The saccharine sweetness of Andrew Scheer.

After watching Conservative Party leadership contender Andrew Scheer M.P. on Global’s West Block program last Sunday, it felt like you were coming down from a sugar high. You wonder if that guy can ever rid himself of that grin. The wife liked him at first but after a full six minutes of it, she had tired of him. She realized that he had nothing to say.

This writer used to talk about the Bobbsey Twins of the Harper government. They were the cabinet twins of John Baird and Jason Kenney. The Bobbsey Twins of the post-Harper era are MPs Erin O’Toole from Ontario and Andrew Scheer from Saskatchewan. Both are from the far right of the party. Both would be equally at home among libertarians.

But in the current leadership race, they are cancelling each other out. Scheer is the darling of the Conservative caucus and Alberta and Saskatchewan Conservatives. O’Toole might be from Ontario but he has mined the easier ore bodies in Atlantic Canada and even won Peter Mackay’s blessing.

Neither is a leader. The reason they are in the top seven in the race is their blandness. While neither has to talk for long to position themselves, they are offering a short-term solution to the party. They are both more or less promising to do a balanced job through the next election, lose gracefully and then fall on their sword to make room for a real leader.

While both might have a substantial number of votes among people filling out their ballot down to the tenth choice, the counting might not get that far. This race should be decided by the time the computerized count gets down to dropping off the eighth losing candidate. Do not forget that this decision will be made by the accumulated second, third and fourth choices of the people who first voted for a loser.

And when you figure that the first four almost sure to be eliminated in the counting will be Rick Peterson, Andrew Saxton, Deepak Obrai and Brad Trost, you realize that they will not have many second and third votes to distribute to the remainder. It might not be until maybe nine of the original 14 have been eliminated that a winner emerges.

But before you do any more mathematics, you have to remember that each of 338 electoral districts has 100 points to share among its party membership. This is one of those “fair” voting systems that the special parliamentary committee rejected last year. And how much trust do you have in it?

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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