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GATHER ROUND, PEOPLE. For today's lesson I'd like you to consider two specimens. On the right here we have Andrew Scheer's brain. Seems normal enough, don't you think? What you might expect from a low-key, average sort of mind. Nothing fancy. Some might even call it healthy.

Now let's compare that with what we have here, which is Andrew Scheer's brain on drugs. It's a disturbing sight to be sure. We're not exactly certain what drugs this brain has been exposed to, but it's quite clear that whatever it was, it's caused severe damage to the cognitive areas outlined here and here. Kind of like a side of deep-fried Spam if truth be told.

So why are we making this comparison today? Well as fate would have it, Andrew Scheer is not just the leader of the Canada's federal Conservative party, but thanks to circumstances few would have predicted even a year ago, Mr. Scheer has an excellent chance of becoming Canada's next prime minister. I think you will all agree that having unimpaired, if not overly spectacular, cognitive abilities is generally considered a fine and reassuring quality when considering the office of prime minister.

As the saying goes you should never judge a book by its cover. Well, nor should you ever judge a brain by how hot and greasy it might appear. No, we in the science community depend on actions and statements from which to draw our objective conclusions. And objectively we've concluded that the future prime minister was on at least one occasion, high. Very high.

Consider if you will his recent speech in Montreal on foreign and defence policy. The usual Conservative staples were all there, from the promise of new jet fighters and a rejuvenated submarine fleet, to joining the US ballistic missile defence program and generally tying our can to Donald Trump's tail. Questionable to be sure, and also unlikely to ever happen, but what one might expect from our good friends on the right.

And then Andrew Scheer became stoned. There's simply no scientific doubt. Ponder this chemically compromised statement: "I'm very committed to depoliticizing the entire procurement process," Scheer opined, which is of course akin to committing to dehumidifying the oceans, or decalcifying your fibula, even dealcoholizing a mug of beer! You can't have one without the other, people.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but in a functioning democracy a process that involves the spending of billions of dollars will inherently be political. Parties represent their members' interests, MPs their constituents' interests, and they will debate and defend those as they should. It is time consuming, at times wasteful, and an almost always infuriating process.

This is why we have become so alarmed at Mr. Scheer's recent comments, for he seemed to be suggesting not just the impossible, but the nonsensical. In a clearly pharmaceutically induced trip to Wonderland, Andrew Scheer, by his own admission, sincerely believes that all the parties can come together, put aside their interests and mandates, hold hands, and sign off on billions of dollars no matter how that may sit with those who elected them. Now everybody raise a hand if they think this is a good idea? What, are you on drugs too?

Not only is it not a good idea, it goes against everything a democracy should be. When things are important you hash them out, argue and fight for those you represent. Anything else is not only wildly idealistic, but misses the whole point of the process in the first place. What's required then is a leader and a government that understands this, accepts it, and works to minimize its excesses and maximize the benefits of consensus in a relatively timely manner.

Clearly Andrew Sheer does not understand this, which is why we are here today. Reach out to your MPs, to friends and families and plead with Mr. Scheer to just say no. Say no to drugs, Andrew. We need a clear head at the helm of this great nation, not another trip down the rabbit hole. Fried Spam just won't cut it.

Michael Nickerson has been a columnist for Esprit de Corps since 2005. He can be reached at:

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Title Annotation:COMMENTARY; Andrew Scheer
Author:Nickerson, Michael
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jun 1, 2019

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