In last blog, I stated why I don’t believe Justin Trudeau deserves to be re-elected. This one will focus on what Scheer needs to do in order to win my vote and what he must avoid. Some are pretty obvious and I am confident he won’t cross those lines, but still want to put it out there just for the record. Also if there is a major scandal then all bets are off too, but its not possible to predict every possible bombshell that could pop up during the campaign so this is more a rough guide.
I am a stronger supporter of the Charter of rights and freedoms and I would like to see that he commit to following it. The notwithstanding clause is a nuclear option and is not something leaders should lightly entertain. In fact I would go as far to say leaders should only use it if there is broad cross party consensus so as to avoid its abuse. As such any talk of making regular use of it, or using for frivolous reasons is a redline for me.
On abortion and gay marriage, my views are clear that the status quo must remain in place. But since Scheer has already promised this, I will take him at his word as unlike some, I think we should avoid accusing someone of a hidden agenda unless we have actual evidence. But if he does break his word as PM and ban either, he will not get my vote in the subsequent election.
On marijuana legalization and euthanasia, he hasn’t confirmed he will maintain the status quo, but hasn’t been asked either. I will assume no change here, but if he does campaign on recriminalizing either it will be a redline. That does not mean they cannot make changes, especially on the marijuana file, but it should be in terms of better regulation not recriminalization
On gun control, my views have been expressed elsewhere and I believe Scheer is making a mistake in pushing for weaker gun laws. Evidence shows little harm in tougher gun laws and plenty of benefits. High cost of confiscation is really the only legitimate reason I can see for not banning assault weapons and/or handguns, not the idea that civilian ownership of either is legitimate, because with few exceptions it is not. But considering Canada is relatively safe and our gun laws work reasonably well, but could be better, I can live with status quo even if not ideal. Its not a deal breaker for me, but loosening it could be. In particular there are three redlines on gun control that if Scheer crosses any, he will not get my vote. I am particularly troubled by several Conservative candidates hanging out with the CCFR (www.firearmrights.ca) which if you read their policies, they are very NRA like and not at all mainstream. They belong on the political fringe and should be ignored by all serious parties. The three redlines are as follows:
- Maintain or strengthen magazine limits; no removing or weakening the limits of 5 rounds for centrefire long guns, and 10 rounds for handguns
- Ensure that concealed carry remains prohibited and no expansion of ATC (Authorization to Carry) beyond what is currently permitted
- Ensure Fully automatic weapons and semi-automatics which can easily be converted remain in the prohibited class and are not moved to either restricted or non-restricted
On the environment, I am disappointed that Scheer has not endorsed a revenue neutral carbon tax, but I am hopeful that on the long-run the party will come around to this. At the very least I don’t want to see Scheer promoting the idea climate change is a hoax. Leaders should govern based on evidence and facts, not conspiracies and the science is settled that man made climate change is happening so debate should only be about how best to deal with it; not whether it exists or not.
Finally as one who has zero tolerance for bigotry, it is important that the Conservatives as they’ve done so far condemn all bigotry and any candidate who is caught engaging in racist or any other intolerant behavior be dumped immediately even if after candidate deadline and the possibility of forgoing the seat. Legitimate criticism on our immigration system is fine, but bigotry must be condemned by all leaders.
If Scheer can avoid crossing these redlines, there is a good chance he will get my vote, but crosses any, I shall go elsewhere, although where is still a big question.