Checking Chuckles’ Challenges.

Maybe it is just the pundits in Ottawa who are challenged to understand the leader of the conservative party. While some tend to treat him as the Joker character from the Batman comics, Andrew Scheer M.P. has a little more depth than that. At least, his leadership of the federal conservatives is not going to frighten little children.

Chuckles has been wending his smiley way with the conservative caucus and seems to have them mainly under control. They might not be ready to resume power on the government benches but they do seem to know what they are there to do.

But if prime minister Trudeau and the liberals keep fumbling the ball, nobody expects Chuckles and his team of cheer leaders to know what to do with it.

On something such as the acquisition of the Trans Mountain pipeline, Scheer and the gang are caught between a rock and a hard place—and both are named Jason Kenney, leader of the united conservatives in Alberta. Jason Kenney could not have asked for a better solution to shipping bitumen to Burnaby, B.C. than Trudeau has offered. Trudeau and the feds take the blame for spills and Alberta gets the revenue.

Ergo, Chuckles also has to be in favour of Justin’s folly. It hardly matters that the government has offered to pay too much. They hardly care that Justin has put billions of public money at risk.

And nobody gives a damn what Jagmeet Singh, seat-less leader of the NDP, has to say about it. He is caught between NDP premier Notley of Alberta and NDP premier Horgan of B.C. and has been effectively silenced.

Chuckles can try to bask in the glory of the conservative win in the bye-election in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord. He would first have to thank the Bloc and the NDP for collapsing to less than ten per cent of the vote. And he should be more aware that Quebec bye-elections are intensely local events and meaningless on a national scale.

But despite a relatively positive performance on the opposition benches of parliament, Chuckles remains a relatively unknown quantity among the public. I would never say “never” but Chuckles would have to have a surprising amount of luck going with him to pose any major threat to Trudeau and his team’s re-election next year.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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