Andrew Scheer’s tenure as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, and Prime Minister-in-waiting, came to an abrupt end on Thursday morning. Scheer announced he was stepping down to spend more time with his family.

While the mainstream media trumped up a rumour that Scheer was resigning over a scandal involving improper use of party funds to pay for his children’s Catholic schooling, it turns out that was fake news.

As the Sun’s Brian Lilley confirmed, “there was no scandal because the party had agreed to pay the difference between what the Scheer family was paying in Regina versus what they were paying in Ottawa.”

Scheer told Lilley that he was leaving because he was exasperated and frustrated. His heart wasn’t in it anymore.

There were plenty of signs that Scheer was unwilling to push back against the naysayers.

He didn’t fight back against the biased anti-conservative media during the campaign, and he didn’t stand up to the Conservative Establishment calling for his head after the campaign.

One Conservative MP I spoke to described him as “Low Energy Andy” — a play on Donald Trump’s nickname for Jeb Bush during the 2016 Republican Primaries.

A more apt comparison, I believe, is Andrew Scheer to Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for President who lost to Barack Obama in 2012 after Obama’s dismal first term in office.

In 2012, the U.S. economy was slumping, Obama rammed through his unpopular Obamacare program, and his government was marred in scandal, including a failed policy dubbed Fast and Furious to buy illegal weapons from drug cartels that went sideways and was linked to the death of a Border Patrol Agent.

On top of this, two months before the general election, Obama tried to cover up a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. officials. Obama’s team lied about the attack, claiming it was an organic protest over an anti-Islam film.

The election was Romney’s to lose. And in the end, he did lose — because he failed to fight back. He was too polite, too much of a gentleman to defend himself against the many unfair accusations circulating in the media.

Romney, like Scheer, is a family man and man of faith. There is no doubt both would make good leaders, but neither had what it takes to win.

In the U.S., what came next was the anti-Romney. A brash, rude, pushy candidate who was willing to fight back and transcend the anti-conservative media bias.

Canada doesn’t need a Trump to beat Trudeau. But someone with some of his characteristics would go a long way.

Just hours after Scheer stepped down, our political cousins in the U.K. were voting in droves to elect Conservative leader Boris Johnson to a massive majority government.

The Conservatives picked up 66 new seats, including Labour strongholds and seats not won by a Tory since 1935.

Johnson is an unapologetic conservative who was willing to defend his policies — like Brexit — no matter how much the media hated them. He ran an amusing campaign with a simple, punchy message: “Enough. Let’s get Brexit done.”

When Conservative Party of Canada members vote to elect Scheer’s replacement, they should look for someone with Johnson’s characteristics: someone with a backbone, a little bit of charisma, with the courage to push back against the biased media and the conviction to stand up for conservatives values and ideas.

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