC, wouldn’t you?
...Yet Scheer’s CBC set piece merits a close listen, because unlike Monday’s soundbite smack down, it offered the Conservative leader space to elaborate. He chose to fill it with code words and shifts in emphasis. A question on how to help marginalized communities led to a comment on... balanced budgets. Climate change was framed in a way that references China (i.e. the real malefactors, not us). And since Scheer has recently declared B.C.’s quite arguably successful carbon tax a failure and listed one of his climate change initiatives as “wider roads,” his assurances to the CBC audience may seem less than convincing.
Scheer’s 2005 House of Commons speech against same sex marriage was a cri de couer, a statement of his personal convictions. He has more recently described the speech as representative of the views of his constituents. What he hasn’t said is that his personal convictions have since changed — only that he will not pursue changes in the law. The CBC’s Rosemary Barton asked him why he won’t march in Pride parades and, after Scheer had waffled a bit, pointedly asked, “Why is so difficult for you to explain how your thinking has evolved?”
“Society has moved on,” Scheer answered. To which many of Scheer’s supporters might reply, “Not all of it, pal.” And while it is only speculation, the most obvious explanations for Scheer’s squirming on the issue of gay rights are a) He is not willing to alienate his base, and b) He still prays for a day when society will move LGBTQ people right back into the closet.
Scheer’s forthright support for anti-abortion groups, like his anti-gay rights past, is another subject of his “Yes, I believe it but don’t worry about that” approach.
...He has clearly signalled where his sympathies lie, and the implied message seems to be: “Can’t talk right now. But support me and I will be your sleeper agent in the halls of power.”Then there's the matter of Scheer's wingman, his beard, Mad Max.
Scheer has had some breaks in this campaign, primarily furnished by Justin Trudeau’s Scrapbook o’ Memories. And while some have suggested that Bernier’s People’s Party could split the right-wing vote, it is more likely that Bernier did Scheer a favour with his new crusade. Having the intemperate Bernier on the scene allows Scheer to paint himself as a more moderate option.Burgess has a pretty accurate measure of Andrew Scheer. He's a liar, a con man, but aren't they all? I was pretty gently chided for skipping the English-language leader's debate but I wasn't going to waste my time with a round-robin of horse shit. That's true for Scheer, Trudeau, even Singh although I will give Jagmeet credit, he's mastered the art of appearing sincere. Show me a New Dem leader in the post-Layton era who hasn't been up to their eyeballs in faux sincerity.
The stomach churns.