Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. (Submitted)

LETTER: Andrew Scheer may be most underrated political leader in Western world

Former MP John Weston writes about an evening he hosted with the federal Conservative leader

“What can you hope for in someone aspiring to lead our country?”

That’s the question in my mind as I prepared to host Andrew Scheer at my home in West Vancouver Friday night, along with about 75 others eager to meet him. He’s at the most malleable time in his leadership career, recently elected, and seemingly open to guidance from people like those he met in the room.

The answer to my question became more and more apparent as Andrew spoke. As friends dispersed later, several came independently to the same conclusion. We wanted to observe humility, compassion, integrity, and someone committed to listen to the people he aims to serve.

The humility side he’s learned from being consistently underrated in politics, surrounding himself with strong supporters, and beating the odds. Andrew may be the most underrated political leader in the Western world. At the tender age of 25, he beat the odds in 2004, winning his first election as MP against a 30-year parliamentary veteran, Lorne Nystrom. At 32, he defied the experts once again in 2011, becoming Canada’s youngest ever Speaker of the House. And he beat the odds a third time to emerge victorious over 15 other candidates who sought the Conservative Party leadership in 2016.

The compassion angle is especially important for a Conservative leader. Andrew acknowledged the importance of rehabilitation, not just the expectable commitment to incarcerate repeat offenders. Imagine how Canadians would respond to a leader who pledged intelligent, effective support to the prisoners of drug addiction.

The integrity piece is key, as we want leaders who will do the right thing even when no one is watching. You don’t have to share his faith as a devoted Catholic Christian to believe he has a personal stake in doing the right thing. That same integrity allows for him to remain loyal to whatever commitments he makes as he prepares to potentially lead the country. At the same time, integrity will require him to change position while making the necessary adjustments when the good of the whole country requires a special interest group to yield.

Finally, Andrew seemed intent on listening to people he met. With his energy, mental nimbleness, and the ability to identify people who can enrich his understanding of key issues, he has the makings to grow into a great Canadian leader.

John Weston

John Weston is a lawyer specializing in government relations and indigenous affairs, author of the book On!, and former Conservative Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.

* The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the North Island Gazette. If you have a different opinion, we request you write to us to contribute to the conversation.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake swings into its 17th year

The annual music festival ran over three days this past weekend

Town of Sylvan Lake looking at lake usage in new survey

The Town is in talks to contract part of the lake, but has to have a plan for water usage first

Over 1,000 barrel racers pouring into Ponoka next week for ABRA Finals

The Alberta Barrel Racing Association Finals will be held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre Aug. 19-25

It’s our lake too, eh?

The Sylvan Lake Watershed Society contributes a weekly column about many aspects of the lake

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Panel to review impacts of safe injection sites in Alberta

It will look at crime rates, social order and property values, and not harm reduction or housing

Five suspects arrested by Leduc RCMP with help of Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis

Leduc RCMP work with Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP to make arrests

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

PHOTOS: 5th Annual Alix rodeo bucks the competition

Cowboys and cowgirls risked it all at the Alix Rodeo

Wetaskiwin RCMP arrest two in Camrose after report of suspicious persons

Fugitives try to flee on ATVS, one allegedly steals police car

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read