Saturday, September 23, 2023

MALCOLM: The path forward for conservatives grappling with social issues

As the Conservative Party of Canada struggles to find a leader and the field of declared candidates gets smaller and less interesting, one thing is becoming clear: Andrew Scheer has done a great disservice to all conservatives in Canada.

During the 2019 election campaign, Scheer was unable to articulate his position on social issues and was unwilling to push back against media attacks obsessing over his views on gay marriage and abortion.

The working theory goes that Scheer is personally opposed to both of these practices — which were rigorously debated and settled some two decades ago — but that he would not legislate on either.

This is only a theory, though, since Scheer wasn’t the most transparent politician. For instance, why did we only learn he was a U.S. citizen half way through the campaign? Why did he misrepresent his career prior to joining politics? Why was he using party funds to pay for his children’s private school? These were all media-created frenzies, but the underlying questions remain. Scheer had a tough time answering what should have been pretty simple questions.

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