If an octopus ran for office and was trending in the polls, Justin Trudeau is enough to give us ample reflection to vote for the eight-armed mollusk. Sadly, the octopus would be equally qualified to run for office as Trudeau was in 2015. What is seldom discussed is that Andrew Scheer isn’t qualified either.
Outside of a brief stint in insurance, Scheer has minimal experience outside of politics. He briefly worked as an insurance broker where he failed to achieve anything meaningful and quickly left the industry. He was finally elected to office as deputy speaker and house speaker. His accomplishments and expertise are of legislative procedure; he knows much about form and little about substance.
This is problematic because when he discusses balancing the budget after several years in office, just as Trudeau did but failed to follow through on – likely stemming from a lack of competence that Scheer appears to replicate. There’s no evidence to suggest he’ll succeed. There have been no specifics given as to how he will accomplish anything that he’s promising, which is problematic given that he doesn’t have a resume of actual accomplishments that could lend credibility to his claim. The only thing we know about his political competence is that he wants to be in power.
His actual positions are abysmal. He supports a war in Syria. He supports criminalization of narcotics and has even contemplated re-criminalizing marijuana. He was elected to the leadership of the Conservative Party based on his support for supply management, which artificially raises the prices of groceries – the most anti-free market, pro-poverty position I can imagine.
He outperforms Trudeau in “Question Period,” which is the lowest bar I can imagine. Trudeau refuses to answer questions put to him, on questions like the cost of a carbon tax on Canadians, his ethics violations, and his changes to corporate tax and business regulation. Scheer has failed to use his knowledge of house procedure and hold him accountable, which could have been showcased as a success but instead, Scheer has nothing to show for his time in opposition despite having the tools to succeed.
He’s failed to hold Trudeau accountable for his human rights catastrophe – the Saudi arms deal. To wit, he carries with him the same Trudeau-style contradiction that he calls himself a feminist and refuses to lift a finger to change Canada’s support for brutality against women.
The central argument for Scheer over Trudeau is that he says less embarrassing things. His rhetoric is superior to Trudeau’s. I would like to submit that this is the worst argument possible for voting in favour of a particular politician. Trudeau talks as a feminist, but his actual record is one of extreme misogyny. Trudeau talks about investment but his actual record is one of extreme financial floundering. Scheer can talk and give rhetorical support for sensible positions, but this is different from reality. If taking selfies is a ridiculous reason to vote for someone, then not taking selfies has the same absurdity.
Where Scheer could have shown us his efficacy, he’s showing us an inability to get things done. Very few of his positions are superior to Trudeau’s, some of them are worse from a libertarian perspective. His resume is as feckless as Trudeau’s. Scheer isn’t Stephen Harper-lite, he’s Justin Trudeau-lite, which is a major problem, given that Trudeau is already extremely lite. I’ll be voting Libertarian in 2019.
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