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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer after he announced he will step down as Leader of the Conservatives, on Dec. 12, 2019, in the House of Commons in Ottawa.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Readers respond: Andrew Scheer resigns as Conservative leader

Good decision. –TorontoGooner

Two-thirds of Canadians vote to the left of the political centre, via the Liberals, New Democrats, Green, etc.

Conservatives can’t have a leader who pushes toward a populist hard right, favouring a denial of abortion rights, gay rights, denying climate change, etc. and have any realistic chance of forming a government.

Conservatives need to move back toward the Canadian centre line, which is a fair bit left of what passes for centre in the United States.

And I’m saying that as a Conservative voter. –Cow4

My 80-something conservative father told me a year ago Andrew Scheer couldn’t win. If you don’t have the confidence of the old men as a Conservative, you don’t have anybody’s. –trevor smith-brown

The Conservatives now have an opportunity to choose a centrist leader. The middle ground is wide open. Let’s see if they take it. –res ipsa loquitor

This is Justin Trudeau’s worst nightmare. If Conservatives play this right, they will form the next government in Canada. The ball is in their court. Hopefully they don’t let the delegates at the convention choose someone as unelectable as Andrew Scheer. –CognitiveDissonance

It’s going to be very hard to continue to represent the socially conservative and the fiscally conservative all under one banner. The Conservative Party needs to take a hard look at what kind of party they want to be and what values they want to continue forward with. Can they survive as just a fiscally conservative party? –ridethecrest

Andrew Scheer resigns as Conservative leader

Ibbitson: A bad day for Scheer could mean a brighter future for the Tories

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Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer rises to announce he will step down as Leader of the Conservatives, on Dec. 12, 2019, in the House of Commons in Ottawa.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

It’s going to take a lot more than Andrew Scheer’s resignation to reverse the fortunes of the Conservative Party. They are too far out of step with the issues of the day. –sg60

Wonder if the next leader will be another social conservative with no environmental plans. I am small-c conservative and would like to be able to in good conscience vote for them, but I’ll bet that they select another leader cut from the same cloth. Recall that Andrew Scheer’s nearest competitor was Maxime Bernier. Wow, the selection of a new leader could be a trip. –Canoeist

This is good news for the party. However, as long as the Conservatives take their collective advice from the former Alliance and antiquated views of Alberta Social Credit, it will go nowhere. The party should rethink their whole party values and become more progressive. Ditch the Harper and Manning influences and mindset. –Emancipated Slave

Maybe they should divide into two separate parties along their more idealogical lines. One party that is more concerned about fiscal and financial policy and how to REFORM. The other party could be more PROGRESSIVE in their CONSERVATIVE ways, yet adhere to more conservative social policy. But what could the parties call themselves? –Darryl Williams

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Then-speaker of the House of Commons Andrew Scheer rises at the end of Question Period in Ottawa, on Dec. 15, 2011.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

I give full credit to Andrew Scheer for putting himself out there in public office to make a positive difference in our country. Not an easy thing to do, not a lot of fun when things don't go your way.

I believe Mr. Scheer is a genuinely nice person who loves his family and country.

This was a good decision on his part, I don't think he would have a ton of luck in the next election either.

I hope that the Conservative Party chooses a leader and a platform in the next election that is more palatable to Canadians. A less ideologically driven platform, more centrist like the Tories of old. And for me, no more tax cuts until we get our spending under control. –my 2 cents are worthless

For some, self-awareness can be hard to come by. To Andrew Scheer’s credit, he acknowledged the inevitable, understood not everyone can be a leader and with that self-awareness made the right decision.

It’s always better to walk before they make you run. –T.W

I like Andrew Scheer – good-natured, decent, honest, intelligent and industrious, a parliamentarian with the right skill set to be speaker and an effective, consensus-building and unifying prime minister, but the wrong skillset for being the drama queen, pretender and panderer unfettered by truth who too often wins elections these days.

This was my concern about Mr. Scheer, that he would be better at doing the job than getting the job. Sadly it worked out that way.

Politics is a cruel business, with people either at your feet or at your throat, and, unlike yesteryear, leaders of main parties generally only get one bite of the apple unless they win.

Mr. Scheer at 40 already has much to be proud of as the only leader to ever get more votes than either Trudeau; the youngest speaker in parliamentary history; and a leader who ran a comparatively honest, fiscally responsible, rational campaign.

Joe Clark, also in defeat at 40, went on to be a key minister in a two-term Conservative government. Mr. Scheer can do the same.

Good luck, Andrew Scheer. –Teddy Ballgame 9

The only question is why Andrew Scheer waited so long. His dithering has highlighted the rifts within the party and he could have minimized the damage had he done the honourable thing in the first place.

It’s true that the Conservative Party got a bigger share of the popular vote than anyone had a right to expect when Mr. Scheer ascended to the leader’s position, but that was in spite of the man rather than because of it. The uptick in popularity had much more to do with anti-Trudeau sentiment than anything resembling a pro-Scheer movement. –WhistlingInTheDark

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Andrew Scheer campaigns for the upcoming election in Trois-Rivieres, Que., on Oct. 15, 2019.Carlos Osorio/Reuters

Rona Ambrose. Please, please, please get in. –ThinkAhead

In the present political climate in Canada, the Conservatives’ best strategy is to elect a high-ability, female, pro-choice leader. Rona Ambrose would be excellent, and is probably their best bet. –Excimer

In a perfect world, Justin Trudeau will see that he can’t win the next election if there is a reasonable choice in the Conservative leadership. I think the next election should be between Rona Ambrose and Chrystia Freeland. –brynan1953

Dear Conservative leadership,

If and when you are tired of sitting in the opposition benches, appoint a leader who reflects the values of most Canadians. Your socially conservative views are out of touch with the mainstream, and I say that as I ache for a fiscally conservative government to steer us out of the liberal's spend-until-you-drop approach.

To be clear, I will not support any political party that is not pro-choice, inclusive of all sexual orientations, deeply concerned about science-proven climate change (sorry, Alberta), and which gives full-throated support to our multicultural heritage in all its forms.

Maybe, just maybe, a party run by a bunch of old white dudes should also open up the tent door wider for women, minorities and Canadians of all sexual orientations. (P.S. I’m a middle-aged white guy.)

If you want to win, that’s what it will take, but you’ll probably need to hit rock bottom before accepting this reality. In the meantime, enjoy wandering in the woods. –Dave_at_IMP

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