Everyone lost in last night’s election — especially Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
Trudeau callously called a needless election for one reason and one reason only: to increase his own power.
Trudeau governed over a stable minority Parliament, having the support of both the NDP and Bloc to enact his left-wing agenda. He had no problem passing legislation. His left-wing allies could be counted on to help him in the committees. No opposition leaders wanted this election, they all spoke out against it.
There was no good reason to have this election, and Trudeau never adequately explained his rationale for calling it.
The reason was personal. It was for vanity and power. Trudeau cynically plunged the country into a pandemic election because he thought he was popular enough to gain a majority government. Having to work with other left-wing parties was bothersome to the Prime Minister, and he wanted absolute power.
He believed that Canadians would be grateful, after 18 long hard months in lockdown, to have a summer where most people were vaccinated, restaurants were open and we could begin to live our normal lives again.
He thought they would reward him with a majority government. He thought wrong.
Trudeau’s approval rating with regards to COVID-19, we learned, did not translate into greater support for his Liberal Party.
Instead, Trudeau wasted $610 million, five weeks of our lives, and the result of this vanity election is a Parliament that looks eerily similar to the 2019 results and a country that is angry, bitter and divided.
That’s again because of Trudeau. He pushed wedge issues to deliberately divide Canadians for partisan ends, he ramped up his hateful rhetoric against Canadians who opposed lockdowns and protested his campaign, and he spread misinformation about Covid vaccines and the way out of the fourth wave.
Trudeau is the biggest loser of Election 2021, and the whole country is worse off after election night.
But the Conservatives lost too, and we need to talk about why.
It became increasingly clear during the five-week campaign that CPC Leader Erin O’Toole’s strategy was to run as a moderate and try to appeal to liberal and progressives who may be disillusioned with Trudeau.
After running as a “true blue” alternative to Red Tory Peter Mackay, O’Toole tacked hard to the left after becoming party leader, and that trend continued throughout the campaign.
He flip-flopped on key issues — including the carbon tax, protecting legal gun owners, defunding the CBC, allowing free votes among his caucus and protecting the conscience rights of healthcare workers.
He also took the left-wing position on many other key issues, like supporting mandatory vaccines, wanting to phase out Western Canadian energy (albeit more slowly than the other parties), ramping up spending on big government schemes and pledging his unlimited support to abortion.
He pushed away the libertarians in the party through his pro-lockdown and pro-vaccine passport policies, and he shunned social conservatives — pledging to ignore moral issues and move the party towards woke progressive values.
He spent the final week of the campaign apologizing for the conservatives in his party.
The conservative consultant class in Toronto and Ottawa have long pushed the idea that the party needs to “modernize” — that is, it needs to fall in line with the left-wing parties on social and moral issues.
O’Toole followed suit. His strategy, it seemed, was to move the party to the left, lose some support in strongholds like Alberta and Saskatchewan in order to gain support in the cities, suburbs, and across Quebec.
This strategy failed. Badly.
Sure, Conservatives did lose support in the West.
But they also failed to make any inroads among liberal and progressive voters. They were shut out of the 905, decimated in the Lower Mainland and failed to add to their seat count in Quebec.
Instead, O’Toole lost seats and alienated longtime Conservative voters.
The base is angry. They were ignored, disrespected and thrown under the bus by their own leader — and for what? Fewer seats but some supportive words from left-wing journalists (journalists who, of course, would never in a million years vote Conservative.)
O’Toole’s decision to abandon conservative principles and slander the Conservative base did not go unnoticed.
There must be a reckoning. There will be a reckoning.