It was just barely a few hours ago that I wrote about Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and his propensity for being evasive and being unwilling to answer straight forward questions during this campaign. I thought that I wouldn’t need to talk about that again for a while, but then the Globe and Mail struck again, with a piece of news that will not help this narrative about Scheer go away. The news? Well something that we probably didn’t see coming:
Okay, you have to admit that there is a huge piece of irony out there that Andrew Scheer of all people holds dual citizenship and said nothing about it until he was outed. Remember, for the past three campaigns the Conservatives have made sport about attacking other leaders for having dual citizenship. Remember the attacks on Stephane Dion, whose apparent crime was having dual Canadian-French citizenship? Then it was Michael Ignatieff and the whole “Just Visiting” campaign. And then in 2015 they turned their sights on Tom Mulcair, who also has French from marrying his French wife.
In each of those cases, we heard from Conservatives attacks about how there was something wrong about all of this, something unsavoury, something to be mistrusted about these elites who happened to have citizenship elsewhere. They were to be mistrusted and all that garbage. Andrew Scheer won his seat three times with those lines, riding them to a big MP pension and four years in the Speakers chair, along with the extra salary and the free public housing at Kingsmere. Yet all the while he remained conspicuously mum about his own dual-citizenship dalliances. Yeah, that probably doesn’t help this whole “he’s got something to hide” narrative that’s going around.
An interesting thing about this for me was the fact that somehow this piece of news somehow never came out before it. It seemed to be completely unknown to everyone and somehow it wasn’t until this moment that it came out, which is weird if you ask me. You have to wonder who knew, and it was wondering about that that took me to Google, where after a few minutes I found this nugget:
It looks like someone called VirginiaWhistle on Reddit knew about this. In fact, that individual has written a grand total of 4 messages on Reddit, all of them involving Andrew Scheer, his families’ citizenship and specific details about citizenship law. Oh, and they also asked if he had renounced any of it yet. All four of those messages were put out six and seven months ago, which would put that right in the middle of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, if you’re interested in the timing.
When I did my Google search almost everything that came up in the first 10 pages came from tonight, which tells you how little people seemed to know about this topic. Yet the one exception in that search? That first post I put above. Gotta say this raises more questions of it’s own, and makes you wonder where the Globe and Mail story came from. And to be clear, I’m not doubting the story and the facts in it; the Conservatives have confirmed them. The Globe are a bunch of pros and I respect their work. But when a story like this seems to come completely out of nowhere and you see things like those Reddit messages line up, it smells like someone was up to something, someone who took the name VirginiaWhistle.
As for the actual story itself, there is a degree of seeing Scheer hoisted so firmly and completely upon his own petard that feels like karma striking. This is very much a “live by the sword, die by the sword” situation. And as it was for Dion, Ignatieff and Mulcair, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having dual citizenship. But it’s amazingly hypocritical of Mr. Scheer and does play into the narrative that’s out there, especially given that he kept this secret the whole time, despite someone’s obvious efforts to out him sooner. This won’t help Scheer’s campaign, that’s for sure, but after finding out this other detail, I am left with other questions about how is actually behind this story. From my perspective, it looks like this story has been in the works for a while and the timing involved here seems anything but a coincidence. We’ll see what more comes of all of this but for sure, this election has proved to be anything but boring.