Dr Darrell Bricker, who is the CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, a fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto and the author several books, including some I regularly cite here like The Big Shift and Empty Planet (both co-authored with John Ibbitson) said, recently, on social media:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to be test driving a campaign strategy that will pay less attention to the issues Dr Bricker says really matter to voters and instead will try to paint Andrew Scheer, along with Premiers Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, as members of the so-called Alt-Right, intent of destroying the moderately progressive welfare state in which we live.
Conservatives need to do two things:
- First, by word and deed, demonstrate that Justin Trudeau is wrong, again; and
- Second, campaign on the issues that really matter, as Darell Bricker says, to the millions of Canadians who live in the large towns and small cities and, especially, in the suburbs around our major cities:
- Their own, personal, economic well-being ~ and hope for better lives for their children and grandchildren;
- Affordability of life in modern Canada: do we have a sensible, efficient and effective tax system? Are we getting value for our tax dollars? Are the government’s priorities sensible to ordinary Canadians?
- The nature of our society: how is Canada changing? Are governments managing that change for us or for some unknown elites?
Dr Bricker’s little list does not include any of my pet causes like a grand strategy for Canada, a principled foreign policy or a strong national defence and it only touches, peripherally, on immigration and border security. But I think Darell Bricker is on the right track … the issues that matters lie close to almost every hearth and home, close to every rural, small town, big town, small city, suburban and urban home. Only a couple of tiny handfuls of Canadians, on the socio-economic fringes, don’t have these concerns on a regular basis; they cross most all social, ideological, economic and cultural barriers; they are shared by Wendy the welder, Anton the accountant, Nathan the nurse and Brenda the banker. They should be comfortable issues for most Conservatives because they are issues that, the polling suggests, Canadians believe that Conservatives manage better (or, at least, not as badly) than any other party.
Now the task is for Andrew Scheer to enunciate a coherent suite of policies that appeal, broadly, to most voters in most towns, small cities and the suburbs around the large cities where people have mortgages, car payments and child-rearing expenses.