At long last, the federal Conservatives have a new leader … and it’s NOT Maxime ‘Mad Max’ Bernier, who would have been the first deeply libertarian leader of a major Canadian political party.
After a vote counting process that was only slightly less difficult to understand than watching Game of Thrones midway through a season (the only thing I know about Game of Thrones is that everybody is either killing somebody, or having sex with them), Andrew Scheer emerged the winner, with a razor-thin 51% of the vote to Bernier’s 49%.
A Canadian Press story on Scheer called him ‘apple cheeked’, and it’s hard to argue with that description, even if it’s painfully dated. Look at the guy… isn’t he just kind of adorable? While Justin Trudeau looks like the kind of most girls would want to marry, Scheer looks like the kind of guy most girls end up with.
He’s only 38, born in Ottawa, now an MP for a Regina riding. He’s won his riding six straight times, and for a while he was
Speaker of the House. He’s fluently bilingual. So far, so good; a little East, a little West, a lot English and a little French. He has a nice family, even if it appears that he has indoctrinated them into the Saskatchewan Roughrider cult (see photo at right). Scheer is probably the best of a bad to awful lot, and certainly the safest. Bernier, a libertarian with a heavy French accent, was unelectable. The party dodged a huge bullet when Kevin O’Leary dropped out. The reptilian Kelly Leitch only managed about 7%, a pathetic number for someone who got so much publicity for her ‘Canadian values’ campaign. The rest were forgettable or regrettable.
So, what do we know about Scheer’s policies? I can sum it up this way: he doesn’t mind being called “Stephen Harper with a smile”.
We’ve seen this horror show before
There is a numbing familiarity to these things now. They follow the same sad, pitiful pattern. And we know we’re going to see it repeated somewhere else, sometime soon.
On Monday, a suicide bomber blew himself up as fans were leaving Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, following a concert by American pop tart Ariana Grande. There were about 21,000 people inside, predominantly female, predominately young, with a number of parents (fingers firmly in ears, no doubt) along to watch over their daughters.
After the suicide bomber did his foul deed, the familiar terrorist attack/reaction process began. Confused initial reports. Social media video. Death toll numbers rising (the first account was nine, by night’s end it was 22). Social media nitwits begin spreading false stories. The Twitterverse is filled with oh so sincere statements from people with no connection to the event, all solemnly pledging to send their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims, an expression so overused, so automatic, that it has lost any meaning it might have ever had. Politicians denounce the “cowardly” act (Donald Trump called the terrorist a “loser”, his version of the worst thing you can possibly say about a person). There was the usual pledge that “the resolve of (name of community) will not be shaken”. Police swoop in and arrest all sorts of people who days before were not considered to be arrest-worthy. Wall-to-wall media coverage for three or four days, with plenty of commentary how this level of cruelty ups the bar on terrorism, etc. By Saturday, the story has pretty much disappeared from the news.
We await the next terrorist outrage.
This week in Donald Trump…
Too much to cover here, so let’s just look at the highlights:
• Trump attended his first NATO meeting, and criticized all the other countries for not paying their fair share;
• Melania was twice seen refusing to hold hands with Trump (hey, would you?);
• he pushed aside another NATO leader to get to the front of a photo op;
• he shook hands with French President Macron so vigorously, it looked like a scene from that Sylvester Stallone movie Over the Top, the one about professional arm wrestling (Macron said “My handshake with him was not innocent. We need to show that we won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones, while not overhyping things either.”);
• Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, top advisor and perfect face of corporate evil, is being looked at by the FBI for his role in the Russian scandal, AND a report says he wanted a direct, personal line to the Kremlin.
By my count, the impeachment clock is set at about 10 months.
Roger Moore, 89, the most debonair and most British of the James Bonds (he played Bond seven times), who also had the misfortune of being in some of the worst James Bond movie moments (he dressed as a clown — a clown! — in Octopussy, and went into space in the dreadful Moonraker. His last bond film was A View to a Kill, and the then 57-year old admitted he “was only about 400 years too old for the part.” … Gregg Allman, 69, a member of the Allman Brothers Band and one of the founders of ‘Southern Rock’ (“Ramblin’ Man”, “Midnight Rider”) … Bill White, 77, longtime NHL defenceman and member of Team Canada ’72.