Andrew Scheer, now Canada’s Conservative leader, is up against a humbled incumbent: Justin Trudeau and his fading political brand.
In a recent Forum Research poll, Scheer’s approval rating comes in at just 27 per cent with Trudeau still hanging on to an approval rating 12 per cent higher. It’s not hard to figure out why.
Scheer’s message during this campaign was simple and stinging: You can’t trust Justin Trudeau. But in earnest, he has also had a hard time convincing voters they can trust him.
For one thing, Scheer campaigned as an average Canadian guy. Until it turned out that he is also American. He never told voters he was a dual Canadian and American citizen until just a few weeks ago. He says he is in the process of renouncing his citizenship but still, it’s one of the reasons Canadians haven’t quite known what to make of this conservative leader.
A devout Catholic, Scheer is both fiscally and socially conservative, but has promised not to change some of Canada’s more progressive laws. Although unapologetically pro-life, he is adamant that he will do nothing to change pro-choice laws in Canada. Although unwilling to declare support for gay marriage, he says he won’t try to change that law either.
His extreme pragmatism can also leave a confusing message — his backing of the new US, Canada, Mexico trade agreement offers a good example: “It’s quite clear that Justin Trudeau did cave to Donald Trump,” says Scheer during a campaign press conference in an attempt to swipe at the trade deal, but then repeated that he would approve the deal anyway if elected prime minister.