If you’ve spent any length of time paying attention to Canadian politics, you know the Liberals live and die by the white nationalist smear. It’s their one-two punch.
So integral is the white nationalist smear to the Liberal re-election strategy that they’ve basically just let it hang out in the open this time around. In 2019, when they are not trying to bribe the voters with their own money and debt, Trudeau and his crew are going to imply, over and over again, that Andrew Scheer and Hamish Marshall are soft on racism. They won’t say these two men are racists themselves per se, that’s for their legions of trolls they employ — but the implication is clear enough. It’s ALWAYS clear enough.
Why do they do this? Because it works. Super genius political strategists in this country have concluded that the only way to win elections is to Appeal To The Middle Class. That’s where Elections Are Won. So, the CPC have bet the farm on appearing as sane and non-threatening as possible. They’ve gone so far as to look the other way as saner candidates run against their more colourful and controversial MPs.
What the CPC doesn’t appear to understand is that as soon as they take steps like these to prevent right-wing bozo eruptions, they allow the Liberals to set the terms of debate. Before they open their mouths to talk about policy or the Liberal record, they must make sure that whatever they say is scrubbed clean of anything the Liberals can twist. This casts a sheen of defensiveness over everything the Conservatives do, because you can never be sure what people will be offended by.
All that changed once the bad reviews from Trudeau’s ill-fated India trip started rolling in. Now, they are the ones having to keep tabs on their own partisans, such as Daniel Jean, the national security advisor who, for all appearances was spinning a fake news story that “rogue elements” in the Indian government were trying to make the Liberals look bad.
The CBC did themselves no favours by uncritically running with this narrative. Now, everything guys like me say about them being Liberal water carriers looks a lot more credible.
But worst of all for the Red Team? When Trudeau plays dress-up overseas, it means he can’t credibly point his finger and call the CPC a bunch of clueless white dudes. His own personal lack of gravitas and sensitivity means that Canadians can’t take what he says seriously.
An unelected Rasputin like Gerald Butts did himself no favours when he called commentators like Piers Morgan laughing at Trudeau’s mind-boggling “peoplekind” statement a bunch of Nazis. Rather than get mad and offended like the CPC tends to do, Morgan calmly said the equivalent of “You are ridiculous.”
Andrew Scheer, who is reputed to have a sense of humour, should take this golden opportunity and exploit it to the fullest. Put those dimples and that smile to good use, sir!