The longest Canadian election campaign is over. The Canadian electorate chose to elect a Liberal government after ten years of Harper’s Conservative rule. There is no doubt that Trudeau played a masterful hand and won. While many will analyze the results and arrive at different conclusions, in my view there are three particulars that can explain the result and give us a look into the future. They are change, chaos, and possible catastrophe.
So Canada voted for change; but from what? Lower taxes, less government spending and the preservation of Canadian values? For many younger Canadians it was the environment. But the facts have been ignored in every case. Lower taxes gave Canadians the choice of spending their money as they saw fit. Government programs are not the answer to many of our problems we need different ways of providing services. As for the environment, many ignore that the Oil Sands account for 8.5% of Canada’s GHG and 0.12% of annual global emissions. Signing a treaty does not automatically mean that implementing it is easy. Promising change is easy; implementing it is not and more notably based on many promises made by the Liberals. It will costs a lot and creates deficits – the only promise that will be kept. Canadians will see the disappearance of income splitting and the reduction of the TFSA annual contribution limit among many other policies. In fact the middle class will see very few real gains.
So now that we have change was the election really about policies or was it about Harper? His policies were sound but his character had been damaged by the media for so long that many Canadians viewed the election as a change in leadership style rather than the direction of the country. In the campaign he rarely connected with the people, and he never showed passion in support of his record...
As from October 20th 2015, Canada will have to live with a new government for at least another four years. The biggest problem will be to fulfill all the promises. Can Canada afford the costs of the promises? Or shall we be witnessing a slew of government programs that pick winners and losers. The biggest promise will be to The First Nations. Any additional spending without clear transparency and accountability will bear no fruit.
With a global economy in stagnation and the world’s security under attack virtually every day, it is not too far fetch to see chaos on the horizon. The first international foray for the new government will be the Climate Conference in Paris. How will any agreement affect Canadians now that we do not have a PM who would defend Canada’s oil industry? If we accept the proposed agenda without conditions, Canadians will see a gradual increase in the costs of goods and taxes and further restrictions on Alberta’s economy.
The Middle East is on fire. How will this government react to threats from terrorism? Aligning Canada with Obama’s foreign policies will create more problems than solutions. Remember that Obama will be gone in just over a year. Furthermore going back to collaborating with a dysfunctional United Nations, especially on the refugee problem, without a clear strategy may result in an open door policy that may bring sleeper cells to our shores? These are not just issues based on paranoia; they are real considerations that this government will have to consider. For those who accuse many conservatives of intolerance, they confuse compassion with a lack of assimilation in our immigration policies. As an immigrant I appreciate the values of a Canadian society but I am not blind to the threat coming from terrorism based in a sick ideology that demands vigilance. Lest we forget what has already happened in the past.
While I am disappointed in the final results of the elections, I accept the will of the people. Conservatives must look at the future with optimism. Harper created the foundation for conservative policies. We have just lost the battle but the final days are a long way off.
The party must choose a new leader; one who is more approachable, one that can match the so-called charismatic personality of Justin Trudeau. A younger leader, possibly a woman, would be a great choice to bring the Conservative party of Canada in the 21st century. The new leadership must attract ‘millennials’ by making sure that the message is not lost on the internet garble but through direct communication of conservative principles.Most importantly the Conservative party must compromise on process and procedures, but never compromise on principles.
During the next four years elected Conservative members should embrace this quote by Napoleon Bonaparte: “You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.”