Scheer joy reigned last night wherever Canadian conservatives -- true conservatives -- gathered to watch the Conservative Party of Canada elect a new leader. The winner... on the 13th ballot... by a margin of only 2% of over 141,000 votes cast... was... may I have the envelope please... the right envelope... ... the winner... and next prime minister of Canada (let us hope and pray fervently)... ANDREW SCHEER!
Andrew who? Mr Scheer is 38 years old, from Saskatchewan, the father of five children ("so far", he says), and was Speaker of the House of Commons for much of the Harper years. A rarity in today's Canada, he admits to being a Christian (practising Catholic), and is known to be opposed to gay "marriage", abortion and other social evils being foisted on Canadians by the Liberals in the name of progress, inclusivity, diversity, yada yada yada.
Agent 3 thinks it a pity that there was no parimutuel betting on the outcome, as he would have hit the Exactor, having voted (on a ranked ballot) for Mr Scheer and runner-up Maxime Bernier, in that order, out of a field of 14, one of whom (Kevin O'Leary, star of Dragon's Den) was scratched just before the starting bell.
Agent 3 says he's hopeful that Andrew Scheer will be able to pull the Conservative Party together to mount a strong challenge to Justin Trudeau's Liberals in the next federal election, due in two years. What worries him, though, is Mr Scheer's resemblance (especially in profile, he writes) to Joe Clark, another "nice guy" who became Tory leader and then prime minister in 1979. Sadly, he lacked the killer instinct to hold onto power; his government lasted only six months.