Many years ago an author/playwright put these words into the mouth of one of his characters: “I know what you’re against .. [but] … What are you for?” It remains a pertinent question today, for many, many people all around the world. Here in Canada it appears, to me, that Erin O’Tool and his Conservatives are fully sure about what they are against … and I share their outrage at what the Trudeau regime has done and failed to do for the past 5½ years. But they seem ~ and maybe I’m missing something ~ less willing to tell us what they are for. I think it is now time to start doing that. I believe that Canadians are willing, even eager, to hear what Mr O’Toole and his team propose to do for Canada.
It is not enough to want to say that the Conservatives want to “take back Canada.” It just begs the questions: back to where? back to what? It also sound vaguely Trumpian and that, I suggest, is exactly what Canadians, including most Conservative Canadians like me, do not want to hear right now. I want the Conservative Party to tell us how they plan to take Canada forward, to make Canada bigger and better: more prosperous, more unified, more respected in the world, more productive, and freer, too.
With many pundits saying that despite the ongoing pandemic “2021 is still almost certainly an election year,” it is time for the Conservative Party to stop saying just what it is against and to start saying what it is for.
I believe that now, in 2021, Canadians want to know how the government they elect will tame the enormous and growing deficits that Justin Trudeau’s government (and provincial and even some local governments, too, I haste to add) is creating.
Canadians don’t want the taps to be turned off, but they do what to hear a coherent plan to get us our of the fiscal hole that the liberals have dug.
I think that most Canadians, especially those working and middle-class Canadians in the suburbs around Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto are ready to hear what Erin O’Tool, Candice Bergen and Pierre Poilievre have to say about the debt ~ there is plenty of room, there, to lash Prime Minister Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland for mismanagement ~ and about how a Conservative government will manage it. Not all Canadians will like everything they hear. They didn’t when Brian Mulroney and Mike Wilson explained it in the 1980s, but they reelected the Mulroney Conservatives in part because they did explain it and in part because they had a real plan (the original Canada-US free trade agreement) to help deal with it by growing the economy. Canadians didn’t like it, either, when (early 2000s) Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin finally resolved the huge deficit Pierre Trudeau created in the 1970s, but, by then, they accepted it as necessary. It’s that time, again. Canadians, I think, know there’s a problem; most are ready to hear it defined; and they want to hear a sensible plan that will help them and their children and grandchildren, too, to enjoy the blessings of this great land and fruits of their own labours.
I suspect that most Canadians are:
- Not too unhappy with what Prime Minister Trudeau has done ~ mostly spending wildly ~ to address the economic damage done by the pandemic;
- Unaware of the many things that Prime Minister Trudeau did not do to contain the pandemic in its early stages;
- Worried about the national economy, going forward;
- Concerned about the prime minister’s ethical failings; and
- Unwilling to change horses in mid-stream unless there is a clearly visible better choice.
My guess is that 2nd, 3rd and 4th ‘bullets’ do not outweigh the fist and last.
The current polling suggests that the the electoral race is close …
… perhaps nearly (statistically) tied.
As noted above, most Canadians are not unhappy with how the government has managed helping Canadians during the pandemic …
… and while they are, relatively unconcerned with ethics and accountability (reflecting I think a well established anti-Conservative bias in much (not all) of the media which simply ignores issues like the WE Charity Scandal,) most Canadians do not trust the Trudeau Liberals to mange the economy, especially not the debt. This is where Canadians, quite clearly, do trust the Conservatives.
It is time for the Conservatives to offer a whole suite of policies on everything from agriculture, banking and climate change through to dealing with xenophobia, our Yankee neighbours and with zebra mussels, too:
Here are some (it’s not anything like an exhaustive list) key issues which I believe must be included in a Conservative plan for Canada:
- Managing Canada’s massive debt ~ which I have already discussed, above, and which, I believe, must be the CPC‘s #1 issue;
- The Liberals’s attack ~ there’s no other word ~ on –
- The West and, especially on Western resources, and
- Honest work,
- Climate change, and having a cleaner environment in general;
- Healthcare funding ~ the Stalinist Canada Health Act;
- Taxes and more taxes and taxes upon taxes;
- Employment ~ good, honest jobs for all those who can work;
- Immigration policy and control of our border;
- Recovering from COVID-19, including rebuilding our health information (intelligence) network;
- The Cancel Culture and free speech ~ especially where taxpayers’ money is involved. That includes a firm promise to carefully review and, as necessary, rescind any and even all provisions that Prime Minister Trudeau and
Propaganda MinisterCulture Minister Guilbeault intend to apply to what you and I might say on-line;
- Relations with our First Nations;
- Western alienation (see the 2nd bullet, above) and national unity in general; and
- Foreign and defence policy and the compelling need ~ see What Canada needs from a couple of day ago ~ to face a dangerous world with confidence, including, especially how to deal with China, Iran, North Korea and Russia, but also stressing a need for principles (our values) in our foreign policy.
I will begin to discuss some of those tomorrow and in the following days.