The December cover of Maclean’s magazine has exploded across social media, while jabs poking fun at it, have become just as popular.
“The reason I say it’s probably the image the conservative party doesn’t want – or the conservative movement doesn’t want – is because it’s five middle-aged white guys, looking kind of stiff,” said Jim Farney, a political science professor at the University of Regina.
Scott Moe is featured in the backdrop of the photo, but the Saskatchewan premier is at the core of a conservative movement – one he’s directly responsible for.
“A year ago, there would have been one province and one premier on the cover of this paper, had they written this story a year ago. Now we have Ontario, Manitoba, likely Alberta at some point in time [and] we have New Brunswick,” Moe said.
It’s a list that’s growing bigger.
“What we forget about is, the new Quebec government is a conservative government. They’re not on the cover, but they’ll be willing to work with these other players too,” Farney said.
Moe’s crusade against the carbon tax has unified conservatives across the country.
“On this issue, and in ways that have surprised me, conservatives have really said ‘no.’ I didn’t expect this issue to be the thing that brought them all together across the federal and provincial levels and the different flavours they represent,” Farney said.
The newly united front could pose a threat to Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, but closer to home, it’s an opportunity for Moe – less than a year into the job – to cement his image on a national scale.
“One of the struggles that Moe has had, is that Wall was such a dominant premier and so charismatic. Moe himself is pretty open, he doesn’t have the charisma, so how does he grow into being a leading premier? It’s through stuff like this,” Farney said.
The cover isn’t just an opportunity for Moe to cement himself in the political sphere, it’s an opportunity for Saskatchewan as well.
“On issues like equalization, on healthcare transfers, on all the usual stuff that we fight about federally and provincially, it helps Saskatchewan to be on a team with a lot of players,” Farney said
That’s why Moe wasn’t bothered by the critiques or the comments.
“You know I haven’t looked at some of the comments that have been going on with respect to a photo of – what I originally thought – was some good looking fellows,” Moe said.
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