High ranking Conservative MP Michelle Rempel-Garner is getting some serious criticism for a remark that I wish she hadn’t made, but it points up a bigger problem. As generally liberal political strategist and analyst Rick Anderson says:
I agree and I am as guilty as anyone of “cheap partisanship.”
I still guess that we are headed for a general election sooner rather than later. I hope it will not be until May/June, when I also hope the COVID-19 infection will be much lower, but the Liberals are polling at about 38% and that puts them in majority government territory and I’m not sure that Justin Trudeau can resist the urge ~ it seems to be a compelling need for him ~ to get a majority so that he can squash the inquiries into the WE Charity affair.
Erin O’Toole and the Conservative Party need to get a suite of policies out on the table that will resonate with voters in the suburbs around Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and, above all, Toronto. Those policies have to deal with:
- The economic recovery from the pandemic;
- Planning for how to slow our borrowing and, years (decades?) from now being able to balance the budget, again;
- Repairing the social safety net;
- Repairing our public health system so that we don’t get caught flat-footed again;
- Doing our part to combat the impact if global climate change;
- Restoring our power and prestige in the world so that bully regimes will think twice about attacking us;
- Repairing our always fragile national unity; and
- A whole hockey-sock full of other issues.
Of course there is a role for partisanship, but Conservatives need to focus their attacks, to concentrate their fire, as we say, on a few lucrative targets, including, especially:
- Justin Trudeau’s nearly criminally inept handling of the COVID-19 crisis; and
- Justin Trudeau’s documented “ethical blind spot,” which is at the root of the whole WE Charity scandal.
There can be no doubt at all that Justin Trudeau’s handling of the CIVID-19 crisis in December 2019 and in. January and February of 2020, specially his refusal to close borders, cost thousands of Canadians their lives. Their blood is on his hands. Of course, the Canada~US border is harder to close than, say, the borders of Australia and South Korea, but he didn’t even try. he was trying to appease China not serve Canada. He failed in his first duty as a leader. He must be called to account for that. He should be attacked, relentlessly, for being both stupid and partisan.
Then, while he was scrambling to make us for his own stupidity he decided ~ and let’s be very clear it wasn’t civil servants or Bardish Chagger who made those decisions, it was the Trudeau PMO ~ to award, without competition, a multi-hundred dollar contract to manage paying students to volunteer to a company that had direct financial ties to his family and with which he had political ties. It possibly, even likely, goes beyond being just unethical.
The Conservative Party, it seems to me, must focus on two main priorities:
- Convincing Canadians that they have a better suite of policies than the Liberals, a platform that makes more sense to ordinary working and middle class Canadians than does the one that the free-spending Justin Trudeau offers; and
- Reminding Canadians that Justin Trudeau and his ministers have failed them, over and over again. The Trudeau team has failed. They have failed farmers and small business owners and miners and veterans and those at the bottom of the wage ladder. They, Trudeau and his ministers are here to serve themselves and their friends and their influential supporters.
We must all remember that the problem is Justin Trudeau and his team. The Liberal Party has been captured by a gang of activists. Many good Liberals, and there are a lot of them, are as dismayed as as I. Canada needs and Canadians deserve a competent, honest, ethical and effective government. Canada needs Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives to take the reins of government for a decade and more while the Liberals reconsider, reform and rebuild.