Ottawa Ontario – Let’s start with a Happy New Year to one and all as we move into 2018.
Unfortunately with a fixed election date in 2019; we know that Canadians will begin to be bombarded with the election messaging that all of the parties will be testing as we lead up to that election. The never-ending election is now a part of political life.
While the shine is starting to come off of Trudeau, the wheels have certainly not yet come off of his bus. Assuming he (or should I say PM Butts) follows the strategy of the Ontario Liberals, we can pretty much bet that we will be seeing a lot of new programs, the re-announcing of funds, and an array of costly items targeting special interest groups whose support the Liberals will need in 2019. There will be plenty of opportunity for both the Conservatives and the NDP (if they ever get their act together) to go after Trudeau and the Liberal government.
The Conservatives will also have a front row seat to the upcoming battle between the NDP and the Liberals for the left wing vote. We should be hoping that it escalates into a major fight as any pro NDP vote that draws votes away from the Liberals is good news for the Conservatives, especially in ridings with tight three way races.
For the Conservatives their biggest issue will be to start moving forward and looking to the future without always referencing the past. While history will be a lot kinder to Stephen Harper than the voters were in the last election, constantly bringing him up when attacking Trudeau only boxes Andrew Scheer in.
Instead of constantly referencing what Harper did on any particular issue IE Harper was right, Trudeau is wrong etc., move on from 2015 and reference Scheer’s and the Party’s current position. Scheer has the difficult task of coming up with policies that are forward looking and which will attract voters, including millennial voters in 2019. We are no longer living in 2015, although you wouldn’t know it listening to some Conservative MPs.
The Trudeau cabinet has a lot of weak ministers- spend more time going after them, their lack of action on key files and their screw-ups. Every time they fail it reflects badly on Trudeau as he has to defend them. It is unlikely that you will ever get one issue that will deliver a knockout blow to Trudeau or shows a fatal flaw in the Prime Minister. Instead, focus on the accumulation of negative issues that over time damage him; and that includes the ministers that he appointed.
And please, not everything this government does or everything that Trudeau says, does or wears; needs a full blown all-out attack. It gets tiresome after a while listening to this stuff, reminds voters that the Conservatives are all about being nasty and negative. More importantly, it dilutes future attacks on key issues when they do screw up. Save the heavy artillery for when it is really needed.