The cheery new leader of Canada’s Conservatives

WHEN Stephen Harper stepped down as leader of Canada’s Conservative Party after losing a national election in October 2015, it looked as if the party he had created might come apart. That 13 candidates came forward to succeed him was an indication of how many ideologies he had knitted together. Among them were three anti-abortion social conservatives, a libertarian and a Trumpian populist. Any one of these might have unravelled Mr Harper’s coalition.

In an election on May 27th to choose his successor, the 140,000 party members who voted stayed with what they knew. Andrew Scheer, a genial, 38-year-old father of five from the western province of Saskatchewan, spent his 13-year political career under the leadership of Mr Harper, who was prime minister for nearly ten years. Mr Scheer shares his predecessor’s enthusiasm for smaller government and lower taxes. Like Mr Harper he opposes carbon taxes and emphasises the need to go after “radical Islamic terrorists”. The media…Continue reading

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