Ancient wisdom

Canada's PM Trudeau listens to a question from a journalist during an event at a restaurant in Gatineau

I have mentioned (hoped) before that Prime Minister Trudeau might start, in 2017, to “reap the whirlwind” that he sowed with his silly campaign promises in 2015. Now, the Toronto Star reports that “After soaring in public approval for more than a year, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals tumbled last month in a new poll that reflects a prime minister and key ministers struggling to balance ambitious electoral promises and the hard realities of governing … [and] … A new Forum Research poll conducted at the beginning of the week shows the Liberals dropped from 51 per cent a month ago to 42 per cent nationally … [additionally] … Much of the erosion for the federal Liberals appears to have come in B.C. and Ontario, where the Liberals and the Conservatives find themselves nearly tied for support … [and, further] …  In the past month, the Conservatives’ national approval rating under interim leader Rona Ambrose ticked up to 34 per cent from 28. That narrows a recent gap between the Liberals and the Conservatives — who do not yet have a permanent replacement for Stephen Harper — from 23 percentage points to just eight points.

This is good news, indeed, for Canada, because it suggests that the year long political honeymoon is over and, more and more, we Canadians, are beginning to see the Trudeau regime for what it is: hollow, unprincipled, inept and corrupt. It seems that a nation of “daydream believers,” which allowed the (largely media created)  visceral distaste it felt for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to blind it to the reality that Justin Trudeau does not have the gravitas, what our British friends call the “bottom” needed to lead a G7 country. Canadians can now see that he is surrounded by a coterie of ideologues and pubic relations professionals who have, essentially, put lipstick on a pig. In fact people like Gerald Butts and Katie pig-lipstickTelford have created their own sort of Potemkin Village, right here in Canada, where the facade of sunny way promises hides a wasteland of incompetence and broken dreams. It is, I think, the disillusionment that will, sooner rather than later, bring Teaa23m Trudeau to its knees: millions of young Canadians, traditional NDP voters and  small town and suburbanite, working Canadians were lured by the promises but must, now, face the cold, harsh realities of Justin Trudeau’s governing.

It looks like a smooth, straight ride for the Conservatives, doesn’t it?

Well, no, it doesn’t, and it is time for some bits of ancient wisdom …

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madison_avesell-sizzle-not-the-steakTeam Trudeau understood what sells, and in the best “Mad Men.” Madison Avenue traditions they sold us the “sizzle” without ever even worrying about, perhaps not even understanding, that millions of Canadians really wanted the steak. Millions and millions of Canadians fell, more or less willingly, into a common trap:

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Conservatives, however, must not depend upon Team Trudeau to, conveniently, shoot itself in the foot. The CPC must also remember some more ancient wisdom …

… the Conservatives have many, many steps to take, beginning with selecting a leader who can “connect” with millions and millions of mainstream, moderate Canadians, and then, every step of the way Conservatives must carry small stone after small stone (and some not so small) as we develop policies that make sense to many, many Canadians across the entire socio-political spectrum: agricultural, budgetary, consumer, defence, environmental, fiscal, geo-political, housing, industrial and, and, and policies, nearly ad infinitum

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We must start by staking out and re-occupying the traditional liberal middle ground that makes sense to about 70% of Canadians and then expand to welcome as many Canadians as we can into our big tent, but…

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… some, a few Conservatives, will reject everything to the left of the Authority-Leaning Democracy, including classical liberalism, and anything “lower” that Objectivism, but they must not be allowed to set the agenda or we will, surely, be consigned to political wilderness.

And, some modern, 20th century wisdom, in relation to selecting that leader: we Conservatives must remember that this is the 21st century and “image” animages.jpegd “style” do count when, as Canadian communications guru Marshall McLuhan suggested, information comes to us, and sometimes goes right past us, at the speed of light. We must select a leader who can, as I said, connect with Canadians in their preferred, 21st century, modes of communication, and in both official languages, too.* This is the information age and while meeting small groups in church basements still matters, “meeting” and “persuading” Canadians in large groups, in cyber-space matters more.

So, Conservatives: do (and advocate) what is right, not just what sells; make every step count; and carry a stone with every step so that we can move the mountain for the benefit of most Canadians.

_____

* I have said before that the standard for second language proficiency is Jean Chrétien. Prime Minister Chrétien’s eccentric English was good enough for millions of Canadians of good will who understood that it was his second language and who accepted his own narrative that he was the “‘tit gars de Shawinigan” who was not from the elites, who understood them and their neighbours and all their problems and so on. Quebec voters will punish the Conservative Party if it insults them by sending a unilingual Anglophone as party leader. But Quebecers are also Canadians of good will and they will accept someone who tries their best, as well as Jean Chrétien did, to communicate in Canada’s other official language. I have said before that it is possible to govern without Quebec, but not against it; but it will be easier to govern if we, Conservatives, have a comfortable base, say 10 to 15 seats in la bell province.

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