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Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer signs hats with party faithful at a rally in Richmond B.C., Oct. 20, 2019.DON MACKINNON/AFP/Getty Images

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Readers respond: Former Conservative MP joins group saying Andrew Scheer must go, hopes Peter MacKay will enter leadership race

The “unite the right” experiment is over. The right never united – it just drove most progressive conservatives further into the wilderness, to await the resurrection of the federal Progressive Conservative Party. Hence, today’s Conservative Party has really become a regional-interest party.

It is time to disunite the right. Keep progressive elements in the party. Go back to the PC brand and rebuild, which should have been done in the first place.

Now is the time, as there are many less-progressive conservatives looking for a rallying point, particularly as displeasure with other parties runs high. Strike while the iron is hot. Give people an alternative national party that can bring together, not divide, our disparate regions.

And no, Peter MacKay is not the person for the task. He is the one who chose expediency over the hard work of rebuilding, and forced others into the wilderness for so many years, depriving many Canadians of an option they preferred. –George Bay

I know you keepers of the flame love to keep the fairy tale alive, but the Progressive Conservatives are done. They’re not coming back. And if that’s what you want, go join the Liberal Party and drag them back to the centre from the left-wing ledge they’ve climbed out on.

The Conservative Party today can win by being fiscally prudent and socially reflective of Canada today: A) pro choice and B) supportive (and defenders) of marriage equality. But, it can also be a big tent, where C) social conservatives are not made to feel like pariahs. The Liberals used to aspire to be a big tent party until they started dictating how others should think on items of conscience.

The Conservatives need a leader who believes deeply in A, B and C, not one who evades a direct question on what he personally believes. Andrew Scheer was selected as Leader to fight the last war on the “sunny ways” battlefield. The next election will be fought on a recessionary battlefield and the Tories need to rebuild with that in mind. I like Peter Mackay, but he should have to earn the leadership in a full campaign, not through coronation. –Sea to the Dea

Andrew Scheer may have been selected as Leader to fight the “sunny ways” battle, but the real battle was on climate change, and he, and the party’s messaging machine, were totally unprepared for it. –Fishyguy

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Scheer participates in an interview reflecting on the 2019 Federal election, in Ottawa, on Oct. 24, 2019.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

The Conservatives have to get back to the Progressive Conservative brand to get anywhere. The Harper era is over and anyone associated with that group has to find their own niche. The world has moved on. I believe we’ll see Jason Kenney and Doug Ford fail in the next short while. –Laugher

Andrew Scheer is certainly not a good candidate for Canada, but there was lots wrong with the platform. The lack of a serious environment program, of course, but also all those boutique tax credits for the wealthy, and a serious cut to our underfunded foreign-aid program, which does not meet United Nations standards. Also, the campaign ads were painfully personal attacks, as was Mr. Scheer’s performance in the debates, which were offensive to many of us watching.

Attack policies, not persons, and keep it dignified. This isn’t the United States. –Barbara1945

The notion that Andrew Scheer should be turfed because he won’t march in a parade is ludicrous. It is about time we acknowledged that there is a difference between “tolerance” and “endorsement.” While we are required to tolerate LGBTQ issues, we are not required to endorse them. And that means we do not have to march in parades, and neither should we expect our political leaders to do so.

Tolerance also implies an acceptance of the fact that there are those who disagree with LGBTQ issues, and that does not mean that that they are haters. I think Mr. Scheer has demonstrated respect and tolerance and he is certainly not a hater. He should be respected for the way he has conducted himself.

This past election, his party grew in popular vote and in seats against a Prime Minister who was first elected in a landslide in 2015. Patience. By 2023, the electorate will be ready for change and Mr. Scheer is very well-positioned for that eventuality. –Rocksteady

If you run to be prime minister, you better be prepared to represent all Canadians, regardless of those who vote for you. If you can’t march in a parade to support a group of people who have faced prejudice and persecution, then you should look for another job. How about permanent Opposition Leader? –J Quibly

Peter MacKay during a pre-election campaign in Little Harbour, N.S., on Oct. 17, 2019.CARLOS OSORIO/Reuters

While Andrew Scheer definitely should go, I do not think Peter MacKay is a good choice. –Max-power

Terence Young hopes Peter MacKay will run because he can “connect with people and is principled.” Really? Like when he sold out the Conservative Party to the Reform after promising not to? Andrew Scheer is part of that legacy –slancha1

I am from the Prairies and my feeling is that a big part of the Conservative loss was their stance on carbon pricing. I think many Canadians are concerned about climate change, and carbon pricing seems to be one reasonable way to attack the problem, or at least to look like we are doing our part. The Conservative platform didn’t resonate with many younger people. The party needs to redefine itself. Andrew Scheer wasn’t the whole problem. –Maureen_D

Curtailing the government’s role to free up market forces doesn’t solve much of anything, and in some cases makes things worse. In practice, virtually the only beneficiaries of Conservative policies have been wealthy families and corporations who bankroll the think tanks and the Conservative movement’s anti-government network.

The right’s hostility toward regulations, civil servants and even successful government programs leaves them without an agenda that will deliver greater economic security, better health care, a cleaner environment, improved schools and lower public-health and safety risks.

Conservatism has nothing left to offer, unless it finds a leader who understands the reality they are facing. –highconcept

Two of the announcements the Conservative Party made at the beginning of the election turned me off. The first was their vow to repeal the carbon tax. The carbon tax is basically a conservative idea that the Economist magazine espoused. The second was their vow to again place Conservatives in the Senate. The Liberal approach may not be the best, but it is a vast improvement over what was. I don’t know how much Andrew Scheer can be blamed for this and how much lies with the Conservative establishment. –QB7274

As much as the focus is on Andrew Scheer (and much of it should be), we do have to question the backroom Conservative Party strategists, sponsors and third parties who drive the party agenda. They failed to develop a palatable campaign strategy and message which embraced basic progressive Canadian morals and values. Insufficient new positive economic, climate and social policies were developed for Canadians to comfortably latch on to. There are common Canadian wants and values. Canada really is a land of general common agreement that looks for differentiating issues to argue over (as compared to our southern neighbours). The Conservatives picked the wrong issues and missed the opportunity boat. –Brucester0

Andrew Scheer is a very good person, but sadly, in this celebrity Kardashian era we live in, he just doesn’t have that It factor. Peter MacKay might, but to win the next election, the Conservative Party needs to swallow its ego and seriously consider a female leader, born and bred in Ontario. If Rona Ambrose, though not from Ontario but the right package, had been the Conservative leader, this election would have looked much different. –YoungCapital

Michael Chong is the Conservative Party’s best bet for rebranding. But the base disagreed with his carbon tax during the 2017 leadership convention (even though it would start out as revenue negative, with significant cuts to income and business taxes to spur productivity gains and investment). His only hope to win would be for hundreds of new members to join before the next leadership convention. This is not uncommon; this is how Jagmeet Singh won the NDP leadership. –billy112

I’d like to see Andrew Scheer carry on and lead the Tories to more election defeats. –Ambrose99

From the Comments is designed to highlight interesting and thoughtful contributions from our readers. Some comments have been edited for clarity. Everyone can read the comments but only subscribers will be able to contribute. Thank you to everyone furthering debate across our site.

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