Peter MacKay attacks Conservatives for “friendly fire,” explains 19th century poem in new essay

Peter MacKay attacks Conservatives for “friendly fire,” explains 19th century poem in new essay

A new editorial by twice-failed Conservative Party leadership candidate Peter MacKay shames “fellow conservatives” for allegedly helping the Liberals by openly criticizing him.

The essay appeared in the Toronto Sun and contains a minor explanation the 19th century poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner in reference to his denouncement of Andrew Scheer's social views as a “stinking albatross”.

MacKay's major focus was on piece written by former Progressive Conservative Ontario MPP John Snobelen.

Snobelen's piece, published last week by the same Sun paper, addressed those social attacks:

After the last federal election many CPC supporters wanted change. Some — myself included — were disappointed that the party seemed intolerant at worst and uncomfortable at best with social issues long resolved on most urban streets. Marching in a Pride parade isn’t exactly cutting edge.

But the hatchet job unleashed on the former leader was an unconscionable personal attack on Scheer and his family. Worse, it was friendly fire from within the CPC, organized in part by people who would benefit from a leadership contest.

MacKay’s comments were a part of that unseemly and undeserved attack.

MacKay responds:

I regret the spin placed on my perhaps too fresh, too clever comments made shortly after the 2019 election stating that Andrew Scheer’s loss “was like having a breakaway on an open net and missing the net” and that his social views were a “stinking albatross”.

I campaigned vigorously for Mr. Scheer in 2019 in 50 ridings, raised money for him, introduced him at events and did all I could to try to make him Prime Minister. It was the team, myself included, that missed the net.

As for the poem, written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and published in 1834, MacKay states:

The Albatross reference, as I have said so often, was a reference to the “rime of the ancient mariner” poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and how the media and Liberals exploited Scheer’s personal beliefs and created a negative narrative that he couldn’t seem to get past.

They hung it around his neck. He didn’t put it there or want it there.

You can see more of our coverage of Erin O'Toole's win by visiting our Conservative Party of Canada portal.