Ottawa Ontario – We wrap up another year in Canadian politics noting that nothing has really changed in the past year. The parties remain pretty much where they were in the polls, although Trudeau has taken a bit of a hit.
But the Liberals are about to try and change that as I see that Trudeau will embark on yet another warm and fuzzy town hall tour. This is obviously an attempt to get him out of Ottawa and away from the scrutiny of the national media. This is not to say that it is a bad idea. For the Liberals, Trudeau symbolizes their brand and courtesy of Morneau and mistakes by Trudeau himself, that brand is a bit tarnished right now. As we have seen on many occasions Trudeau is good at the wave, smile and pose for a selfie routine. This is a smart move on the Liberal’s part and also keeps him away from those exotic islands owned by billionaires.
As for Morneau, don’t expect him to be shuffled off anytime soon, although it is needed. One only has to remember Jim Flaherty or Paul Martin in that position to know that Finance ministers need to be politically astute and fast on their feet, Morneau is neither. As for the rest of Trudeau’s cabinet it is time for a reboot and in the case of Hehr that should be “boot” from cabinet. That is an easy decision for Trudeau (or the people who really call the shots in PMO) to make.
For the Conservatives with two by-election losses behind them it’s time for a bit of a reboot too. They still look and sound like the Harper Tories. They seem to have forgotten that that image and that leader were defeated. We always know what they don’t like, don’t support, don’t agree with and what they oppose.
But, how many Canadians who are not already Conservative supporters can tell you anything about a positive, forward thinking Conservative message? This is not to say their policies are wrong (I happen to agree with many of them) but how they communicate them has to change. How about some forward- thinking policies that target urban centres, millennials, the environment? You can’t always be negative; you have to show positive vision, hope for the future and communicate it to voters.
The NDP have different issues. First of all where is their leader? Other than the ridiculous hype about whether or not he got engaged, Jagmeet Singh has pretty much disappeared from the national scene. Unfortunately Canadian politics is largely leader driven and when your leader prefers to keep a low profile and stay out of the House, the population tends to tune that leader out rather quickly. Add to the disappearing leader, the Liberal move to be more NDP than the NDP itself; and their vote is disappearing. This shift left by the Liberals is nothing new. Back when Keith Davies was their master strategist, it was common for the Liberals to shift left or right to adopt policies from their rivals and try to cut off any voter shift away from the Liberals. We will see much more of this happening as we get closer to the 2019 election.
For the next few weeks voters can thankfully take a break from Canadian politics, as we focus on what really matters- friends and family.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all, may you have a great holiday season.