It’s not a big secret that I’ll be voting for the Tories in next month’s federal election. Most of my loyal readers could have guessed as much.
What’s been fascinating is how many Canadians, including small-c conservatives, are still struggling to make a decision. There’s always a contingent of voters who sit on the fence until the bitter end, but it seems to be much larger this time around.
Indeed, the opinion polls show a very undecided electorate. Nanos Research’s rolling telephone poll had Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals leading Andrew Scheer’s Tories by a margin of 35.4-32.8 per cent on Sept. 13, and 35.2-32.3 per cent on Sept. 14. The Tories moved ahead of the Liberals on Sept. 15 (34.4-34 per cent) and maintained it on Sept. 16 (35.9-34.9 per cent).
Meanwhile, Forum Research had the Tories ahead by a margin of 36.3-32.4 per cent in its Sept. 11 poll. DART/Maru also showed the Tories leading by a margin of 35-32 per cent that day. And Ipsos called it a dead heat with each party garnering 35 per cent support on Sept. 13.
Unless something dramatic happens, this could end up being the closest federal election in Canadian history.
Putting their different methodologies aside, the numbers are clearly all over the map.
As for the other political parties, Jagmeet Singh’s NDP seem to be solidly in third place, with an average of 14-16.5 per cent of the electorate supporting them. Elizabeth May’s Greens, who were in third place in some polls a few weeks ago, are now hovering around 8-10 per cent. Yves-François Blanchet’s Bloc, meanwhile, is at 3-4 per cent, and Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada is hovering around 2-2.5 per cent (with occasional outliers).
Unless something dramatic happens, this could end up being the closest federal election in Canadian history. Yet, it really shouldn’t be, as Trudeau has turned out to be one of the most unimpressive individuals to have ever served as this country’s prime minister.
He’s a drama teacher with no political or legal background (other than his late father’s pedigree). His public speaking engagements, complete with stumbling and fumbling, have becoming a running gag and his attempts at humour have failed miserably. He has a professorial style of leadership, which is rather rich considering his lack of life experience, poor managerial skills and an inability to properly break down issues. And he has little to no grasp of strategic communications and political tactics.
That’s to say nothing of his disgraceful domestic policies – which have resulted in bigger government, higher taxes and less personal freedoms – and foreign policies – which have demonstrated his inability to lead and led to a massive loss of influence on the world stage that this country built up during the Stephen Harper years. He also holds the title of the first Canadian prime minister to have made two major ethics violations while in office. As well, the brownface/blackface controversy gripped the nation and led to further questions about his honesty, authenticity and credibility as a world leader.
Yes, I’m a right-leaning conservative who wrote speeches for his Tory predecessor. But I acknowledge that there have been capable Liberals (Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin) and mediocre Tories (Joe Clark, Kim Campbell) who have held the same post. How anyone could vote for Trudeau with a straight face is beyond my comprehension.
Scheer is a far more impressive individual. He’s fiscally and socially conservative. He wants to decrease the size of government, reduce taxes (including the lowest federal income tax bracket from 15 to 13.75 per cent by 2023), introduce more tax credits (for parents with children in arts and sports programs, among others), promote private-sector initiatives, slash the bureaucracy and red tape, and enhance individual rights and freedoms.
Canadian Jews would also benefit under Scheer’s leadership. He would crack down on religious bigotry and ensure that all religious groups can practice safely and confidently in their churches, synagogues and mosques. He would also be a real friend to Israel, like Harper and Brian Mulroney were.
That’s why Andrew Scheer would be the right choice for Canada – and the Canadian Jewish community.