Geoffrey Stevens's blog

Memories of Diefenbaker’s humiliation resonate in Scheer’s struggle for survival

They say history doesn’t repeat itself, but it makes a pretty good stab at it when it comes to the federal Conservative party and its leadership.

In 1966, 13 years before Andrew Scheer was born, John Diefenbaker was humiliated and dumped from the leadership by a party that had been persuaded he could not lead it back to power – a fate that Scheer is struggling to avoid today.

Minority government presents new opportunities

Let’s hope the new 43rd Parliament will not deteriorate into the ugly partisanship that marred the final months of the previous Parliament and that dominated the October election campaign.

Let’s hope that the election outcome has had a sobering effect. Let’s hope there will be more cooperation and less obstruction. Finally, let’s hope the new minority government, surely knowing its survival depends on it, will be more flexible than its majority predecessor and more disposed to move quickly on current issues and overdue reforms.

Minefields await leaders and parties in the minority Parliament

Elizabeth May has announced her resignation as leader of the Green Party, and the remaining federal leaders – with one exception – will be picking their way through minefields for the next few months.

The exception is Yves-François Blanchet, who has been leader of the Bloc Québécois since January of this year. The party was on life support when he took over. He brought it back to official party status – and more – on Oct 21.

The Conservatives are at a crossroads: change or become irrelevant

Andrew Scheer is never going to be prime minister of Canada.

And his Conservative party is never going to be closer to power than it is today – a strong opposition in a minority Parliament – until it recognizes that the country is changing. A political party that cannot adapt to change faces a bleak future.