2015 Canadian Federal Election - Fall of the Conservatives
Trudeau won the 2015 federal election. It came as a surprise to some. For some reference though, I'll link to a blog on the previous election.
The election was interesting because it went through phases. At the start, even the NDP was considered a prime contender, but they were destroyed, and I don't think it was just 'strategic voting'. In my view, Trudeau ran a solid campaign. The Conservatives and the NDP simply lost it for themselves.
NDPWhy did the NDP fail? They moved too far to the 'center', even beyond the Liberals in so far as their proposed policies and how they approached the public. The NDP was talking balanced budgets in a time of economic uncertainty. While the Liberals were talking deficit spending. Just let that sink it. The NDP wanted to spend less money than the Liberals.
If you're a Canadian concerned with social policy and making sure people are taken care of by the government, your place in this election was not with the NDP oddly enough, but with the Liberals. It was Trudeau talking about making Canada better, spending money, giving money to working people. Trudeau simply owned the progressive platform, leaving Muclair trapped in his own responsibility.
The NDP have long tried to move to the center by 'being responsible'. But no one I talked to at work believed the NDP plan. How do you want to do all that and have no deficit? They simply didn't believe the NDP. Muclair did not inspire people towards a better or more prosperous future. He was in a sense a man from another time. Progressives don't want responsibility. They want a vision.
Why did the conservatives fail? They failed because for a number of reasons, but to understand it, you have to understand what the conservatives did while in power. The conservatives didn't really do anything radical. Life went pretty much on as usual for most Canadians. Most big conservative issues were off the table during Harper's reign. Everything from abortion to major reforms in government were simply off the table. It could have been a Liberal government in charge of Canada and not much would have changed. Yes, they introduced some tax changes and cut the GST, but nothing radical of any sort. In the end, the Conservative message was trust us to run the country. We're stable and boring. Not a bad message by any stretch of the imagination.
What the Conservatives did was bank on small symbolic gestures. These proved extremely divisive during their term. Everything from the long form census to the long gun registry. Really how much did either of these affect the average Canadian? In the election. The Niqab at the Citizen ceremony was a prime example. These are largely symbolic issues. Oh sure, if you believe in big government, you might think the long form census was a loss. But what amazing policy has it really created? It's the same with the Niqab issue. Largely symbolic. You can talk about Canadian values and what not, but in the end, its a symbolic ceremony. However, they were highly symbolic and caused great division. It's largely why the conservatives generated so much hate despite most people being unable to put their finger on exactly why.
In the end of the election, these cost Harper. The Niqab issue was one. The other was on revoking the citizenship of terrorists. How many people would this have impacted? It's not like terrorists would be free to run around.
These symbolic divisions backfired on them and Trudeau was smart to capitalize on them by appearing bigger. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.
LiberalsThe Liberals by in large led a very positive campaign about a better future. They didn't really screw anything up. They paid attention to the major themes including infrastructure, legalizing marijuana, a positive future, being there to take of all Canadians.They were in a way the only major party worth voting for.
As above, the conservatives destroyed themselves with their pointless symbolic battles.
The NDP destroyed itself by being too responsible and in the end giving the Liberals the space to be the big spenders willing to take care of Canadians.
But Trudeau will be an interesting leader. I don't pay too much attention to what progressive politicians say. They have learned too well the art of political manipulation. It's basically comes down to sound positive and then do whatever you want as you know better. Attack your opponents via a positive message, implying that your opponent is a racist/bigot/not caring about the poor. I don't know how calling someone those words is not negative, but they're mastered it. The other parties should learn this tactic.
Tying it all upWell, that was that. I personally voted for the Green Party because of Elizabeth May. She seemed honest and her party's platform offended me the least :)
I don't believe too much of Trudeau, but if he can pull off investing in transit and legalizing weed, it will be a successful run in my books.