Friday, 25 October 2019

2019 Canadian Elections- Post Mortem


On October 21, 2019, Canadians decided to elect a minority Liberal government, despite the failures of four years under a Trudeau leadership. The Liberal Party got fewer votes and seats than when they started the campaign. They have but one seat in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and yet in his first speech Trudeau said that he had a mandate. It is time to evaluate where the country goes from here.
For the past four years the country has been mired in a political division created by a vacuous and arrogant Prime Minister. He chose to lecture us about his ideology and went around the world dressed as a peacock to garner votes for a seat at the United Nations. All the while he ignored some basic principles of government, working for the good of the country. His policies based on a desire to placate environmentalist helped to destroy the main industry of two provinces –Alberta and Saskatchewan. Pandering to a constituency, too often misinformed and misguided, Trudeau proceeded in imposing a carbon tax that was unpopular, and costs jobs while doing everything possible to prevent the construction of a pipeline that would see the export of oil to Asia. The climate change policies of the government created massive unemployment in Alberta and alienated a whole population that was already aggrieved by his father’s policy of the National Energy Program. He succeeded to nationalize the Trans Mountain pipeline by purchasing it, and thus gaining full control.
The whole electoral campaign was a dud. All parties had no real policies but produced some of the worst rhetoric based around the so-called climate change. Economic and social policies were all based on a desire to limit Green House Gases. In fact the politicians may have produced more hot air than anything else. The Conservatives who had the wind behind their backs never got the electorate enthused about their platform. Andrew Scheer never used an attack strategy but in fact found himself defending some of his positions on social issues and his citizenship. He never defended his religious beliefs and values. When challenged; he never asked Canadians when and how attending a pride parade became a prerequisite to be a Prime Minister?
The combined left made up of the Liberals, Greens, the Bloc and NDP, campaign around the environmental issues, mainly the opposition to fossil fuel and in fact against the West, excluding British Columbia. Based on the campaign it is no surprise that the results were what they are. – a minority Liberal government. Despite claims that the first past the post system is to blame, the fact remains that the Liberals won because of the votes in Ontario, and the rise of the Bloc in Quebec.  It seems that Ontarians are shallow in their voting choices, albeit perhaps that they are misinformed or totally oblivious about economic principles, and the fact that Trudeau was found guilty of ethics breaches, and obstruction of justice. Quebec voters, on the other hand, are in my view the savviest electorate in the country. Quebec does not vote for the country they vote for what is best for them, and them alone. They benefit from and equalization system which is outdated and claim that they should receive more or they will separate from Canada. This separation sword of Damocles is now being touted to be the strategy that should be employed by the Western provinces; Wexit is in the making.   
Personally, I am not a separatist, because it does not make sense. The population of Canada is too small and a western nation will not have the economic base to sustain prosperity. We are a land locked region, and will require access for our trade. But given the first statement made by Trudeau I can see western alienation growing. His idea that he is going to reach to Mayors to represent him in the west is a preposterous and arrogant one. He must have forgotten that municipalities are the responsibility of provinces. To name Mayor Nenshi of Calgary as one of his possible helpers ignores the fact that the Mayor has become one of the most unpopular politicians in Calgary. While they share the same characteristics of arrogance and entitlement, in my opinion if Trudeau wants to offer an olive branch, he may have just made another mistake. For Nenshi, who has been searching for an exit to higher status, this may be what he is looking for, and to Calgarians it will be a fortuitous deliverance.
The country is about to see a move to the left never seen before, even under Pierre Trudeau. Conservatives need a leader that can articulate the needs of a Nation not that of provinces. Climate change is a reality, but it should not be used for wealth redistribution. If we want to reduce GHG by means of a carbon tax, the policy must be based on a change in behavior and the use of revenues not to penalize but to incentivize people towards a greener future.
Conservatives as the official opposition, must be very vigilant about coalitions between the NDP, Greens and Bloc. Just like eight years of Obama left the country deeply divided. Trudeau has done the same in four years. His rhetoric continues despite his loss. His arrogance will determine his policies; therefore the opposition must focus on attack instead of defense. The next election may not be too far. To be effective the CPC must go back to small ‘c’ conservative principles. That is the only winning strategy.

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