From the outset of the 2021 election call, when the federal Liberals saw that their plan of an easy romp to a majority was clouded, they pulled the emergency trigger.
True to form, when the Liberals have their backs against the wall, they charge that a CPC government would repeal a woman access to her private health matters (read: outlaw abortion access). Never mind that this was a matter decided by the supreme court and has largely been untouched since the early 1980’s.
Well that failed to move the needle, so then the federal Liberals launch a broadside on “CPC plans to privatize healthcare”. Well the sad reality check is that Canada’s healthcare system is heavily private and much of that happened under Liberal leadership. What’s more telling is that the Liberals aren’t pledging to reverse this trend, they’re scaring folks that the Conservatives might make it worse. If they were real progressives on this, they’d argue to increase the scope of healthcare to include mental health, dental care and more. But they haven’t and they wont.
The third pillar in Liberal scare tactics is to scare progressives that “THE NDP MIGHT WORK WITH CONSERVATIVES” (against the Liberals?). This historically has been a more effective attack – in terms of moving the needle, but it doesn’t hold much water. Historically, the Liberals and Conservatives share far more in common than either of them do with the NDP. In terms of parliamentary votes, if it has anything to do with economic justice for workers or the environment, the Liberals most reliable ally are the CPC.
Not that it matters. All Liberals have to do is say it; that there’s some nefarious plan of the CPC and NDP to throw the Liberals out. It almost never checks out as far as facts go, but never let a good spin get in the way of the truth.
Recently, an editorializing journalist suggested that since the NDP leader didn’t explicitly say that he wasn’t going to team up with the CPC, Liberals pounced immediately as finding the proof that it WAS going to happen.
Except that editorialists are opinion writers. As it turns out, the facts point elsewhere. The interview where Jagmeet Singh is asked point blank if he would work with Erin O’Toole if he scored a minority parliamentary win in the election, Jagmeet wasn’t non-committal, he forcefully said that the NDP and CPC on most matters were incompatible. But don’t take my word for it, watch the interview yourself.
Our one-on-one with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh https://t.co/Kb7xSRTFCb— Farah Nasser (@FarahNasser) August 25, 2021
Liberals are pretty desperate to glean their message from the interview above. But they have run up against a wall here. They don’t have any significant new ideas that could not have been accomplished in the functioning parliament that had two years left in its mandate, so they’re resorting to scare tactics and misinformation to whip up vote they feel entitled to.
Ultimately, the operation of the next parliament is up to voters, most of whom didn’t feel this early election was necessary. No matter, here we are, Canadian’s will vote regardless – and the party leaders will respect the verdict and work with the cards they’re dealt – not the ones they want.
There’s no use trying to re-litigate the election call itself – that ship has sailed. But if anything has been made clear by this stunt, its this: Justin Trudeau had a functioning government and a mostly cooperative parliament. He had a mandate and enough good will to continue at least for another year – hopefully to see the backside of this pandemic leave.
He chose politics over governing; there is not compelling issue that sparked this campaign – no decisive wedge that required attention – except to get us to the other side of the pandemic.
Maybe Justin has given us an issue to contemplate.
He might not like the answer.